Just telling the truth here ... the dance recital? Major. Pain. In. My. Ass.
There's the cost of costumes, shoes, tights, and hair accessories (nets for the ballet buns, hair glitter [yeah, seriously], a bazillion bobby pins and hair elastics, and the equivalent of a fifty gallon drum of hairspray).
There's the ironing. MAN, I hate the ironing. As a hearty proponent of the "spritz it and hang it in the shower steam" school of ironing, being faced with yards of tulle, sequins, and shiny/silky fabrics is my personal corner of hell. And FYI, you can't steam tulle. It wilts. To get the crisp ballerina tutus, they must be ironed. Every single damned layer.
There's the scheduling: late night rehearsals on weeknights mean prodding tired, cranky girls out of bed for school the next morning. It also means no time for real meals. Hot dogs, drive-thru's, and cereal become the mainstays of our recital week diet. Add to that the random handfuls of Goldfish, Skittles, and Teddy Grahams grabbed for quick backstage pick-me-ups and you have one truly stellar nutritional intake.
So why on earth do it, right? I'll give you a little bit of backstory.
When Bug was two and Bear was five, we stopped at a farmer's market. I was perusing the vegetables when a woman nearby asked me, "Oh, does your little girl take dance?"
I looked up about to answer affirmatively, when I saw that she was gesturing toward Bug, not Bear (who was indeed taking her first dance class that year).
"No, she's only two," I explained.
"Oh," the woman said, looking puzzled, "That's funny because she's doing shuffle - tap- ball change - shuffle - tap. "
I looked sharply at my two-year-old, and she was indeed doing the little routine (complete with arm movements) she'd watched Bear learning in Beginning Tap. She started lessons the next year, and she's never wanted to stop.
Simply put, they both love dance. They each take four classes a week and still dance at home on their days off. I see the self-confidence and poise it's given them both, how neatly it dovetails with their shared love of music, and how they both can walk out onto a stage in front of an audience without a bit of nervousness. And when I weigh all of that against the inconveniences of recital week, it doesn't seem like quite as big a pain as I thought.
I love to see them light up when they dance: