Three Minutes and Lessons for Life (Everything My Kids Have Learned from Dance) (Day 154)

I love dance and costumes and makeup and stages and performances and bobby pins and putting lipstick and eye make-up on children (my own and random children). 

Yes, I know this is not pandemic friendly, but I am over 40 and cannot be bothered by your judgements!

I also love sequins and accessories and themes and tap dancing and fishnets and sitting in performance halls watching things on stage. 

I am really sad that dance recital season is over. (even though on the way to the recitals this afternoon our family put on quite the dramatic tableau in our front yard that was very, very Reality TV ready). 

This year, we were back on a stage (no dress rehearsals or production, though) and it was just so marvelous to be there!

I love watching my kids on stage!

In two days, we had three shows, seven dances and three kids on stage. For Chloe, it was her 10th year. For Lily, it was her 11th. And for Nicholas, it was his first (hip hop!). They make me laugh and smile and feel such pride when I see them on stage. And it has nothing to do with the actual dance--sure that is always wonderful to see--it has to do with all the other things that come with dance. 

My kids worked for 9 months, learning one routine per class and condensing all that growth into 3 minutes. It is an incredible thing to spend so much time on a few moments of your life. But, it is more than a few moments. While the routine is 3 minutes, it is all the lessons from performing that you carry your whole life through. 

You learn confidence
--after all you are not just on stage, you are on stage, required to move and dance in a costume that you might find ridiculous. 

You learn grace--not in movement but in spirit because anyone who has been backstage when you have 3 minutes to change from a tap costume to a gymnastics costume and undo a bun for a french braid, while also fixing your lipstick can pretty much handle any level of pressure. 

You learn teamwork--those dances are a class endeavor and your fellow dancer might need you to look at them and tell you that you are beautiful and doing a good job and you might be the one who needs the cheerleading.

You learn that you can be different people at different times--the song and the dance style and the costume dictate who you are on stage. In life, sometimes you have to be the outgoing leader, other times you have to be the quiet one in the room and other times maybe you are the funny man. We all have to be different--yet still be ourselves--when the situation calls for it. Dance teaches us how to change, but still remain uniquely ourselves. 

You learn that complimenting and rising another up for their performance does not lower you in anyway. And if you are a mom, you get to witness your children do this for each other with ease--and you know that even though they may have been calling each other big dum-dums in your front yard just a few hours earlier, that they are not total heathens. 

You learn that you can do things when everyone is watching.
 Dancers are amazing--not because of their skills-but because of their willingness to take the risk, put on the costume and dance knowing that everyone is watching. And in life, everyone is watching sometimes and you still have to be brave and do the things you believe in, in spite of witnesses. 

And of course, you learn how to put on your red lipstick and own it. (This is my favorite lesson.).