So … premature kudos. Maybe.
I put on my game face. The “fuck off, I’m doing yoga” one. Not exactly all divine light and lotus blossoms, but I was rolling.
Dee’s first two performances were 10 dances apart with the first one, tap, coming at almost an hour into rehearsals.
She wanted to watch and it was only mildly terrible with far less skank ho costumes than last year. Perhaps someone read my blog post about that?
Dee and another little girl from the ballet group were the only two not assigned to the ballet dressing room. This was because they performed with a different tap/jazz group. Both the other mother and myself argued to put all the ballet girls together regardless because the costume had too many pieces and the make up was … um … exotic. We were overruled.
I reiterated to Mare, who owns the studio, that it would not be possible to get Dee ready for ballet if the performance was scheduled too closely to either the tap or jazz. Naturally, she spaced the tap and jazz out and left me a 4 number interval to change Dee from her jazz outfit to her ballet costume.
As we were in another dressing room, no one knew where to look for us or that we weren’t quite ready.
I hustled Dee to the backstage door, glanced up at the monitor. Her group was on stage and nearly done.
And it was zen out the frigging window.
You are not supposed to open the stage door when an act is onstage but I yanked it open and yelled for the teacher.
Dee’s teacher is a kid. Eighteen and though talented, not very good with children. She turned, saw my face and shot a panicked look to her mother, the stage manager whose “fuck” expression told me that they hadn’t bothered to look for Dee at all when she turned up missing.
“It’s not that big of a deal,” Mama said. “They can run through it again.”
“There is no way I can get her ready for this number on time,” I pointed out needlessly. Dee is stricken now as the realization that she was so easily forgotten starts to sink in.
“She can dress backstage on performance night,” Mama says. “All the older girls do.”
Key word? Older.
“We’ll run through the dance again, okay?” Mama says and looks to her daughter who is ushering the little wizards off the stage.
“We don’t need to go through it again.”
And that was all I needed to hear.
Dee is done with dance.
Rob will send the emails and get the money back we spent on tickets for the performance. I wouldn’t have been able to watch anyway given the complexity and timing of the outfit changes and make up.
Dee was a check. A warm body in the dance equivalent of a puppy mill.
I watched a few three-year old groups early that evening. Kids in elaborate costumes basically standing and swaying, if that, on the stage while proud mothers snapped photos of their money and time being sucked down a drain.