And here we are, Dance People. I’m not addressing Dance People–I am identifying us as Dance People. With a studio affiliation, a rehearsal schedule, and some teeny tiny wardrobe hanging in the armoire (there are no closets in the kids’ rooms). There are bobbie pins in the bathroom, and some new kinds of hair product, and a quick pause in the narrative so I can pry off the O key from the laptop and figure out why it is not generating an O when I type it.
Please enjoy this musical interlude.
Cat fur is the answer. The key cap was removed, and matted cat fur approaching felt had to be pulled out from under the supporting brackets, and then the neighboring I had to be removed to get the rest of it, and then there was a bracket scare. You know when you pry off the key caps to get at the crap beneath the keys and you aren’t careful and one of those tiny little knobs that hold the bracket into its frame breaks? Well, I thought I’d done that. But I hadn’t. What I ought to to do is pry off all the key caps and clean everything out with alcohol and cotton swabs, but I won’t, on account of no spare brackets. Thank you for your patience.
I was certainly never Dance People growing up. I was Show Choir People, but I was in the band, so it didn’t really count. For a couple of years in college I experimented with being Theater People, but lots of girls do that. I even tried Community Theater People once or twice after graduation, but then I got a job too far away from the rehearsals to make participating feasible. Also, the original plots were terrible, and a little bit preachy, particularly about the benefits of preserving the local riparian ecosystem. Mostly, though, I can’t act. And Dance People certainly weren’t going to come from Husband’s side of the family, where they are Marching Band People. (They didn’t even have Marching Band People at my high school, so it’s kind of amazing that we got together; we don’t even know if we have fertile offspring, but that’s a topic for another day.)
Those of you who follow me on Facebook might remember the day we became Ballet Class People. Ballet Class People enjoy watching preschool girls wear their leotards and use French dance terms, and bounce all over the house and sidewalk as ballerinas. We might have stayed just Ballet Class People if it hadn’t been for two things:
1. We became this year Kindergarten People, with a teacher who paid with her own money for a dance teacher to come once a week to instruct the children on the differences between Personal Dance Space and General Dance Space, to which Fella took enough of a liking that the kindergarten teacher had to tell me about it.
2. Fella, ever the grudging companion to ballet class, who never seemed totally happy to sit there and read books or play games on my iPod for an hour because it was just too boring for real, out of the blue during one of the classes whispered to me–in these exact words–“Why am I not yet enrolled in this class?”
The only for it was to consult with the studio’s artistic director, who had filled in once while the ballet teacher was on vacation and had taught the kids a few steps to use with “Ease on Down the Road.” Because the girls were shy with the new teacher, I sent Fella in to encourage his sister to participate. He hummed and skipped around to that tune for weeks and weeks afterwards (it’s the only rational response to that song), and I mentioned that to the artistic director when we were talking about a class for Fella to join. He mentioned that Children’s Modern had decided as a class that they could use another person, and made the suggestion that Fella watch the Children’s Modern performance at the recital and decide.
There was a lot of in-home anticipation for the recital, augmented by so much practice of the routine to a video of the class performing it that everyone in the house knew all the steps. There was serious lobbying to pre-wear the costume, too–just for dress-up–and the Shopping for the Pink Tights and Hair Elastics. There was the Pre-Purchasing of the Tickets, and the Mapquesting of the Theater, and the Drive Downtown at Rush Hour, and the Parking Permit Anguish (we went without and got away with it). There was the Changing of the Clothes in the Car, and the Climbing of the Steep, Steep Stairs, and then there was The Arrival at the Theater.
Have you ever been to a theater? We entered at the back, and there were dressing rooms! And construction places where they build sets! And a stage door! And if you go through the stage door, there’s a stage! With a backdrop! And wings! And an orchestra pit! And there’s a room just. for. the. lights. And it’s way up high, and you go up this ladder. IF you work there. NOT if you are in a ballet costume. ONLY if you work there, and are in special theater lights clothes, which we were not. So we didn’t go up the ladder. But we saw it. And we saw the grand piano in the wings with the cover on it, and we looked down into the orchestra pit, and we saw the marks on the stage, and we saw the lobby of the theater, and the lobby of the theater had shapes of dancing people cut out in metal and strung up towards the ceiling like they were dancing or flying. It could go either way, really.
It was a magical place.
Performance day was even more exciting, because this time Daddy was coming, and Daddy would get to see backstage, and the place where they build sets, and the dressing rooms, and the stage door, and the wings, and the orchestra pit, and the special room way up high just for lights. Also, on performance day they were selling snacks in the lobby, so there were Sun Chips, too. For Fella, anyway. Filly got dropped off backstage in the green room, where the usual green room shenanigans were conducted among the usual commotion with the usual shushing.
And then the show started, and we saw everyone dance–even the big kids–and Husband whispered that we really ought to start going to more Broadway shows (not a sentence you hear every day) and Fella whispered that it’s the rock and roll music he prefers dancing to, and we took the obligatory poor-quality video from a handheld camera of a poorly lit dance number from very far away, and then we were officially Dance People. The lot of us. We celebrated after the show with pancakes.
It could be worse. We could be Team Sports People. At least Dance People don’t have to drive minivans.
Edited to add: Video! The Little Miss is the shortest one, and usually on the right.