This is one of my favorite times of year. Dance costume/picture/recital time!
It is crazy busy and hectic this time of year, but it is one of the times I get to see BG really shine. I adore the studio she dances at for so many, many reasons. Their lack of competition, their encouragement for all the students to do their very best and the way they keep everything positive, encouraging, accepting and supportive. They do an amazing job of teaching not just dance, but how find and create a strong, solid foundation of self worth. Every single one of the kids I’ve watched grow up alongside BG at the studio has a kind of confidence and self worth that has been instilled in them just from what they have learned there.
Then they give them this stunningly amazing experience of getting to dance on stage at a good sized, professional auditorium venue. It is a stage where professional dancers, performers, musicians and actors have performed for generations, complete with the full on dressing room experience and a packed house audience. It is one of the reasons why I chose this studio when BG first decided she wanted to do dance. I had a friend dance there and I was just in awe of the experience and I wanted that for BG as well.
We have now gone through costume week where the kids get to get their costumes for recital. It is always a huge deal with the teachers doing a big build up to the reveal and then getting to put them on and perform in the studio in them for the first time. There is something about being able to watch these girls (the classes are almost all girls, but you always see a couple of boys in classes at the recital) perform in costume up close and personal like that. There is an emotional connection to the performance at that level that is hard to get in the huge venue of the actual recital.
Then there is the insanity that is picture day. Trying to cram that many kids and costumes into that space, even with spaced out time schedules for each class can be overwhelming. This year was probably the craziest I’ve seen yet. Ever had to attempt to walk into a room filled with girls in pointe costumes? That full, stiff tutu skirt takes up so much space it is hard to get around it.
Last but not least, recital weekend. Yes, weekend. They have a full on dress rehearsal night followed the next day by the recital. That is one of my absolute favorite experiences ever. Getting to see your child be a part of such a big production that is still low pressure and fun is just amazing. How many parents get to see their kid up on a professional level stage, no matter the activity? I cannot say how much I appreciate all the work and effort the staff at the studio puts into this event, between the normal teaching of the classes, the thought and care and planning that goes into the costumes (and the fact that they are very cost conscious for the parents in that regard), as well as the huge level of effort that goes into creating massive backdrops for about a third of the performances is absolutely stunning to me.
In the end, the kids and the parents get this amazing, beautiful experience and just a crap ton of amazing memories that every single one will cherish for a lifetime.