Monday, June 11, 2012

Jayla's Big Day

Yep, that’s right, Jayla had her first ever dance recital this past weekend! I must say, it is so fun to have a girly girl! We are all new to the dance scene in this household, but learning fast that there is A LOT of action in this sport/art! Jayla had to learn for the first time how to mirror a teacher in figuring out dance moves, put the dances to memory, stay in sync with her class, handle props, and probably the biggest one of all – go on stage and PERFORM in front of a very large crowd! We have never experienced anything like this before! In the days leading up to the show, I know Jayla still didn’t really understand what ‘recital’ meant. Her class has been practicing their routines since Christmas-time, but she didn’t really ‘get’ that they would be performing on stage in a big show - probably because we’ve never been to a dance performance before! But, as the recital approached the pieces started to get put together. Here we are on photo day….


And at the first wave of rehearsals…can you spot Jayla?
Once all the classes were together in one studio practicing Jayla got to see the different routines and how they went in order. That’s when things started to finally fall into place in her mind about what all this talk of a recital was! Jayla’s class had to adapt first to a different studio where rehearsals were held, and then to the performance auditorium - CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames – which is a HUMUNGO place, especially in the eyes of a 4 year old! :) The girls were having a really hard time with all that change – their ‘spots’ on stage [marked by floor stickers] looked different, and the surroundings were all completely new. Rehearsals were a little crazy and disheveled, but it got better each time. The recital was a big expo, showcasing all the year’s work of the different classes. Jayla’s class was part of the show that portrayed ‘The Little Mermaid’ (Disney) story. :)

Here are the little fishies backstage, waiting to go on for their first dance….

This production entailed SO MUCH MORE than what you get to see from the audience. Back stage is like an entirely different world….in fact, it is mass chaos back there. You have the older dancers running around in excitement and practicing their routines – giving hugs – taking pictures, you have frantic moms putting the finishing touches on their little ones for costumes and make-up, you have the younger kids either in a daze or in hyper mode or crying in anxiety of the impending stage or of knowing that mommy is leaving soon to go out in the audience, you have the booming music playing from the stage, not to mention you have the stage crew and volunteers running around like crazy with their walkie talkies - doing quick changes - and getting the different classes lined up who are about to go on stage. Whew! It’s a lot to take in!

Once I got Jayla settled on her ‘square’ backstage, with her baby doll as support, and her ballet shoes marked for her next number, I took a deep breath and went out to the audience to take it all in! [We got to practice this part where I would be leaving her backstage the night before at rehearsals, so she knew it was coming. There are volunteers who stay with each class, but it’s pretty dark back there, and with the backstage chaos this part can get quite overwhelming for the little ones. At rehearsals Jayla had a flow of sweet tears and hugs when I went to ‘leave’, but on performance night she was all smiles and couldn’t wait until her turn to perform!] The first ‘number’ they did was a tap routine to the song “Under the Sea” – where Sebastian the crab is singing about how wonderful life is in the water compared to on land. :) Here are the fishies, dancing away!

Jayla and her friend Taylor had little episodes where they would look at eachother and crack up on stage – it was so stinkin cute!
At times they kind of danced to the beat of their own drum….here is a cute video I caught during their next number which was their ballet routine called ‘Tour of the Kingdom’ – now they are on land and showing Ariel around….

Hee hee – I was cracking up! I love it! A few more pictures of this number….

Game face!
It was so neat to get to see all the classes, and the progression of how skilled and detailed the dancers get as they get older. Here is the lead role – Ariel…
The finale of the show was probably my favorite part because Jayla got to be out there with all of the dancers from the whole show, and they were all performing the same routine. It was SO FUN!
There’s our little peanut!


Love how she’s really getting into character on this one! :)
The end!
You probably know it’s tradition to give the dancer a bouquet of flowers after her performance….Daddy was in charge of that!
But, you may not know that it’s also tradition to get ice cream after your performance! Yep, we better add that into the ‘dancer rule book’.
Oreo cookie cheers until next year!

1 comment:

Renee said...

Oh darn, I didn't know it was Jayla's recital and I didn't get to tell her to "break a leg!" She is sooooo adorable! You are so lucky to have a Robert Thomas recital! You had the ultimate recital experience! Looks like Jayla might be Nutcracker material :) We did the Nutcracker for about four years... a huge commitment but so awesome! Tell her she was a beautiful ballerina :)