Both my daughters took to the stage in their first ever show this weekend. It would appear that I am officially a dance school mother.
I’ve been quite smug so far at avoiding being a football mum, that the dance arena has caught me by surprise!
I was always a tomboy growing up so there was no way that I would have donned sparkly dresses as a child, so the stage life is new to me.
My girls love it though!
My eldest daughter has been dancing for 4 years, and my youngest for 7 months. She was too young to begin lessons but the school let her start them early because over lockdown we couldn’t keep her away from her big sister’s zoom classes.
This show was actually scheduled for 2020 but got cancelled because of (you guessed it) covid.
I was organised 2 years ago and was one of the parents who naively bought several tickets back in early 2020.
I then proceeded to swiftly lose them.
Of course, wherever they are, they’re very safe. Put carefully in the ‘special safe place’ that I so often like to store important things that I mustn’t lose.
I was told just to turn up, not to worry, I’d be able to take a seat after all the ticket holders had claimed their seats. Sounds like a perfect plan doesn’t it? What could possibly go wrong?
Standing outside the venue waiting until everyone else had taken their seat sadly sums up my parenting life perfectly.
Why did everyone else have pristine tickets? Where have they been the last 2 years?? Will I ever find my ‘keep safe’ space?
We weren’t alone though, there was a group of us both nights just lingering at the back waiting to bag a seat and then hope that no one arrived late to turf us out.
We stood in silent solidarity vowing to not make this mistake in the future. Knowing deep down that we absolutely would, again and again!
The ticket failure is one thing, but I also had to alter costumes and do hair and make-up for three shows.
Oh, the pressure!
I can confidently sew, but I’ve always been totally shit at hair and make-up. Barely being able to do my own, let alone anyone else’s.
Applying a makeover to a 3-year-old is super stressful, but watching them on stage was worth all the effort.
Seeing the confidence that they both have is simply amazing.
Performing in front of a packed-out audience is brave and something that I’ve always struggled with.
I remember one time when I played the cello (this phase, thankfully, did not last very long in my life) I fell backwards off the stage and got stuck with the damn thing on top of me and my feet in the air.
Another time when I sang in the choir I ended up passing out and they had to stop the whole thing to administer first aid.
You can see why I never caught the whole stage bug thing….
The opposite is true of my girls, they’ve completely fallen in love with it.
It’s created a bit of a monster in the youngest who wants to now perform at all times. Confidence is not a problem for her, she’s so young that nothing phases her.
But it’s helping my eldest so much. She’s not the loudest in the room, she sometimes struggles at school to get heard. Her confidence, like so many kids over lockdown, has taken a bit of kicking. So her determination to go up there and get all her steps right is awe-inspiring.
She now wants to do it again and again which is really something. Pre-show she absolutely hated the idea of other people watching her dance.
So we’ve all survived our first foray into stage life. I’m still utterly out of my comfort zone, but I’ve vowed to improve my hair and make-up skills. I’ve also vowed to organise my chaos more with a better filing system, creating a folder called ‘important shit’ where I will file all future tickets.
With great power comes great responsibility and it looks like I’ve got a fair few years of shows ahead of me!