E and I are gearing up for a weekend of nothing but DANCE!!!!!! We are so excited! We will be spending countless hours in an auditorium full of dancers, dance teachers, dance moms, prop dads, and the left-behind brothers who will be glued to their portable gaming systems and iPods. Really, I don’t mind hearing “Jar of Hearts” 5,000 times. Really, I don’t.
We are headed east, out of state, for a dance competition. It is E’s first solo competition, and her 4th class competition. She is performing a lyrical solo to “Where Is Love?” from the musical, Oliver. Oh, boy, is she one nervous little girl! She went to the studio last night to show her routine to DE. E was nervous and scared, but I casually told her that is normal. After performing her routine, she came out and said, “I don’t think I did very well.” I felt bad for her, but she will learn to take the criticism and use it to make herself better. I am glad DE was straightforward and honest with E. In the end, she will become a better dancer for it.
Her teacher wanted to see her again today, so she is leaving school a little early to head over to work on the lyrical routine. I think DE might be taking out the turning leaps and fouettes, which removing them both became a sigh of relief for E. We shall see how it goes. Either way, no matter what, I will be extremely proud of E for wanting to put herself out there.
Actually, putting herself out there and opening up might be the bigger challenge for E. Yes, she is shy and very soft-spoken, but sooner or later she will have to speak up for herself and explore what makes her E. I keep explaining to her that opportunities will present themselves, and if she allows her shyness to keep her from trying new things, she may one day experience regret.
A couple of weeks ago I read an article in Dance Studio Life about contemporary dancers. There was a quote by William Wingfield that has really stuck with me. As soon as I read it, I knew I wanted E to read it and try to apply it to her dancing. Wingfield said, “Debbie Allen used to tell me that dancers are the best actors in the world because we tell a whole story without opening our mouths. You can’t put a definition on something that is ever-evolving, but you can change people’s lives without saying one word.”
Break a leg this weekend, E!