With a little more grace, a pinch more poise, and a second full year of dance instruction under her belt, news of Devi’s “Little Dancers” recital filled our dinner time conversation as the June 18th performance date arrived. For weeks, I’ve been catching her quietly humming a tune, or unconsciously moving her arms and legs in what appeared to be choreographed movements. On the final rehearsal day, she proudly displayed two stamps on her wrists declaring herself prepared and ready.
Amazing what a year of maturity can add to a performance. The gaggle of girls and one boy, Rowan, (the one Devi claims she will marry one day) knew where to stand and what to do. They were great, dancing AND singing the music for all 4 numbers, with their faces intently watching Teacher Cat instructing from the back of the room.
A welcoming jazz tune was performed first in swirly silver glitter skirts, giving the audience a glimpse of just how accomplished our Little Dancer's have become, followed by a costume change and cute ballet number, complete with pink tulle tutus. It told the story of how they all dream to become dancers one day, and that anything is possible. "It's Terrific" was the tap dance that came next raising the volume level in the room 8 octaves with all that tapping. Indeed, it was terrific, but also gave insight as to why Devi has been trying so desperately to learn how to snap her fingers - a dance move - who knew? The grand finale was another jazz number danced to a Justin Bieber song. A little inappropriate for their age in my opinion, but the lyrics were tame and all was totally lost to the innocence and cuteness of them singing into plastic blow up microphones. They all felt so cool singing and dancing to a real rock-n-roll song.
Last year, Devi was a ham bone, but this year was all about precision and timing, which as we all know sometimes leads to missing a step or loosing the timing to the up beat, but no doubt supreme effort was shown. Adding to her frustration were the ever present costume malfunctions, with a waist still too slim to hold up a skirt or arms too skinny to keep an armband in place. At one point, her blow up microphone prop somehow managed to end up in the wrong hand, which had her turned around backwards. It was so hard to resist yelling out to her, but she quickly recovered on her own remaining unfazed by her mistake. During the more “free form” portions of a dance, her concentration eased a bit and you could see that huge white teethed grin appear and hear her yelling “weeeee” while jumping, lunging or swinging her arms. Her love of flitting about, otherwise known as dancing, is obvious.
Equally more difficult this year was the audience participation for Pat and I, this year not only manning a video camera, and SLR, but also providing supervision to Treya, the proud sister. Never still, it was remarkable to watch Treya become entranced by Devi as she began to dance. Her eyes were totally riveted on Devi, occasionally swaying to the music or swinging an arm in time to the music. At the end of each number, she would clap wildly and yell, “Yay, DeeDee!”
My heart swelled with pride over Devi’s job well done. The last few months have been hard for her, struggling with the changes in our household and trying to find comfort in her new big sister role in our family. To see her, now, standing amongst her peers, with such a bright smile, eager to perform for her family just made my checks ache from smiling. Great job pumpkin pie! We love you!!