First of all, we had to find costumes for Ellie's recital. She had one hip-hop number and one ballet number. This is what we put together for her hip-hop routine.
This is Ellie's hip-hop/attitude face. She cracks us up! Love the puffed out cheeks.
Next, we had our first recital on Friday night the 13th. So many funny stories from that night. First, the advanced modern dancers began their first routine to open the show and Ellie looks at me and says "I can do that. I think I'll do that." I then had to talk to her about how that is what the big girls had practiced and Ellie needed to do the dances she had practiced. Ellie then did her ballet routine without mishap. When it came time to practice the finale dance though, the 3 and 4 year olds were supposed to sit on the stage and wave while the big kids learned the finale dance. All the little ones did this - except Ellie. Ellie started trying to do the dance with the big kids, and by the end of their practice time 5 or 6 other littles had joined her. Way to be a leader, Ellie Bell! After that, every time they practiced the finale a teacher sat with Ellie so that she would sit still. By the end, Ellie was a little upset that she couldn't dance during the finale. We had high hopes that she might go unsupervised at some point and make the recital a lot more exciting... The little girls then practiced their hip-hop dance and Ellie did great. She was done for the night, so we grabbed dinner and went home.
Everyone then had to be in full hair costume for dress rehearsal Saturday morning. Ellie liked having her fancy hair and curls.
We then got her dressed and packed up her costumes and snacks and her and I took off to the rehearsal. The dance studio had rules about checking dancers in with costumes and snacks where ready-room moms took care of them, and then checking them out when they were done. You were welcome to stay at the rehearsal, but the dancers had to stay backstage the whole time away from the parents. Steve and I weren't really fond of this and decided that with a three year old, I would stay at the rehearsal the whole time in case anything went sideways with Ellie. I was glad we made that decision. Before rehearsal began Ellie was onstage crying because she was lost. Her teacher came and found her as I went and calmed her down and I thought things would go better from there. Then, during the same first routine with the big girls, Ellie charged the stage and I thought, she really thinks she can do that, doesn't she? Once again, her teacher had to grab her, but Ellie was happy and my only complaint was that she kept slipping away, which she has done in other childcare situations, so not a huge surprise...
Ellie then did her ballet routine "Sleigh Ride." She did really well. We learned she knew the routines so much better than we even suspected because in class she was only ever half-focused, but with a stage she was ready to ham it up!
Then the kids did the finale rehearsal so that the kids who were just in the first half could go home after. Ellie seemed pretty upset and cried again. I had to go get her and convince her over and over to keep doing the finale rehearsals. I thought it was strange she was so upset and asked her if she'd eaten any of her snacks. She seemed confused, which was a bad sign. The kids had to be checked in by 11:30 and it was now 1:20. If she hadn't eaten yet, she must be starving. I instructed her to go ask someone to help her get her sandwich and snacks so she could eat. I thought that would be the end and fix things.
And then Ellie came out for her hip-hop dance "Funky Y2C" which we call "hey little mama." Here's how things STARTED.
Ellie then cried about not dancing, and cried about trying to dance, and cried about not dancing, repeat. It was BAD. I checked her out and grabbed her stuff and we headed for the car. On the way there Ellie just kept crying that she wanted her sandwich. I just couldn't understand why she might be so hungry with all her snacks. I then checked her bag, to find that she had only eaten 1/4 of a PB&J since I had dropped her off. Period. I. Was. ANGRY. That is putting things lightly... It was a long story, but the teacher and I exchanged e-mails later and I still don't know how, but supposedly they couldn't find Ellie's food. I don't know, but it was not a happy experience for any of us, and at this point we were STRESSED about how Ellie would do and be cared for that night at the recital...
We got Ellie home, she scarfed down food, and we got her a nap in the few short hours between the rehearsal and recital. Then I got her up and got her ready and we took her to the recital. I checked her in with repeated instructions about where her snacks were and that she could eat any time she got hungry, which is not the norm in our home. And then we hoped for the best. When we sat down for the recital I had real butterflies going, but then Ellie did her first dance and I was "beaming" to quote the Bennett side.
Now, the worrying continued as we had to wait for about an hour till Ellie's next performance in hip-hop which had gone so horribly awry that afternoon. Then the little girls came out to perform.
Seriously, I was so proud and relieved after the emotional rollercoaster of a day we had experienced that I just about cried. At this point, she'd done it. Who cared if she made it to the finale or not? Little did we know, the finale would be our favorite part of the whole show.
We had high hopes when they sat Ellie center stage without a teacher within arms reach... But Ellie seemed content to wave and do what she was supposed to, so Steve turned the camera off. And then he had to quickly turn it back on to catch Ellie getting some of the biggest cheers of the night!
I love that after her teacher (also the studio director) came and got her she just went back to waving like nothing had happened. Seriously, we love this girl. After the finale we were congratulated by the families we know from Prosser who also had daughters in the show. They were all hoping she would upstage everyone based on earlier rehearsals too. Funny girl.
We then went and checked Ellie out and gave her the flowers we bought for her. We got her dressed and went and picked up some pizza and ice cream for a special treat which we had promised her if she managed to get through the night without mishap. We headed home to enjoy our treats and got pictures of Ellie being funny waving her flowers around.