The summer heat will last until Halloween, I’m just talking about school time off. Classes start again in a few weeks. At least we did a weekend at AKL. There was that.
So, today was The Dancer’s Last Competition. Not for the year, but forever. She’s ready to give it up and try other things, like swimming and softball.
I was sort of hoping she’d go out of this big national competition with another championship jacket, winning overall for the group dances that have racked up awards all year.
Don’t ask me how they define National Competition, but teams from other states competed today. Dance is a weird commercial “sport.”
I watched on livestream from my personal computer while at work.”Watch” is overstating it, I had the livestream on over my shoulder on my personal desk while working, listening with half an ear until I heard her dance called, then I rolled my chair to my personal computer setup.
Somehow, despite their dances winning all year and scoring the highest at regional, when they performed it at the national the next day, and even I could see they were flawless, dramatic, had tons of lifts and aerials and amazing coordination, they were totally on it, they brought their A game…it didn’t win anything.
Another dance from her (former) studio somehow won, and there was some sketchy shit about that team competing on that level against their own “teammates”, and I won’t put the details out here, but sketchy shit went down at the studio to make that happen. They pitted dances against each other, and one of the two (my favorite) that should have made the finals did not, and one that shouldn’t have been in that group somehow was in that group and won, and confirmed my long-held belief that it’s all bullshit.
I texted my daughter, “Well fuck that.” My daughter’s response was “Good riddance (studio).”
So, anyway, The Former Dancer will go on to be The Swimmer or other athlete, without the false eyelashes and costumes and obscene competition fees. She says she’s ready and didn’t walk away mad. She seems to be done with it, and we are all supporting her in pursuing other interests.
As I told her, it’s just not fair to her that her mom put her into dance for fun at 2.5 because she needed to burn off energy, and by 5 she got drafted for the little kid team and then she was sucked into that life and never had time for anything else, and she’s almost 11. She had to choose between Girl Scouts and dance team because there wasn’t time for both. All of this while still a straight A student in elementary school. Her mom was never a Dance Mom, she was always reluctantly making her kid happy because she truly loved it, until the last couple of years when the politics became so obvious a ten year old could see it.
Anyway, she’s talked about karate and already loves swim team, and would like to try softball and take piano lessons, and, and…I’m glad she will finally have time to be a normal kid, with one or two activities, and not live at a dance studio when she’s not at school. She’s breaking out of dance prison, and I’m here for it.
Those years of dance were not wasted. Her discipline, her physical conditioning, OMG she’s solid muscle and insanely fit and coordinated and will take that into her next accomplishments, but it’s time for new things.
We only have a couple of weeks of summer left. School starts here in early August. I’ve rescheduled our lunch at Homecomin’ for before the grind begins again for them. My grind never quits.
2 thoughts on “We Are Almost Done With Summer”
Hopefully dance is in the past! It can be overwhelming. I was a skier most of my “childhood” – exhilarating to say the very least, especially when there were not lots of women (girls) involved in the sport but it was exhausting. I was lucky because my father was an avid skier and loved spending time with me. Hope the dance can find many new interests and I’m sure that she will!
Honestly, dance competition is this weird thing, it’s definitely athletic and disciplined, but the performance/team stuff is as high pressure and demanding as something that would lead to the Olympics, but it won’t, because there are no teams or scholarships. And the judging is whimsical at best. Skiing and swimming and softball have actual scoring that makes sense. Competitive dance is the vaguest scoring standard I’ve ever seen. Her other team dance was entertaining as hell and dramatic and so much fun and scored high but didn’t make Nationals, while a less ambitious dance with girls too old to have been in that group somehow got in and won. I think a sport like swimming with a timer or a team sport like softball will be much healthier. Fastest wins, highest score wins, not some subjective “Ooh who knows what the judges thought, but they liked that one better!”