Childrearing

My Daughter’s Recital Was Like ‘Dance Moms, Part II’

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Let’s talk about those costumes…

Oh my God, let’s. Let’s talk about the fact that there is nothing that makes me want to scream at people more than those costumes. I know the things are a pain. I’ve dealt with them for years. They have little parts you need to sew on yourself. They have a million pieces. I mean, newer costumes are better than the older ones, but there’s still a lot to do. And literally every year, I get some girl who comes in and no one has even bothered to take the costume out of the package. They haven’t even tried it on yet. They hadn’t sewed the suspenders or whatever needs a couple stitches. So there I am with a needle and thread ten minutes before the recital.

That has to be intense. 

It is. I’m not sure what’s more frustrating: the ones who don’t even look at the costume or the ones who don’t send the whole thing. I guess it has to be the missing pieces. I can fix it if you didn’t sew anything. Your child can wear a costume that doesn’t fit right. But when you don’t send the accessories, there’s nothing I can do. Your child just doesn’t have it and they look out of place. I actually had a mother come back and scream at my because her daughter was the only one without a hat. It was the middle of the recital and this lady is yelling at me about it. I was like, “You didn’t send it. What did you expect me to do?” She kept saying that she was told they were provided by the studio, which was ridiculous. Her child has been to a recital before, she knew that the studio never brought props along.

Wait, so that was a real Dance Moms moment. Grown women were yelling at each other backstage! 

Well, I don’t think we have as much drama as Dance Moms. No one cursed or anything. But moms do get a little crazy sometimes. I think the worst is the parents who want to come get their kids after their performance is done, but the recital is still going on. They apparently can’t be bothered to sit through the whole three hours. They want to leave the minute their kid’s piece is done. But we can’t have random students leaving in the middle of the recital. It’s a safety hazard! And there’s a finale at the end that everyone’s supposed to be in. Only the littlest kids are allowed to leave after their number, because it’s too difficult to keep them entertained backstage. It got sad bad with parents just sneaking their kids out in the middle of the show that we had to hire a police officer to make sure none of the kids left before the end. But before we did that, it created a lot of confrontations between the people helping backstage and the parents who wanted to leave.

How do you keep all those kids entertained? Looking back, I remember doing a lot of make-up and eating a lot of fruit snacks.

Well, the older girls are fine. They’ll just sit and gossip. Competition girls are too busy to worry about. They don’t have time to change their shoes, let alone get bored. The main issue is the younger kids, like ages 6-10, who only have one or two dances. Those girls spend a lot of time in the back rooms. We try to have to movies and stuff. Now, parents just send them with DS’s or iPads. Of course then one comes up missing and a parent is mad all over again. Because we’re supposed to have time to keep track of every child’s belongings back there.

(Photo: Lorraine Kourafas/Shutterstock)

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