It wasn’t long before we decided we’d need to get some food we could prepare and eat in our room in order to make it through the week. We are Dance Moms after all, we are sharing rooms, we are on a budget. Dance is not an inexpensive sport. Cereal, granola bars, peanut butter, bread, pudding cups, rice cakes, bananas, apples, all helped us through the week and kept us out of the restaurant for every meal. There was no breakfast included in this room rate.
Dance expenses include costumes (custom made and off the rack), shoes, tights, head pieces, more shoes (Mom my shoes are too small), more tights (Mom, I ripped my tights) travel expenses, choreography fees, entry fees for competitions, entry fees for conventions… Once in a while we even get to fit in a little extracurricular fun for the kids at the National Competition. This trip we are taking the girls to Cedar Point Amusement Park.
I left the collage glue brush on the sink at home when I chose to work in the kitchen while banana bread and birthday cake baked last week. I used the travel bag and forgot to restock it. Upon arriving in Ohio I realized the only brush I had was a watercolor brush that would be ruined by the glue. Our trip to the Super Center included me wandering my way into the crafts section. Thank goodness for cheap brushes!
The girls ALL performed amazing this week. We had days three and four of solos, duets, trios, and small groups on the stage. We got up and out early, most days by 7am the girls were in the dressing room putting on makeup and stretching. We sat and watched as many of the girls from our studio perform as we could, in addition to our own kids. There are lots of hours in the day of going back and forth from the dressing room, to the room, to the lunch line, for the Dance Mom’s during the day. there are lots of hours performing, being judged, changing costumes, stretching, applying makeup, watching and supporting each other, and getting up on stage for awards.
This goes on all week for the girls. All numbers are scored by six judges and ranked against other dances/dancers in their age group and category. Ultimately at the end of it all, the top scoring numbers will compete in the Platinum Circle against each other for the top three slots OVER ALL. All ages, all styles of dance, all sizes of groups, trios, duets, or solos.
It’s fun and it’s nerve wracking all at the same time.
Respect The Zone
I always want to go to the dressing room and hug and kiss Emilie before she goes on stage. I want to tell her good luck and I love you before she performs. When she was little, this was fine and well received. I held up the costumes and helped her put things on and tried to remember what shoes when with what costume and which tights.
Truth is, Emilie was always more organized than I was at this.
These days Emilie is very, very serious about her dance, competition and performance. She doesn’t need help from me with makeup or costumes and sometimes I feel like I am just in the way in the dressing room.
Before she went on stage with her second solo, was one of those moments. I wanted to say good luck and I love you, but she looked right through me. And when I insisted on hanging around, she basically told me to get lost.
Emilie always reminds me not to take this personally, and I try to remember it, I do. I shared this scenario with a friend after I got lost from back stage and he put it to me like this:
“You don’t tell a hitter good luck and I love you before they step into the batters box. Or a pitcher before he takes the mound.
RESPECT THE ZONE”
I get it, that makes total sense right? Sometimes it takes an outside perspective for you to get over having your feelings hurt by inside stuff. Look at her stretching, she IS in the ZONE. I saw her off stage right before she competed her second solo, she was flexing her leg muscles, clenching her hands open and closed, breathing deeply.
She’s an athlete, she’s got both physical and mental toughness. I respect the zone.
Emilie’s second solo won first place over all seniors who entered a solo here at Headliners National Dance Competition. I have no idea how many seniors there were, but there were. Lots. This was the first time she ever competed this dance. It was new choreography, and only finished a matter of weeks prior to this competition.
I am again humbled by and proud of her accomplishments. I had several parents from the studio tell me how nice she is to their kids, and to them. This makes me feel good inside. I had a mother from another studio come over to me at dinner and tell me what an amazing dancer my daughter is, I had never met her before.
As we push toward the awards at the end of the week, the kids are tired and excited and looking forward to the awards banquet when they get to dress up, eat a nice meal (that does not include peanut butter from the room) and reap the rewards of all their hard work.
Stay tuned for more dance updates and art from the suitcase on the Facebook Studio Page and here on the blog. AND more photos and updates from Headliners.
For more information on my workshops visit my Facebook page for a complete listing of classes. No Facebook account required.