The end of another year of dance

Adelina had her dance recital this weekend, and it was intense — she was at the studio three hours every evening (they got Friday off thankfully!) and then spent essentially all day Saturday at the venue. But it was worth it: Adelina worked so hard — and pushed through some major “I don’t want to”s to get here, and I’m proud she stuck it through. I know it’s hard for little girls to focus for this long, and she did it.

Last week was in-studio dress rehearsals and photos, and parents were allowed to come watch so of course I got some photos while I was there. She was so proud of her false lashes and makeup, it’s cute how much she loves to dress up (but unsurprising, I loved it when I was little too!)

Here are a few shots from parent watch week. It was so neat getting to finally see what she’d been working on and check in on her progress throughout the year.

This one cracks me up, it’s a section in their jazz routine where they are supposed to just jam out, and this is what she came up with 😀 Probably a bunny dance, seeing as that’s her obsession du jour!

Nice form here!

And I love the joy on her face in this chassé sequence ❤

I’m so sad to say my first reaction that day — and I’m glad I didn’t share it with her — was actually quite critical. “Why is she being so spastic? What is she looking at?! Space out, watch your line! What was that random extra twirl, why aren’t her feet pointed??” I guess as a dancer myself it’s really easy to see every little flaw, and it’s hard not to want the best for her as well. I honestly walked out of there thinking “Maybe she’s actually no good and I’m just trying to force something that isn’t going to happen.”

Thank heavens I didn’t say a word and kept that to myself. I shared those thoughts with Andrew that night, and shared some video clips I had recorded in class with him. His first reaction was SO different! He said “I don’t know what you’re talking about, she’s still young of course but she did great and is keeping up just fine.” And re-watching it myself, I had a massive dose of perspective — and felt ashamed I was so harsh in my mind. I’m sure there are plenty of lessons here about inner voice… and how careful I need to be to not let her inherit my own inner mean girl. She is progressing, little by little.

So, onward. A long week of practice, and then it was go time.

Jonas ended up getting strep and was really sick Thursday night, and the small miracle was that because she had been in rehearsals late all week, Adelina had basically not been around him so she didn’t get sick. Poor Jonas is starting to get better now, but he got some crazy cocktail of allergies + strep that had him rattling and wheezing all night. (Andrew suspects asthma might be in the mix…) Thankfully it looks like we managed to isolate him enough that no one else caught it, and I’m very grateful for antibiotics + the nebulizer we had on hand.

With Adelina’s last girl scout meet of the year that evening, she was pretty tired come Friday!

On Saturday morning I helped her get ready and it was priceless to see her eyes light up when she got to look at herself in the mirror. She had found my false eyelashes and begged to wear them, and I figured why not! Frankly, that’s what they’re for anyway, I used to wear them all the time for performances.

Precious. (She ended up performing without glasses though, because the lashes were too long and would brush against them! Ha!)

I dropped her off early at the venue for the matinee. It was her first time on a proper stage, since the last two years were pandemic shows, and it was quite a professional affair. I went to wait and watch her in the matinee show.

She performed beautifully, smiling and watching out for her classmates around her. And watching the other dancers — especially the more advanced older girls — was so much fun, although it honestly made my heart ache I missed dance so much. The studio offers a few adult classes and I think it’s time for me to get back in there, I really need more dance in my life. The show was good, and I love how our studio goes all-out with a theme (Heros, this year) and always has a “Dad’s Dance,” which is hilarious. There was even a gorgeous lyrical piece to “Rescue” by Lauren Daigle that once again made me wish I had taken lyrical. Maybe someday…

Adelina was pretty tired after the first show and all the waiting, but some In-N-Out perked her back up enough to go back for the evening show, where Andrew and his parents came to see her (we switched off with the boys since Jonas was sick, and he was so sad he didn’t get to come watch, poor boy).

(No, I have no idea why she has a sticker on her forehead.)

She came home beaming with her medal and bouquet and loved getting to spend some time with her grandparents having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.

And definitely slept in the next morning!

Here’s to another wonderful year of dance and hard work ❤

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