Dance, Dance, Baby

This spring part of Harper’s dance class included an official recital, with a big stage, a custom leotard, and about 120 other kids ages three and up. Since Craig ordered the costume, each week she runs up to her teacher, Miss Jess, and asks if the order was in yet. She was so excited to not only see it but wear it.

The last day of spring session everyone had a mini performance during the standard class time, with parents invited in to watch each kiddo perform skill routines. Because the girls are split out into two separate classes across the hall from each other, with Harper dancing and Reagan and Emerie tumbling in gymnastics, Craig and I knew we had to split to accommodate everyone, with performances offset by about fifteen minutes. Luckily Aurora Kids has a great setup and suggested Emerie and Reagan go first so I could sneak out to Harper’s class, after their floor and beam routines.

Both girls were somewhat shy to go first in their group, but overall committed to showing off newfound skills. Reagan did her first tumble and mini cartwheel without teacher assistance and her last backwards roll with a little help. She then immediately darted back to her spot and away from the crowd. Emerie also did her first tumble on her own but with a dramatic landing, her arms and legs flailed out on the mat with a silly laugh. She was also all smiles at the end. It wouldn’t be a floor performance without both of them picking a wedgie from their leotards, in case you were curious! Both did their beam routines with the help of one of the teachers and Emerie added a touch of personality with the goofy faces and tongue out.

Craig stayed to watch the bar performances while I watched Harper’s class perform a ballet and tap routine. Both Emerie and Reagan followed their teacher’s instructions well on different bar skills, and if I had to pick a favorite routine for Emerie, it is definitely this one. She again showed off some of her skills completely unassisted after class when we were all back together. Harper made sure to be front and center for both dances and right next to her teacher; pretty consistently to how she’s acted throughout the whole session.

All three were thrilled to go up front and receive their participation medals and played with them at home ever since now that they are jewelry and decoration. All in all, the entire session went much smoother than a year ago, and everyone is asking when they get to go back, which is only another week away. On the behavioral side, Harper going to solo made a huge difference on her listening, while we still have to intervene with Emerie from time to time, who can easily distract Reagan from listening.

The girls were excited at early school pickup on the big day; it was the first time I’ve picked them up during regular school pickup and right after nap time. Harper was thrilled to get dressed up and wear her outfit, have fancy eye shadow and her hair slicked back into a “ballerina bun” with a matching ribbon. After claiming to want orange eye shadow all week, she opted for a pink and teal that meshed together to look like colorful sparkles. Who knew finding kid makeup would be so difficult to find and we ended up with a big set that included every color imaginable.

Craig and I took only Harper to the fancy recital at the local college and left Emerie and Reagan home for an evening with Uncle Will. Emerie could care less that Harper dressed up and went solo with her parents, while Reagan stood at the front window and cried as we loaded up in the car; she wanted to go. Little did we know it would be a three hour performance, so thank goodness we didn’t bring everyone or we never would have made it through the whole thing.

After checking in and finding seats at the show, Harper was content looking around the full auditorium and finding her classmates, who all sat on the left side with us. The room was filled with so many sparkles and colorful dance leotards. I would guess about six dances occurred before Harper went back with her fellow Tiny Tappers to queue up for their ballet performance. After every single dance she asked is it my turn yet? When is it my turn?! She was also offended any time her favorite teacher, Miss Jess, wasn’t on stage dancing, which cracks me up. She did enjoy watching the routines once she got over that part, and was thrilled each time a princess related song came on.

Unsurprisingly for her routine, Harper confidentially walked out on stage and showed absolutely no fear in front of a crowd, pointedly going to the front both times. The amount of people in the room and the cheering didn’t phase her at all; I’m guessing she will be a crowd pleaser in the future and I can’t wait to see! For ballet she was placed right behind the teacher, and of course at the perfect angle to be difficult for filming, but moved around enough we could see her smiling face. At one point she lost focus and appeared to try to find us out in the dark crowd. Afterward she went backstage and came back to her seat for a few more performances, changing into tap shoes for the last routine. About halfway through the whole show she went backstage once more and stayed until her dance and the show finale.

Her tap performance to Aladdin’s Friend Like Me was super cute, and hilariously and in true Harper style, she turned at one point and shook her butt at the whole crowd and laughed. Being the oldest one in class, she also refused to let any one else stand on her front row tape spot, scolding the littles that tried to. So funny! Overall she followed this routine a bit better- I think the whole group did following Miss Mary- and everyone was all smiles at the end.

Grumpy and tired from the night!

At the end all classes went on stage for the finale bow, showing how many kids and how well coordinated it was. It’s impressive to coordinate one-hundred plus kids and twenty-nine dance routines back to back and it was well done. You could also tell it was getting late and kids around the auditorium feeling it. We quickly headed to the car ahead of the crowd, but Harper made us turn around for a picture with Miss Jess on stage. She also cried the ENTIRE way home that her teacher couldn’t come home with her, not that it has ever happened, showing how overtired she really was after three hours of solid stimulation.

It was a good evening overall and enjoyable with only one kiddo! Emerie and Reagan would never sit that long and instead enjoyed a fun evening with pizza and a movie. Both were awake when we arrived home at almost nine. While they immediately fell asleep in their beds, Harper whined for a while longer about her teacher and fought sleep hard.

It was a new feeling for me, enjoying watching my little have fun in a new environment and getting to enjoy it without pestering the other two to be quiet. I never considered the thought I could be a dance mom- clearly if you’ve seen me dance- but who knows! Miss Jess noted at the end of the performance that Harper really enjoys class time and has improved greatly from a year ago. She continues to claim she’d rather dance than go to gymnastics so it will be interesting to see if she sticks to that decision for fall session. And she’s already asking when the next performance is and when we can order another fancy outfit. Bring on next year!

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