Charlotte's Winter Ballet Show

Last weekend, my darling Charlotte was extra darling, dancing in her winter ballet show, A Christmas Carol.

A ballet-lover myself, I never, ever dreamed that a ballet academy at the level of what my small town has pulled off could possibly exist. And yet it does, and I've had the utter joy (and stress) of seeing my little girl through another professional-level dance production.

These big fat full-length ballets demand a tremendous amount of athleticism, stamina, and artistry from the advanced and guest dancers. And oh, they were fabulous. But I'm gonna go out on a limb here and argue that 5-year-olds deserve freaking trophies for the past month they've had, rehearsing, waiting, being quiet, enduring elastic bands on their hats that they claim were invented by the devil. Oh, these girls colored about a thousand pages during their rehearsal down time, danced their hearts out in practice, played nice with each other (mostly), and managed to handle all potty trips during times they were NOT on stage.

My girl at a rehearsal.
I volunteered again to be a backstage mom for the matinee show (and then Chris and I attended the evening performance). The rehearsal schedule seemed less daunting than the spring show, but  . . . yeah. The nine girls were awesome. Nine different personalities, and I adored each of them. Alas, we faced a shocking--I'm telling you, effing unbelievable--issue with a batshit crazy mother that made the final two days of dress/tech rehearsal and performances strange and stressful. I mean, I'm no stranger to crazy-ass mothers, but this one had me doubting my eyes and ears. Was this really happening? At any rate, a sweet girl was caught in the vortex of crazy, so I've gone out of my way to ensure she's included and okay . . . but Lord have mercy. This woman made the whiny, mom-martyr women I want to throttle look life my BFFs.

Anyway, Charlotte and her friends were gingerbread cookies. They entered the party scene at the Fezziwigs'. They were SO. FREAKING. CUTE. As the stage manager said to me, seconds before they went on, "No matter how they dance, all will be forgiven."


I was backstage (duh) as the girls marched onto the stage, not one single gingerbread cookie showing an inkling of stage fright. I was so proud. They nailed their dance, and they executed it with such joy!

It's a tad trippy, watching from backstage. It's so dark, yet the stage lights are so bright. You're watching everything from the side, or maybe even from behind. You can't see the audience but can hear it.

Anyway, those dang gingerbread cookies were so ebullient and confident. So I did what any rational backstage mom would do: I cried.

(Okay. Bawled.)

In my defense, there's an adrenaline rush and MASSIVE SENSE OF RELIEF that goes along with shooing those little darlings onto the stage.

My family of Opps was still here from Thanksgiving, so they all got to (had to? I'm looking at you, Tyler and Dad) attend the show. Charlotte got a huge kick out of knowing they were all in the audience.

I was recently informed that the artistic director wants my class (what? you didn't know I was in a ballet class?) to perform in the spring show. My first thought was not "Ha. I'm thirty-four years old. You've got to be kidding," but rather, "Oh! I wonder if that means I'm off the hook for backstage mom duty."

Oh, who am I kidding? I'll totally do it again. I think it's like birthing a child. You kind of forget how gory it is between each one . . . . .



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