Oh, For That Kind of Stamina!
This past weekend was dance weekend. The Fourteenth Annual Performances of the Armstrong School of Dance were held once again at Ford Hall on the campus of Ithaca College. My daughter has, as in years previous, been a member of the dance team and has also been teaching and choreographing younger students this year. Nine classes a week in all between hers and theirs. I don’t know how she does it and with such ease it seems. But dance is her life and she lives and breathes it. So the big weekend began on Thursday night with dress rehearsals, then performances on Saturday and Sunday.
Her mom and I were running around as support staff. My wife working behind the scenes to help with the “ducklings”. These are the tiny kids that perform earlier during the day. They need lots of backstage entertaining, bathroom escorts, costume changes, and hand holding. It’s an organizational masterpiece. (there will be pix of these little peaches in the next post) My job was flowers, food for in between performances, and general pack mule, as well as photographer.
They left early on Saturday and I arrived at 6:00 after picking up food and flowers. The young ones had already danced (as well as two performances by the dance team girls). The changeover takes about two hours, then the older girls danced for another two hours. Including finales, my daughter danced on stage for twelve different numbers with hasty costume changes in between. Tap, jazz, precision, lyrical, ballet, point, and hip-hop. And the show was amazing. I had seen a couple of the numbers at earlier performances they had done around the community. They also dance competitively and have brought home so many trophies and awards this year. They are an awesome group of girls. But back to the whole stamina thing.
No sooner had the performances ended than I brought in my daughters prom dress, she changed at the hall, and off she went to her junior prom. The bus back from the all night party arrived back at her school at 4:30 AM and she was back up at 9:00 the next morning to shower and head back out to the dance hall. Another round of all day performances, then off to do another two or three hours of practice with a new theater group she has joined and finally home at 10:00 PM to do the homework she still had for Monday. I get exhausted just thinking about it.
To my daughter I can only say, I am so proud of you. You are graceful and elegant and a wonder to behold on stage. Your smile says you are alive and happy and joyous. Your emotion and passion are in every step. You brought tears to my eyes and I could not take my eyes off you as you moved across that floor. And your stamina is astounding! Thank you for all you bring and all you give when you perform. You are a very beautiful and special girl.
All images are Copyright © George Cannon, All Rights Reserved.