Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The first dance recital

Taking a break from my ranting lately. I thought I'd share some thoughts about my daughter, Bronwyn's first gym recital which was this weekend.

I have to admit I was worried a bit, as I've wrote about before, my daughter is a bit of a free spirit. She is quite capable of following directions, but when left to her own devices, she's also quite capable of making it up as she goes along. While I realize this is standard issue behavior for a 4 year old, it's also something her gym instructors have pointed out.

On Friday, they had their rehearsal, and all seemed to go well, except at the end of it, Bronwyn's gym instructor came over to assure me that they had a teacher 'keeping an eye on Bronwyn' as she has a tendency once in a while to go get carried away. I read between the lines here and knowing my daughter's free spirited tendency, I had nightmares of her out in the middle of other classes performances, bowing before the crowd and blowing kisses.

I did manage to fall asleep though that night even with those thoughts drifting through my head.

For Saturday's performance, Bronwyn had to sit with her class through about 4 performances and then they went on. We were seated on the other side of the gym, but I'm happy to say she was kept in check. I cringed and laughed a bit twice though, the first was the start of the show, when the first class came out and the music started, she bolted off the front row bleacher and made it about 5 steps before she was corralled. She also had another incident a bit later after lining up perfectly for their dance routine, she got bored after a minute or two waiting for the music and bolted out from one of the end positions to the center of the performance. Again nothing lost as the performance hadn't started.

Bronwyn's performance consisted of a dance routine to "Surfin' USA" followed by them moving around the whole gym performing their flips, balance beam walks, and other techniques they've been learning. Typically during regular gym classes, this can prove frustrating to watch, as she has a tendency to not do what she's supposed to do at each spot. If something catches her attention, as an example the bar they do their flips over, she's quite capable of staying at that spot the whole time she's supposed to be moving through the course. For a visual example, think of the dog from Pixar's "Up". Having a conversation and in the middle of it exclaiming "Squirrel", that's my daughter. The difference though, is she's fully aware that she should be following the outline her teacher has given her but just doesn't see the reason to do so, as her current fascination is more interesting.

I'm happy to report that Bronwyn did a great job on the dance routine and the course that followed, she didn't have any issue following along and she nailed her performance. To say I'm a bit proud, would be an understatement. She even got in a bit of her uniqueness. After the performance the class lines up in the middle of the gym and receives applause from one side and then turns and faces the other. There were 15-20 children in her class, so a fairly significant line. They started facing the right side of the gym, and Bronwyn, lined up correctly for that, but quickly switched to face the left side by herself as her classmates bowed the other way, my daughter blew kisses to the opposite side of the gym and then turned in succession as the group did and face the opposite side again and repeated the bows and kisses. Unfortunately I had stopped taping at that point, but when we get a copy from the gym, I can't wait to see it, especially since her position was closest to the camera. (given I had a small handheld that's much better served for YouTube rather then recitals, my taping wouldn't have mattered anyway, as the zoom completely loses their faces).

It was a great recital and I'm very happy that the little one made it through with no issues. Unfortunately for her, it also means I know she's quite capable of following through multiple sets of instructions and that my theory that she just decides not to vs not comprehending it has been proven true.

Pictures below. The recital video refuses to load and since it's impossible to make out her face during the recording almost worthless anyway for public viewing. The handheld I received for Christmas just wasn't made for distance shots.
This if from rehearsal night:

Getting ready for the show:

Dad and Bronwyn:

Here's the stage, hope she doesn't run out ahead of time :)

Blurry but visible in the crowd:

Grandma, Grandpa, and Bronwyn:

Relaxing after the performance with her flowers and cousin/best friend Erica:

Only one more picture right?

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