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Scary Mascara and the Dance Rehearsal

Submitted by MattUsey on Mon, 06/08/2009 - 10:29.

Isabella is in a ballet and tap class. No, they don’t do both at the same time, though that could be pretty cool…. She doesn’t exactly love to go to dance, probably because everything happens too fast. While she’s just figuring out how to shuffle, the others have already ball-changed on to the next move. We may pull her out soon since she doesn’t care for it, but I really want to find something that she likes to do. I want to find her “thing,” be that a sport, an instrument, whatever. We haven’t found it yet, unless reading books counts.

Anyway, her dance studio has their big recital coming up, and the dress rehearsal was the other night.

My kids’ programs are a favorite topic of mine (see here and here, for example) because they provide all of my requirements for a good blog: things to complain about, people to mock, and opportunities to laugh. This one was no exception, so I’ll jump right in.

First, the costume, or outfit, or whatever. Yes, yes, it’s so cute, I know. But aren’t there cute dance clothes out there that don’t cost over $100 to wear just one time? Madeline was in ballet for a brief time, and I remember falling to my knees and tearing at my hair when Carrie told me how much her recital outfit cost. So that hasn’t changed.

The massive need for massive makeup in order for the kids’ faces to be visible is another thing that hasn’t changed since Madeline’s dancing days. I never realized that kids’ faces became invisible when onstage without the stuff. One girl’s mom balked at the rule and didn’t put lipstick on her daughter, and all the people in the crowd screamed when they saw the girl walk on stage because they thought her mouth had melted away like on that episode of Fringe. It was really creepy.

Isabella cried the entire time Carrie put makeup on her before the rehearsal. I assisted by complaining about the stupid policy. Carrie didn’t put much on her, but Isabella still did not like it at all. The worst was the mascara.

“I’m scared of it!” Isabella said.

“Why?” we asked.

“Because it’s scary!” she said.

“Why is it scary?”

“Because it’s called maSCARA!”

We finally got it, and after Carrie and I stopped giggling, I tried to lighten her mood with a brilliant joke. “Isabella, that type of makeup is actually called, ‘MasFUNNA!’ Hahaha!”

She failed to see the humor in it.

Another thing that hasn’t changed is the “no movie camera at the show because we want you to buy our video instead, for the safety of the kids of course.” As a test, I pulled a movie camera out during Madeline’s show years back, and immediately a kid’s tap shot off of her shoe and put a girl’s eye out, right there on the spot. Another dancer slipped on it and fell, tearing her $100 tutu. Someone wailed, “Oh, the humanity!” and a cop shouted, “Who pulled out a video camera? Who did that?!” I quietly slid the camera back into the bag and swore never to video another performance. They were right all along.

In seriousness, they did let parents video at Isabella’s rehearsal, and it was full-on hand-to-hand videography in the mosh pit in front of the stage. The video I shot was periodically interrupted by parental grunts and curses. At one point, the bottom corner of the video was partially obscured by a hand wrenching the hair of one of the fathers as he struggled to keep his camcorder steady and simultaneously backfist the other dad in the face. At least I think that’s what was going on – I had my eye glued to the viewfinder. So the “no camcorders during the show” rule has nothing to do with the safety of the kids, but it might actually keep some parents out of the ER.

Isabella saw me filming during her time onstage, and she stopped and waved at me. It was very cute, though not exactly part of the routine. I don’t care. She didn’t really follow along with the other kids, but she had fun.