Thursday, March 5, 2009

Busy Busy Busy!

Dance keeps me very busy. I have a definite love/hate relationship with dance!

I love it when a number turns outs as good as the the vision I had of it in my head.
I hate it when it doesn't quite hit the mark and I can't figure out why.

I love it when we win something that no one (including us) expected us to win.
I hate the pressure to stay on top once you have gotten there.

I love being able to provide life changing experiences for so many young people.
I hate confrontation and dealing with drama.

I love getting to know my dancers and watching them grow up.
I hate that just when you have them well trained - they graduate.

I love spending so much time with my daughters.
I hate that I am often the bad guy at home and at dance.

I love it when the audience is mesmerized.
I hate it when the creative juices are not flowing.

I love getting kudos from professional judges.
I hate the constant feeling of inadequacy.

I love spending so much time with young people.
I hate spending so much time away from my family.

Right now is definitely the most stressful time of the dance year. It is the time when numbers are not quite finished and we are racing to get them done in time for competition. Sometimes we have to overlook sections that are still not quite working in favor of just getting the number finished. By this time, we have seen the dances so many times that we have lost all objectivity for how good the number is and all we can see are the parts of the dances that are not working and all of the moves that the dancers are not doing well. It is a mad rush to fix as many of the flaws that we can see and try to clean the numbers so that the precision is there.

So often we head into competition feeling like everything is looking pretty mediocre but, more often than not, we are pleasantly surprised with how well they turn out. Generally the dancers rise to the occasion and hit the choreography - even last minute changes. Usually we find that fresh eyes can appreciate the number in a way that we can't anymore because of how close we are to it and they really like it. Almost always things turn out great and/or better than expected. But there is always the fear that this will be the competition or the performance where the dances looked as bad as they did in rehearsal and it never really comes together. It is so nerve wracking. If I don't get an ulcer, it will be a miracle!

I also help out Lori with drill team when I can. Kylie and Kendall are both on the team. I took over for her when she went to help Danielle recently when she had her baby. Drill and dance together are double ulcer makers! Lori does an amazing job with that team and she tends to so many details. That's another thing - it's one thing to coach and another thing to tend to the detail side of things like costumes and emails and fund raisers, etc. etc. What a job! It is so fun and gratifying, but so much work and stress.

This weekend is the district competition for the drill team. They are competing three numbers - military, pom and hip hop. They have many previous state and national championships. They have won 2 state titles in one year but never 3. No one has. We would like to be the first. No pressure there, right? No one ever accomplished anything great by aiming low so we are going for it!

Then next weekend is our first dance competition in Seattle. March is always a crazy month because drill competitions and dance competitions generally land in the same month. Like I said busy, busy, busy!

At the end of the day, I feel it is an investment in today's youth that is going to pay off or I wouldn't do it. I believe that kids are only young once and they should make the most of it. I feel that accomplished adolescents make confident, stable adults. I sure hope I'm right.

This is our oldest dance group at the studio, The Elites. Kylie is center back:

Drill team pom number:

Kenzie, Kylie and Breanna:

Amber, Kendall, McKayla, Sam and Kylla working out the kinks:

Drill team military number:

Drill team fundraiser "Kissing Bandits." Blake Roylance, some guy, Kenzie, Breanna, Kylie:

Lots of kissing bandits:

My husband is a saint for supporting me in all of this. I think he is finally starting to "get" dance and drill. Hey - he is the one responsible for fathering 5 girls right?!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Scarlet and Belen!

Yesterday (March 3rd) there were two important birthdays in our family. (I tried to get this blog up yesterday but either the internet or the website would not let me - ugh!)

Scarlet turned 2! I just love being a grandma. Scarlet is getting more fun every time we see her. I can't wait until she really knows who I am and is as excited to see me as I am to see her. Do you think that's possible?!

She reminds me so much of Kacey. I can't wait to see if she is a bossy little know-it-all like Kacey was. Well, in her defense, she was the oldest and pretty much the boss so I guess it was natural. My hope is that each one of my kids has at least one child just like them so I can do it all over again. How fun would that be? Especially when their parents have to do all the work and I just get to enjoy them!

I don't have a great picture of Scarlet that is recent. I know - what kind of grandma am I? But you can see how big she is getting... Happy Birthday Scarlet!

It was also Belen's birthday yesterday. She turned 19. She is one of our exchange students. She is from Hermosillo, Mexico. She is so warm and kind. She brings a lot of sunshine into our home. She loves kids and she is so happy when Rhode and Scarlet are here visiting. I think she gets the most sad when they leave! She is going to Las Vegas for spring break and I think she is more excited to see Rhode than to see Vegas! She will be with us until school is out in June.
Happy Birthday Belen!