Dance Recitals: The Neverending Story



The end of the school year can only mean one thing for “dance moms” like myself, recital time! While you can’t wait to see your precious little darling on the stage, if you’re anything like me, you also dread the incredible length of time you have to sit through other people’s darling dancers to get to the two minutes of stage time for your own.

When I was plotting out this post, BEFORE my daughter’s recital, in my mind it was a little bit sassy and a little bit salty. I mean, who wants to sit through three hours of kids you don’t know, dancing on a stage to songs you don’t know, while waiting to see your own little pride and joy. And in our world of constant “go, go, go,” I was already frustrated that I wasn’t able to take my daughter out of the “holding room” the second she was done to take her out for ice cream. (I learned last year that you needed to wait until intermission to be polite!). 

But let’s get back to recital day.

I had seen an advanced proof of the program so I already knew I won the jackpot this year. My daughter’s dance was #6! As I told the various grandparents how lucky we were, I envisioned us all with ice cream cones in hand by intermission.

Dance #6

It was time for my darling to dance, and she sure did. The smile on her face while performing is something I will remember forever, long past the video and pictures. Also, pro-tip for all new dance moms, take your pictures and videos on rehearsal day. You’ll be all the way at the front of the stage and have the best view in the house. Unless you’re the fastest ticket buyer in history, your day of show tickets will NOT be as close. Once her dance was over, and the nerves for her replaced by the high of extreme pride, I told everyone in my group, “Ok, we’ll get her at intermission,” after all, we needed to be polite to the other dancers.

Intermission rolled around, and we vacated to the lobby to find our girl, only to be told the dancers are not released until the entire show is completed. We were all a little annoyed. Truthfully, we were very entertained through act one. The music was amazing and all of the dancers were fantastic! But an hour and a half of other people’s kids dancing was more than enough.

Begrudgingly, we took our seats again after intermission, but a funny thing happened. Without the anxiety of counting down to my daughter’s dance, and then the impatience of waiting to give her a big hug, we all settled in and watch the rest of a fantastic show! The older performers were tumbling, and the younger kids were adorable. No one cried, and it ended up being an amazing show. Still three hours, but amazing none the less. And when all of the performers came out at the end for bows and curtain calls, my eyes welled up. I didn’t know they would do that at the end, and the smile on my daughters face as she took that bow was priceless.

When we were finally reunited at the end, and we handed her the numerous amount of flowers we bought for her, I asked her what they did backstage for so long while the show went on. She said they watched all of the other dancers on a monitor. With wide eyes, she told me all about her favorite dances and how excited she was to try hip hop next year. I realized how pulling her early would have been a disservice.

She was being taught patience and pride in her fellow dancers, something I guess I needed to learn as well. I can’t promise that I won’t feel impatient while sitting through three hours of other people’s kids dancing next year, but now I get it, and more importantly, my normally impatient 6 year old gets it too.


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