Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our Venture Into The Dance World

Natalie had her ballet recital on Saturday.

It was the first time I had ever been to a dance recital. In person. I’ve seen recitals on TV. (Ahem, from a little scary show called Dance Moms..)

I’ve mentioned before that I have no idea how to do a proper bun. I tried very hard, but her hair kept coming out. If I were one of those Real Housewives, I’d probably have a hair stylist on hand so I could be like, “Um, Dayvon? Bun help?” As it is, I’m NOT a Real Housewife so I manage on my own.

At the dress rehearsal, some little girls showed up with spray glitter in her hair. Natalie practically humped their legs when she saw this.

“I just SO much want that glitter,” Natalie kept telling me. It was like she had noticed Channing Tatum for the first time.

At the dress rehearsal, I also got to see the other dances.

I do not get dancing.

Like, I know you’re supposed to show feeling and the like. But some dances were just weird. Maybe you don’t get it if you aren’t a dancer. Or an intellectual. But there was one dance where there was screaming and dancers sliding along the floor and I kept thinking, “Say what now?”
At the end of the recital all the kids had to wear a red shirt (that we had to pay for. $15. Dance is also VERY expensive I found out. For Natalie, I paid $37 a month. Plus a recital fee. I think that was $25. Plus $65 for her costume.)

At the dress rehearsal I also saw that those red t-shirts that we paid for were totally blinged out by those crafty parents. I kept Natalie’s plain, like we had purchased it. But some mothers had theirs cut up neatly, with rhinestones galore. It was almost like an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras. Was I supposed to bling hers up? I assumed everyone was keeping their t-shirts as is. But that’s not how dance moms roll. I guess.

When it came time for the actual recital, I put light makeup on Natalie. Nothing prostitot-ish. I had gone out and bought her some spray glitter because I felt bad that she did not have a mother who knew how to bling her stuff up.

I tried to get pictures but she was moody at first. Probably because I don’t know how to bling.


She eventually cheered up.

Now, the thing about this recital was, you couldn’t take pictures OR videos during. And I get it, the flash can be annoying. Still. They wanted you to pay $45 for a professional video.

I’m sorry.

But I paid $37 a month.

A recital fee.

A costume fee.

I paid for a non-blinged t-shirt.

I paid $10 just so I could SEE the recital. (Tickets were $5 each. Tom was there too. Natalie was shockingly free.)

I REFUSED to pay for a video.

At the recital I also noticed some parents were dressed up. I was in jeans and a t-shirt. Was I supposed to dress up? I do not get social rules.

So anyway, we watched other kids dance. And some kids were awesome. They were in multiple dances and all I could think was, “Their parents had to pay $65 per costume, FOUR times!”

Tom…well, he liked the dances, but it makes him uncomfortable when small girls are in tiny costumes with their stomach showing. He kept going, “Is this okay?” when a little girl came out with a bared stomach. It weirds him out even if it IS dance. He especially hates it when little kids gyrate.

When it came time for Natalie to dance I took her backstage. She wasn’t nervous at all. I sort of was. I pictured the scene in Parenthood (the movie) where the little kid runs on stage and destroys everything. What if Natalie did that? Her moods change instantly. Oh please don’t let her do anything weird on stage…

She didn’t. She did a great job. When it was over she was like, “I love being on stage!”

She didn’t go on again until the finale. I put her in her non-blinged shirt. She danced her butt off and even gave a wave when she danced off the stage.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, she even got an award for Star Dancer.

Natalie with her non-blinged shirt, flowers, and trophy.

I think this is the only time we’ll venture into the dance world. It’s just so expensive and I have no clue how to bling.

So for now, she’ll stick with tumbling.

If she begs down the line for another dance class, we’ll do it. But for now, I’ll say goodbye to the dance world.


  1. Natalie is so adorable! That is great to hear that she did so well in her dance class, and got an award! But, ouch dance is expensive!

  2. My niece does dance and I hate to say it, but it's such a racket. They buy these expensive outfits, pay for classes, pictures, extras at recitals...and then we had to pay $17 a person to see her recital!! Plus I'm the same as your hubby I don't like it when kids do adult moves. My niece does this shimmy and hair fling move...I mean she's 6. But all that said, Natalie looks gorgeous and great job on her award!!

