Sarah participated in her first dance competition last weekend and I won't lie, I had a lot of reservations about it. In all of my years of dancing I never entered the world of competitive dance. I've always been one who just wanted to dance for the enjoyment of it. We weren't planning for Sarah to compete this year, but I was talked into it and before I knew it my child was equipped with stage quality make-up, a warm-up suit and a blinged out pony tail holder. We were making plans to travel to competitions.
Friday I checked Sarah out early from school and we hit the road headed to Birmingham. I had never driven that before and it felt like it took FOREVER to get there. I am so not used to driving in traffic at all. The weather was bad too, and at one point we were pulled over at a rest area waiting for Josh to read the radar to us and tell us what was going on as I heard on the radio that the tornado sirens were going off in Dothan, where we just happened to be minutes from arriving! Thankfully we made it safe and were soon checking in to our hotel. Before the trip I had researched nearby restaurants, as I was hoping to be able to walk as much as possible and not have to drive. I was really wanting to try this Greek restaurant I found, but I didn't know if anybody else would be on board with that. As soon as we got there everybody else who was already there was starving and ready to eat and they had already decided on the same Greek restaurant. I was so excited! After supper the girls were dying to get in the pool.
Soon it was time for bed and I was glad!! I was so nervous I wouldn't be able to fall asleep, but it didn't take me long at all. Before bed Sarah opened her gift from her secret sister.
I had big plans for Saturday morning. My phone was dead and I only had the car charger. I had been too scared to go to the parking garage the night before so, I was going to get up, get myself ready and head to the Jeep and get back by 7:30 when we were supposed to meet the other girls in Sarah's trio to do hair and make-up. Well, that didn't happen. At 7:10 there was a knock on the door and one of the girls and her mom were already there. I wasn't dressed! It didn't help that I took linen pants which was the worst.idea.ever. Even after they were ironed twice they still looked like I slept in them. Anyway, I threw on my clothes and we got started on hair and make-up. I seriously thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown trying to put Sarah's hair in a ponytail. Who knew that was such an anxiety provoking activity? It was supposed to be parted on one side and no matter how many times I parted it, it would be bumpy when I went to put it in the ponytail. Maddening! Eventually I got it and we moved on to make-up. The girls had to wear fake eyelashes and despite my own words of encouragement to the other moms that they should practice that ahead of time, I had not. :) So, maybe I glued my child's eyelid together at one point because I realized after I put the glue on that I had picked up the wrong eyelash. It happens, right? I think it turned out okay. Of course, it helps when your model is naturally beautiful. :)
We had just enough time to grab some breakfast at the hotel, and by just enough time I mean we ate in 2.5 seconds. Then it was time to catch our shuttle to the theater.
The competition was held at The Alabama Theatre and it is gorgeous, y'all. It had the craziest backstage I have ever seen though. I was seriously concerned I was going to get me and the girls lost back there!
We had plenty of time for the girls to stretch, reapply make-up and run through their dances.
Before we knew it, it was time!! I haven't played a huge role in the competition dances. Barbie choreographed all of them, but I have been in charge of rehearsing this tap trio for the last several months. Not only was this the first competition for our studio (remember, we are less than 2 years old!), but one of these girls is in her first year of tap. As we stood in the wings and watched the first several numbers I kept watching their faces, waiting for the nerves. Maybe fainting, puking, hyperventilating. Nope. Those girls went out on that stage and danced like they've been doing it all their lives. Sometimes it is hard for me teaching Sarah. I know I am harder on her. And I know that the dance teacher comes out in me and tends to focus more on what needs to be worked on than the good parts. But I have to tell you, a tear came to my eye watching her. You just don't understand, this is my child who used to be terrified of even getting up to sing at church. This is my child who used to have to watch the teacher during the whole dance. And there she was in front of an audience of people she didn't know and 3 judges and she danced like a pro. It was a proud Mama moment.
They danced early in the day so we had the rest of the day to watch all of the other numbers and snack. :)
It was a long day, but really fun. We had lunch at a New York Deli and I had the most delicious falafel sandwich. We don't have a ton of restaurants in our little town so it's always exciting to go to big towns with new restaurants. As you can tell, I just went to eat. :)
Finally it was time for awards. Like I said, our studio is less than 2 years old. Some of our girls had a little bit of dance training before coming to us, but most are totally new to the world of dance. We didn't go expecting much, but we were very proud of our girls. I was worried Sarah would be disappointed if she didn't get a trophy, but when she came down from the stage she was soooo proud of this ribbon!
We had to head back that night to be at church the next day. It was 7:30 when we got back to the hotel so we had to head out! As I pulled out of the parking garage I realized I did not have reverse directions and I was pulling out on a different road than I came in on. I'm telling you, God had to lead me to I-65S because I had no idea where I was going!!! We stopped to get some Chick-Fil-A and fill up with gas and then Josh talked me through Montgomery. We got home at 2:00am and crashed!
Overall, it was a great experience. No dance mom drama. No tantrum throwing children. Just lots of eating and dancing which happen to be two of my favorite things. :)
How do you feel about dance moms? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. :)