Way back in September, Cecelia started her very first dance class. It met every Tuesday morning, for 30 minutes, for nearly six months. Porter started off being fairly easy to entertain during those weekly 30 minutes to now becoming adamant about running down the hallways of the school and demolishing anything remotely breakable in the 'Art Room' where the parents had to wait during the class. I mistakenly thought us parents could probably watch the class in the gym but alas, we found out the first day that the teachers wanted the dancers to be focused on their instruction. This was a class through our local rec department so hardly a cut throat experience, but it was something that Cecelia LOVED and sincerely looked forward to every week.
She and her buddy Natalie took the class together and they got to know a few of the other girls, nearly remembering their names after six months spent pliae-ing and arabesque-ing together, while us parents quietly counted down the weeks until the big production: The Recital. A time when we could see all of their hard work, realize the dream of three year olds in 'twirly skirts' on stage, and beam with pride over how simlutaneously BIG and SMALL our daughters can be.
March 19th has been written on our calendar for nearly six months now. We received the much anticipated costumes a few weeks ago and the girls were told they could not play in their outfits until after the recital, but we did peak and immediately felt giddy over the cuteness. Each of the classes, ranging in ages from three years old (our girl!) up to teenage years, had different costumes. Cecelia's ended up being the prettiest, in my humble opinion, with a leotard that is basically a swimming suit for this summer in a peacock blue, plus a yellow tulle skirt. We were told 'hair neat and pulled back' which was the source of slight stress for me, for those red curls like to rebel against any 'neat' style. Ankle socks, ballet shoes, and then we knew they would receive a hair bow on their big night. ALL SO EXCITING, right?
This was a basic, introductory ballet class and the girls danced to one song that was about 1:30 long. Then there was a second song on the 'take home to practice' CD, that ended up being the grande finale where all of the dancers came together on stage. The theme for the recital was 'Time Passages' which now makes sense, since both of the songs we've listened to a million times on CD had to do with clocks and time.
So Cecelia practiced and practiced, and at home she mostly goofed off and twirled to the music...so I had no idea what their routine would actually be on recital night. I guess we did get to watch ONE class on accident, when the designated art room for parents was being used for something else, so I sort of had a clue about their routine. But not really.
The girls had their dress rehearsal on Thursday, and then the big recital was last Saturday night. Get this: it started at 7pm (!!) which is basically bedtime at our house, especially for a three year old. So I had Cecelia nap that day to help her plow through her main event, then after dinner sister and I were off to get things started at 6:30pm. She was saying things like, 'You are the best mommy ever, I love you so much, you are the best.' Obviously she was just a wee bit excited and with emotions running high, I will always take her extreme happiness over sassiness, especially when it comes in the form of compliments to me.
(selfie as we walked to her room, she was already so proud of herself here!)
I dropped her off in the big room where the dancers met and she was ridiculously excited, twirling non-stop, jumping up and down, and didn't seem to be nervous at all. So I kissed her goodbye and then made my way back to the seats I had quickly reserved when we walked in the auditorium, and I was glad I threw down our coats when I did or we would have been in the back!
(pure and utter excitement)
Nate, Truman, Porter, Tony and Lois arrived right before 7 and had stopped to get Cecelia flowers for after the show. I was rightfully concerned about Porter sitting through an hour long recital, but thankfully I found a few rouge Dum Dums in the bottom of my bag. He had two and proceeded to stick one of them in the kids' hair in front of us but oh well. There was some screaming from him, mostly asking to see 'Dee Dee!!' and 'Lights!' But overall he did great and was only squirmy for the last few songs.
Cecelia's part came in at number seven out of fifteen songs. When we saw the littlest dancers take stage, I swear to you Nate and I immediately started giggling and couldn't stop smiling at her. She never saw us, even as we waved frantically, but she did not look to be scared at all.
She totally killed the 'Syncopated Clock' number, too. It was over too quickly but so stinking adorable!!
After waiting through another eight songs to see our girl again, the finale was pretty hilarious. I don't think Cecelia did one dance move throughout the song and they all just sort of stared out at the audience blankly. In between their parts in the recital, I'm told the girls got to hang out in the big room backstage with a movie and the teenage girls. Cecelia tells me the movie was 'for an adult, like the News,' and I still don't fully understand what they watched. But when the show was over, I went back with Truman to find our little lady and she had a ring pop from her teacher along with the biggest smile ever.
Truman handed her the flowers, and then we walked up to meet the rest of our crew. I demanded a family picture even though both of the boys were practically falling asleep at this point. Cecelia was still on cloud nine and ate up all of the compliments we gave her.
I didn't get a single picture of Tony and Lois with the dancer, but I was thinking about how they had never been to a dance recital before, since Cecelia is their only granddaughter and they raised two boys of their own. I'm pretty sure both of them couldn't stop smiling, just like Nate and I, because it was just so stinking cute!
Also, performing in front of a group, following direction, learning the value of practicing for a big event, etc...all great things to learn. Plus: tutus.
All in all, it was a super successful first dance recital for Cecelia. Some of the older girls had tap shoes and I am sure CC would love to do another dance class, possibly tap next time. But for now we are just taking a nice break from the constant weekly activities. Because now we are deciding between a million possible summer activities.
But oh, her recital was amazing. So proud of our tiny dancer!