  3. Hi, I must confess, I watch "Dance Moms" and "Toddlers and Tiaras" sometimes, and I could just see you and Natalie among all those other dancers and moms. Apparently they are avid viewers of said shows. Your Natalie is adorable! Your descriptions are phenomenal. I enjoy your posts so very much. :)

  4. Tumbling is even more expensive if she gets good at it. TRUST ME. I am mortified by how much it is costing us...

  5. You had better sit down. My daughter was in a competition group this past year and we paid $50 a month, plus around $300 in costumes, $500 in competition fees and for a dance convention, and then tickets to the recital were $12 each, in advance - $15 at the door. You bet your ass I bought the $45 video of the recital. We are going to relive that over and over. Welcome to the world of dance. I think we are cutting back next year because it's not like she's going pro. This is ridiculous.

  6. Holy crap. I feel like you took a peek into my weekend and wrote about it. We also had a dance recital. Same rules. No photos or video taping. We could also purchase a DVD. The only reason I did was because my daughter had a solo. It's a freaking racket. And my kid loves it. I'm screwed.

  7. Ugh! Dance is ridiculous which is why we've only done a 'groupon' ballet class. Plus I'm with you on some of the costumes and all that make-up:( I was rolling though about the spray glitter and Natalie wanting to hump their leg, my oldest would be the same way!! We're also sticking to gymnastics... less $$ and she likes it just as much or more!

  8. I went through those years with my daughter - 5 years of dance for a kid who couldn't keep time to save her life! It was expensive and the recitals made me crazy with all of the fees. She had a good time and that was all that mattered.

  9. I would totally suck at being a Dance mom as well! But I'm discovering that no mater what these kids choose to do it can be expensive! The hockey club Cat wants to join expects you to buy shares in the clubs real estate business ... I was like WHAT???

    But , Natalie looked gorgeous!

  10. My daughter has done gymnastics, tumbling, dance, cheer, competition cheer (which is different because it costs more), field hockey, soccer, and more cheer.
    Not all at once, because I don't have enough closet space for that many different pairs of shoes, but you're right on.
    Kid activities cost a LOT of money! And I cannot even fathom doing all of that times three or four. Having one daughter be active is costly enough!

  11. Dance Mom here!! Yes, it can definitely get darling Diva has been dancing since she was 5, she's now 12. That's 7 years of leotards, tights, tap shoes, jazz shoes, costumes, hair pieces, pictures, recital tickets and countless other things. Luckily though, she dances for the City of San Diego and her class fee is only $48 for 3 months. Not too shabby.

  12. p.s. Unfortunately I know how to bling TOO well. Now everyone comes to me to do their kid's makeup ;)

  13. I have 2 boys but my oldest a couple years ago asked to join Hiphop so I called and Called(its hard finding a class that takes boys). We found a great place. Of course I am always thinking they want money for this or that or that or that. All at the beginning of the year. Then this year he wanted to ADD Jazz because he wanted to do Musical Theater but had to take Jazz for a year first. So this year he did HipHop and Jazz. He is Great at it and lobves it. His Production is Friday. He signed up to be a People prop for other dances. So one he has to dress the same as a jazz(girl) classmate(they are wearing thier Jazz outfits), one as something for Racecare(he is going as a Mechanic, and the third has been a pain either Nutcracher, A Soldier or a Mouse. We are going with mouse. But its expensive plus my youngest and I are doing a Duet next year. Tried to get the oldest to join but he said NO. hehe Thats my longest comment ever lol

  14. I have a hard enough time dealing with Brownie moms, so I would definitely be the black sheep dance mom. I can barely make a ponytail. I was actually hoping she'd take dance, because I didn't, and it shows. I thought a little grace might be a good thing. (Hip thrusts, no.) But around here I gather that moms actually CAMP OUT to get good seats to the recitals. When she duets with Springsteen, I'll camp out, until then? I'm with you. But Natalie is adorable in costume. Then again, she's adorable when out of it, so maybe buy her some glitter spray and skip dance next year.

