Losing My Yoga at the Dress Rehearsal

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.

6 thoughts on “Losing My Yoga at the Dress Rehearsal

  1. I think you did all you could to make this work, but you were just one person caught in the chaos. It sounds like the dance school needs reorganization and someone to take the leadership role.

  2. “Dee was a check. A warm body in the dance equivalent of a puppy mill.”

    that says it all. so many ‘children’s programs’ end up that way… theater, dance, music can often be driven by the egos of the studio owners, teachers, directors.

    one of the reasons i quit the board at the local community theater (for the 3rd time) is that the children’s theater director was turning away children – volunteers who wanted to work backstage – because they didn’t have to pay for the program. it affected her compensation, and she didn’t want to give it away for free.

    there are exceptions. good programs, warm and wonderful teachers exist. but it’s very sad that Dee’s experience with this has probably taken away her interest in ever doing it again…

  3. dance is a sham.
    The time and effort put in should be reflected in the student-parent-teacher relationship.
    And to “forget” and not bother looking for Dee, no wonder she (and you’re) done with it. Seven year-olds don’t need that.

    1. The studio owner called me last night to find out what happened. I shouldn’t have been surprised as Dee went to school yesterday and announced to her dance friends that she had “quit”.

      First the woman tried to make it sound like I had miscalculated the amount of time needed to change. Then she offered up the excuse that they thought Dee was absent all together b/c of illness as she’d missed class last Tuesday. This despite the fact that Dee had been on stage twice already in tap and jazz and that no less than 4 other moms and all the kids had seen both of us that evening.

      She was eager to straighten things out; I was non-committal. I still am. I’m going to “play wife” and let Rob send the email still. I gotta get back into my yoga place.

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