Monday, January 22, 2007

Dance Recital

Roses for the dance recital. 35mm film. Posted by Picasa
"The future is shaped with the feminine art
From dreams that lie in a little girl's heart."
~ Reginald Holmes
It is a Southern Belle rite of passage, ballet class. Each week the little ones, age four and up, giggled and squirmed in their tights and tutus with tiny pink leather ballet slippers as Miss Charlotte guided them in twirls and bends, all set to music box songs. Miss Charlotte had the patience of Job, particularly at her end of the school year recital. This was held in the large junior high school auditorium, with a stage that sat five feet above the floor in the front, sloped seating to hold five hundred people and those thick maroon velvet theater curtains to draw open and shut.

Each class did at least two dances, one tap, one ballet and had two different costumes. The performers stayed in the adjacent gym between numbers, where volunteer mothers kept order. All over the audience moms pupped up and down as they rushed back to help with costume changes and hair touch-ups. The youngest groups were the cutest and most unpredictable. One outgoing little Miss stopped in the middle of her dance and proceeded to try to line everybody up.... Miss Charlotte simply had the curtain drawn shut, fixed the line-up, stopped the fight that had ensued between the bossy chick and one little girl who had finally reached the end of her rope. Then they started over. And there was the year with that oddity.... a little boy in class. Charlotte staged the number "Humpty Dumpty" with all the little girls as the King's soldiers and the lone little boy as Humpty. Unfortunately, while the little girls lined up with military precision, they wouldn't let Humpty in the middle, no matter how hard he pushed and nudged. Again, the curtain closed and the problem resolved.

That first year as the big recital approached, I wondered what Nyssa would do. Would she stand on that stage in the glaring lights, with hundreds of faces in the darkness of the audience beyond and simply freeze with fright as one little girl did? This was her response in a Bible School program just a year before and in a much smaller venue. So, I held my breath and watched as she pirouetted and heel-toed all over the stage, staying with the music quite well if I must say so myself. After her last dance she joined me in the audience and as she climbed up on my lap I asked her, "How was it?" She replied in a breathless whisper, "Oh, mom! It was wonderful! I danced on a REAL stage!" Oh! No! She inherited the drama gene from Uncle Stephen. At that moment, I knew I was in trouble.

Submission for Moody Monday topic "feminine". (end of post)

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