  15. Yep. . . Emma takes:


    "$37" x FIVE!!!!/month (although she did indicate that our past tuition was low based on other studios so it'll be bumped up this coming "season", yay)

    5. . . no 6 (because opening number needs its own costume) costumes + tickets + whatever fucking ad you put in the program. . .

    Plus DVD

    gooooood stuff.

    Sincerely "Dance Dad"

  16. I am dying laughing over here.. I danced as a teenager and I have a friend who runs the dance program on base here. It's the same thing. It's a bad version of dance moms every now and then and I still can't believe the expectations parents have for a 2 year old dancing (because you know, getting them to figure out their right from their left just isn't good enough). And you're right... it's crazy expensive for those stupid little costumes but they're SOO cute, lol. Anyway, she looks adorable and looks like she had a blast and really, that's all that matters.

  17. When my girlfriends who have daughters in dance talk about dance, I feel very relieved that it is not me.

    You're the second person today to mention Channing whoever. Must google and see what the fuss is about.

  18. Yeah, this is me in about 3 years. I don't know how to bling either and umm, yeah I wouldn't have even thought to bling the red t-shirt you had to buy. If they wanted you to bling it wouldn't they have put the bling on it to begind with? I'm going to bookmark this post so in 3 years I can read it BEFORE Babe's inevitable recital. Yay for tumbling!

  19. My girls have never been into dance. But they have been playing tennis forever. No crazy expensive costumes. But. Tennis camps. And driving all over creation for matches. It's time consuming!

  20. Love the pics - she looks gorgeous! My kids both love dance, and yes, it's expensive, but, they love it. And are not terrible. Plus, maybe they can learn to be more coordinated and graceful as these are not gifts that are in their genes.

  21. Thanks for the reminder...Dear John is on tonight

  22. I heard that dance was super expensive! Yikes.

  23. Her costume is beautiful, and she looks adorable. :) Gotta say, you had me laughing as I read this post...I love your take on the dance world. The line about Channing Tatum was the best...*sigh!*

  24. Her costume is beautiful, and she looks adorable. :) Gotta say, you had me laughing as I read this post...I love your take on the dance world. The line about Channing Tatum was the best...*sigh!*

  25. I wouldn't have survived the world of dance either! This is why I was blessed with a boy. No hair to do and nothing needs blinging.

  26. Oh my gosh!! That is crazy expensive! Looks like I need to open up my garage, grab a Haynes t-shirt & a can of spray paint and open up my own "studio". I think parents will gladly overlook my lack of rhythm due to my "fee" of just bringing a bottle of wine as payment. Yikes!!


  27. Lordie girl, you had better hope she doesn't want to dance any more. My daughter who is now 25, started dancing from age 3 all the way through high school. She was wonderful and really thought she might make a career of it but she did not. I spent enough money through the years to put her through college. LOL! However, it was what kept her stable and away from doing stuff she did not need to be doing in high school. It gave her poise and confidence and she loved it so much. I did buy most of the videos over the years and love seeing them. She was such a sweetie. Your little girl reminds me of her so much!

  28. And this is exactly why I'm glad for 4 boys. Baseball equipment is expensive, but it doesn't seem as much hassle as some of the girl activities.

    Congrats on the awards!

  29. She looks adorable!!! GREAT JOB, NATALIE!!!

    I grew up with ballet and it was wonderful! Dance gives you such a sense of accomplishment, discipline and is great exercise. I'm so glad she got to experience it and if she does ask for more, I hope you'll let her. It is crazy expensive (I know, Bella did it too!), but worth it in the end.

  30. We were in a skating club for hte first time this year so I hear you about the extra costs. Congrats to Natalie on a job well done.


  31. Reading this made me want to take you under my (former dancer) wing and help you through this trying time. I danced for 15 years (stopped when I went to University) and was the assistant backstage manager for my old studio for 5-6 years before I moved.

    Dance can be very expensive and your list didn't even include competition fees and travel! And the older you get, the more expensive it is...I know my costumes were about $150 at least and I was going through dance shoes like there was no tomorrow- tap shoes would last for a while but jazz and ballet shoes were replaced 2-3 times a year and pointe shoes were replaced more.

    But you survived your first year as a dance mom and Natalie got an award, so yea!!


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