Think Back Thursday…Dancing Days

Watching our granddaughter, Madison, participating in activities with her dance class last weekend, took me back to another time and place in my life.  Watching my daughter scurrying around, doing all of the preparations reminded me of myself about twenty-seven years ago.  Seeing Madison participate in her first parade, reminded me of when my own children participated in their first parades. 

Later that day, on Saturday afternoon, we went to “The Roundup” to watch Madison dance for the first time.  The first little group of the tiniest dancers came up on stage to perform their very first dance for the public.  The place was hot and crowded with scores of parents, grandparents, and other on-lookers. 

The tiny dancers were simply adorable.  They were dressed in red and black, like little lady bugs, complete with little bobbing antennas on their little heads.  A few seconds into their dance, I looked on the back row of dancers, and saw this…

and the sight of this little girl really took me back in time!  This scene looked very familiar to me.  I’d seen it before!

The year was 1983, and I was the mother of two–a five-year-old, and a one-year-old.  It was the month of May, and our family was at “The Sweet Onion Festival” preparing to watch our little daughter dance in public for the first time…

We’d already participated in the parade, rushed to get dressed, and fought our way through the crowds to get to the stage at the back of the festival–with our two children in tow!  I can still see Brandy dressed in her adorable red and white striped costume.  I can still see scores of parents, grandparents, and on-lookers all sitting and standing around waiting to watch the show…

Soon it came time for Brandy’s class to perform their little dance…but Brandy took one look at all of those people crowded around that concrete stage, waiting to watch the show, and she dug her heels in like a stubborn mule, and refused to move!  No amount of begging or pleading could convince her to even set foot on that stage!  Her hands went up to her face, and she looked exactly like the little girl in the photo above.  So we went home–without dancing.

It just so happened that Brandy’s dance recital was held about two weeks after that incident at “The Sweet Onion Festival”.  My husband and I discussed it ahead of time, and came up with a plan that we hoped would work.  It took a little backstage persuasion from my husband.  He did something he rarely did, he threatened to spank her.  Brandy went out on stage, and performed in the recital that night–not once, but twice! 

I realize that our backstage persuasion may be controversial to some, but Brandy was so proud of herself  after she danced in the recital!  She just needed a little  help to get her started, and we provided that help.  She went on to dance in many public performances in the years that followed, and actually danced a duet with her best friend in her final recital!  She never needed any kind of persuasion again.  It was a wonderful ending to a rather rocky beginning of Brandy’s dancing days!

I’ll be rooting for the little girl in the photo on recital night.  I hope she’ll be able to get a handle on her stage fright, and show us that pretty little face behind those hands!  I hope her story will have a wonderful ending, too.  If not, there’s always next year…

Published in: on March 17, 2011 at 9:38 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love being able to relive some of our children’s experiences with their children too. My daughter tells me that her older son is the child I wished upon her. She is my oldest daughter and was the most “willful” child. I am not a spanker either and looking back, I really don’t think it would have helped. She was a stubborn as I was. I just had to wait for my reward… She got one just like her.

    I love both girls were dancing in red. Brandy still looks a little hesitant.

  2. Thanks for your visit. I had entered post too early and hadn’t gotten the photos in yet. Come on back and see the dress.

  3. Sometimes we just need a little persuasion, no matter how harsh it may be.

    I try not to threaten my children but we do ask that they participate before deciding that something is too hard for them. When my daughter was that age and in dance she tried to tell us she was scared but we told her we’d be right there watching her and taking pictures to show to friends. She is our least shy child though, so we just knew that dropping her off with her teacher with a kiss and we’ll see you on stage was the best approach or she would have refused no matter what we said.

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