Friday, October 28, 2011

Dance Recital Fail

I practice the dance moves again and again in the ballet studio until every step is perfect.  I want to make sure I don't mess anything up because I am the leader for the song and the entire audience will see me first.

I'm excited as my mom helps me get ready for the recital.  I use her shoulders for balance as I pull on the white tights.  Next comes the blue and white striped leotard and the white tutu, then the matching white Tom Sawyer hat with the blue ribbon.

I fidget as my mom applies pink blush to the apples of my cheeks, even though I'm already prone to looking flushed as it is.  She also puts some lipstick on me, then fixes my hair into a bun.  I make sure we don't forget my umbrella with the lace ruffle around the edge as we rush out of the house.

Backstage, we receive our cue as "The Yellow Rose of Texas" begins to play.  I am exhilarated as I dance onstage, all the other girls following me.  The stage lights shine brightly down.  I see the large audience dimly lit in front of me.

I can't focus.  My tutu is itchy.  I'm trying to find my parents in the audience.  I have some mosquito bites on my thigh that are suddenly irritating.

I stop on the side of the stage.  I can't help but scratch my bites furiously.  Tears are streaming down my face.

"Mommy!  Daddy! I'm itchy!" I scream again and again until my parents rescue me from the stage.

This post was written in response to this week's Red Writing Hood prompt from Write on Edge.  Some people consider themselves athletes. Others do not.  Write a piece of fiction or creative non-fiction in which athleticism features prominently. Use one of these photographs for inspiration.

I knew I had to write about my dance recital.  I was 5 or 6 years old when it happened, and afterwards, I stopped ballet lessons and didn't dance again until college.  I have the whole thing on videotape, and it is equally hilarious and humiliating.  Although I failed as a dancer, I was a great soccer player growing up, so I guess it's a good thing I stopped dancing so I could focus on that.
Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood


  1. We were just at a recital and a little girl stripped naked faster than you could imagine in the middle of the stage ... memories ;)

  2. I suppose you can look back on the episode now, and see the funny side... but I'm sure it was quite a big deal for you as a 6 year old.
    A great reflection!

  3. Oh, that's wonderful! What a funny little moment (funny now, mortifying then, I am sure) to remember!

    My concrit challenge would be to put your reader more into the mind of you as a little kid: look at: "I fidget as my mom applies pink blush to the apples of my cheeks, even though I'm already prone to looking flushed as it is."

    I love the image of you fidgeting, but I don't believe that a young child knows she is "already prone to looking flush." That is the high-brow language of us adults! A young kids may think: "my mom applies pink blush to me cheeks: making me pinker than even normal."

    I love, love, love, your last line: "I scream again and again until my parents rescue me from the stage." You poor little thing!

    - Barbara @, via Write on Edge

  4. This is great, thanks for sharing the memory!

    My concrit is similar to that of Barbara. Given the adult voice you're using, this maybe should be set up so that it's clear that you as an adult are telling the story... perhaps you are watching the video, or watching someone else watch the video?

  5. Aw. The fact that this happened to you in real life is so very sweet. Clearly you were destined for soccer-princess.

  6. there is a video of my husband's niece, age 3, doing her first recital. She comes out...stops...and runs to her mom. All the other kids follow suit. It's so sweet. And hilarious.

  7. I think that I would have liked it better if you had put a little more of yourself into it. I felt that you were writing from a distance, if that makes sense.

    But I did laugh at the cuteness of you all 'itchy'!!!

  8. It sounded like you had some big shoes to fill! Your post brings back some of my childhood memories that I would like to tuck away. Those memories and experiences make us who we are today.

    Nice post!

  9. My daughter is a dancer/athlete. We just stopped the dancing classes to concentrate on school work, but we have done the recitals. I always always love it when the littlest ones come on, so cute in their little tutus, always a little unsure, and always, always good for a little giggle or two.

    I'm sorry for your 6 yr old self, but this was an enjoyable read.

  10. There is nothing worse than a mosquito bite! I would have done the sam thing as a kid!

  11. Poor you! I can imagine how traumatizing that can be at 5 or 6! Mosquito bites are the worst!