Have you seen Dance Moms? I spent the weekend in the Classic City: Athens, GA watching daughter perform in a Regional Dance Competition. I spent six straight hours on Saturday and four on Sunday watching mostly other people dance. Some very painfully… I typically do not favor “judged” sports. For instance, I never really understand gymnastics and ice skating scores, at all. They are a complete mystery. I prefer timed events where the fastest time or the farthest distance wins. The clock simply doesn’t lie.
I would expect wife to hold herself to a higher standard than others, but occasionally a snarky comment would escape her lips, “Those outfits are dreadful.” Or sometimes I would catch her wincing in pain as she watched a pre-teen struggle through yet another lyrical dance. I am not being mean, really; I just believe that some people simply are not as good as others. Daughter is no exception; she can make mistakes (rarely).
The real entertainment, though, is the mothers and fathers of the dancers. I almost fought one. Seriously. As soon as the doors opened to the Classic Center, I ran into the theater to save seats for the entire team and their families. I used blankets, bags, etc. I was talking to a fellow dancer’s dad when a man sat down right in the middle of the marked off section. I then turned and politely suggested that I was sitting in the seat and asked if it would be okay if I could sit there. He looked up at me incredulously and said, “I guess..” He then stood up and bent over to examine the seats and commented, “I don’t see YOUR name anywhere..” I stared at him; I stared at his eyes and spoke volumes; Iwas not kidding around. He then shuffled off to find another seat glancing back at me several times in what could either be described as fear or anger, or both. No one messes with THIS dance dad. This action occurred in the first five minutes of arriving. Loads of fun were headed my way.
As the afternoon progressed, we would clap and hoot and holler when our dancers performed as did others. HOWEVER, one dance company had two very energetic women who decided to bring a tambourine and a cowbell. Over and over the grating sound would resonate across the theater. Cowbells are for cows. Period. Tambourines are for the Partridge family. It reminds me of the same people who bring air horns to their child’s graduation. Nothing says klassy more than an air horn screeching as an average student crosses the stage in the most important education experience of his life so far.
Later, after all the competitions were over for the day, we retired to our hotel suite on the outskirts of town. Beautifully appointed, and really not that expensive, we felt comfortable. Daughter kept complaining about how hard the bed was. I mean, this is the girl who spends sleepovers on the basement floor made of concrete with nothing but a blanket. The drama, oh, the drama. Before bed, though, several dance members came over to visit while the parents enjoyed an adult beverage.
Daughter has an iPhone that we handed down to her. It does not have any cell service, but she can play games and take pictures. The girls decided to make a skit. Daughter was the main star of course. She came around the corner of the bathroom making wild gestures and acting goofy. Another girl narrated this and they called it the Dummy Dumb show. When I asked daughter why she wasn’t speaking in the video, she said she was being a mime. Chris Rock once said to be a successful dad, all I had to do was keep my daughter off the pole. I suggest, however, ensuring her career options do not include being a mime should be included. The shame…