I begin with a flashback to a 4 week 'Mommy & Me" class that we took back in the fall of 2013, the year before she was old enough for the 3 year old "Creative Movement" beginners class. She was mostly all over the place being a free spirited self and then there were times where she just wasn't into it at all. See below...
After the 4 week session, we took a break from dance and when she turned 3 in June of 2014 I signed her up for class to begin that Fall, EKKKK! Despite her lack of enthusiasm the first time around, I was still pretty excited.
Her first night of dance! She was SO cute and ready to dance (even if the look on her face above says otherwise) and she had no problem figuring out those things called tap shoes! We came right now and tapped all around the garage and any patio block in the yard she could find.
All year long, I couldn't get enough of her darling dance leotards & dance outfits- rhinestones, tights, flowing skirts, tutus, ballet shoes, leg warmers and dance hair!
It's all so sweet!
For the Holidays the studio put on a Christmas show- it was a short version of what's to come in the Spring with a lot of the little kids doing fun Holiday songs and donning Santa hats. This was a great way to get a feel for how the little ones would handle stage time. Avrie did SO good. I was teary watching her, it brought back so many memories for myself AND I felt like the the luckiest mom with the cutest kid on stage! ;)
I danced at the age 3 to 18 years old at the same studio in West St Paul and LOVED it. Nancy Raddatz was and still is a non-competitive recreational dance studio that has been around since 1948!!! Being that we are now in the area, I might even look into Raddatz for Avrie's next year of dance. Then I'll REALLY get a blast from the past and I KNOW I'll love it there!
After Avrie's first show, I just had to buy her a flower- I always remember loving the after show flowers! Avrie made me so proud, she too needed a flower! She also made Grandma Ertle, Grandma Kay, Grandpa Ambrose and Kelly smile as they watched her dance to "Must Be Santa!" with bright red cherry lips! We celebrated with lunch at Blue Heron to follow.
Throughout the year, we danced our way through Winter and into the Spring. And with Spring time dance there comes a lot of the most anticipated & fun dance stuff!
Costumes! Dance Pictures! and the big finale- RECITAL!!
[i HAD to share Avrie's dance pics & my 1st year pic circa 1986! wow... i know... more like YICKS!]
Avrie had a dress rehearsal the week before recital. She had zero hesitations which helped me feel confident going into recital weekend knowing how excited Avrie was about being on "the stage!"
For the last few months, I have had multiple frantic dreams about the pressures of backstage during recital. Having been apart of the dance scene for so many years, I WAS feeling nervous!! but again SO excited. Excited for Avrie and excited to watch!
We made it to recital day on Saturday 5/9/15! That morning we woke up early to eat a good breakfast get ready for the day. Now with us living in our new house we had quite the drive ahead, traveling all the way from Hastings up to Lindstrom's Chisago Lakes High School- PAC.
We made a day of it and took Grandpa Billy & Auntie Jamie along with us. Grandma Ertle & Grandpa Paul met up with us to watch the big show as well. 2015 Recital - "Annie" was a tad long, clocking in at a little over 2 and a half hours, but fun to watch. Having the mix of both competition dancers & rec dancers kind of makes for a show that is all over the place, but still fun to see the different dance levels.
Backstage: I was a little skeptical of the 3 year olds being in a gymnasium for almost three hours, without mom or dad. After intermission when I ran back to help change Avrie into tap BUT she was already dressed and preoccupied with all the fun that she was having with her dance friends. One of the mom helpers gave me a thumbs up so I quickly sneaked out to return to the show before Avrie could spot me.
During the show: Avrie's class danced ballet to "Snuggle Puppy" where they had a little stuffed animal with them on stage- so perfect for Avrie. She would have LOVED to have Kangy up there but we somehow managed to have her use an alternate animal for just for dance.
I absolutely adored her HUGE ballet tutu- the colors were so pretty on her and she did SO good on stage. As good as any 3 year old would do- but she actually REALLY did some of her steps and didn't just stand in place and jump like she does in class!
For tap, Avrie's class danced to "S-M-I-L-E" in glittery, bright teal & hot pink stripe & polka dot costumes. It was ADORABLE and SO cute on all of the girls!
As I suspected, she was a little more distracted on stage for tap being that her feet made noise! She still did pretty good but being in the front row, she spent a lot of time turned around & watching the other girls.
At the close of the show & finale, I was able to go to the gymnasium and check Avrie out so that we could all congratulate her and give her high fives & hugs. This time around I bought her a ring pop for all of her good work!! She earned it and she loved that sweet treat WAY more than a flower.
After the show we all went out to a late lunch where Avrie pretty much snuggled up against me and didn't even eat one bite of food. The second we were in the car headed back home she was out like a light. Such a long & exhausting day. SO much that we SKIPPED the Sunday show. It was just not in the cards for us on Mother's Day and with it being almost an hour and a half drive it would have made for a really REALLY long Sunday and a, I'm afraid, a terribly crabby 3 year old. #momknowsbest
And now we close the book on dance: year one!
Hoping to find us a good fit for next year and to keep the fun & cuteness going!