Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Ballet Dancing Dilemma

Eleanor has been taking ballet classes for about a year now. She loves them. She is cute as can be in her ballet outfit. The whole thing has been delightful.

Until now. This Saturday is her first ballet recital and it just seems . . . so intense for a four-year-old ballerina.

Here is a run-down of the recital experience thus far. First, we bought the costume (a $75 Southern Belle get-up). Just wait -- I am sure I will be posting pictures. Then we bought the tickets for the entire supportive family to attend. Next was the hair and MAKE UP demonstration for the parents. Turns out, Ellie doesn't have enough hair for a proper ballerina bun, so they want me to buy a blond hair piece to attach to her pony tail. Doesn't that seem silly? In order to attempt the hair, I have already purchased gel, hairspray, and bobby pins. I am still on the hunt for a hair net and this fake hair piece thing that sounds totally gross. And make up? Really? I am inclined to say that I don't want her to wear make up, but then I wonder if I won't be making it into a bigger deal by not letting her have a little lip gloss. Then I bought the video for those who aren't able to attend but still want to catch the big debut. Wait, there is more.

Ellie and I have to be at the venue at 10:30 on Saturday morning for a dress rehearsal, then a hair fix up (which we will surely need). Parents are supposed to wait with the dancers and bring a packed lunch (pb and j for both of us). The show starts at 1:00 and Ellie's class goes on at 2:00. Then the dancers have to stay for the final bow which will take place around 3:00.

I am getting tired just thinking about it. What a long day! Is this even going to be fun for her? I am not sure I have it in me to be a stage Mom.

Am I crabby? Or is this nuts?


MamaNeena said...

Honey, you're not nuts. That is pretty much exactly why Mia decided she didn't want to take ballet after her camp last summer. They hardly ever got to do any acutal dancing!

I'm with you on the makeup and hair. They could come out looking like they just woke up and they would be super adorable!

Drink coffee Saturday!

Cindy Fey said...

I feel ya - I had the same experience with my Mia. Not to mention the professional photographer with his backdrop and the flowers to buy on the day of the show - all this for a 30-second dance routine that was little more than raising their arms and turning in a circle? I don't mean to sound jaded - it actually was a lovely show. But worlds removed from the classes where Mia would dress up in costume and jump around and just play.

Carrie said...

Gosh, I might look for a different ballet program if I were you. If this is how it is for the 4-year-olds, how intense are they going to be when she's 11? Are they going to be just as focused on her appearance? Are they going to tell her she needs to lose weight? That's one of my big fears with my daughters getting involved in ballet or gymnastics.

My 4-year-old was in our local park system ballet class, and to my surprise they too planned a recital. I thought OURS was too much -- a $25 costume, an hourlong dress rehearsal just before the real show, a class photo shoot.

But there was no talk of hair and makeup, thank heaven. Of course, we don't know what the actual recital was like, because Nutmeg got sick that weekend. Funny thing is, she didn't care AT ALL that she missed her "big day."

Marketing Mommy said...

My 3 year old has been asking to take ballet, but if this is what's in store for us, I'm going to have to say no way. It's too much too soon and not the kind of values I want for my daughter.

I'll step off my soapbox now.