I've mentioned plenty of times in the past, the Small Person has been attending dance classes at The Whiteman Dance Academy since she started school two years ago. She does ballet and tap on a Monday, and she does freestyle and musical theatre on a Saturday.
The Whiteman Dance Academy puts on a show every two years. We just missed the last one when she started, so this July was show time - Alexandra's first ever show. It was performed at the Spa Centre in Leamington Spa over two nights: Wednesday 18th July and Thursday 19th July, the last week of term (so, very sleepy children heading off to school those mornings). She looked very grown up with the inch thick make-up on her face! But she looked tiny on stage. Still my little baby.
|(Sorry, these were taken on my phone so aren't great quality!)|
She had some fantastic costumes that we had to purchase through the dance school. There was a point where each week a new little note would come home with the costume name and price on (it certainly adds up), then each little costume had a extra note in the bag detailing additional items to buy (white pumps, white ankle socks, pink ballet socks, blue/white/red trousers, blue/red/white hair accessories etc).
Alexandra was in one dance per class that she takes, and the finale, so five in total. She was in the opening number: Sugar Plum Fairies for ballet.
On the opening night, at one point after the lights had gone down and the audience had finished clapping (you know, that big bit of silence where everyone is waiting for the next number to start) there was this little voice that called out "Help! I can't see! Where am I going?!" - it was one of the tiny dancers coming off stage. That got a few laughs.
Alexndra was in Aladdin for musical theatre (and had an Arabian costume), which actually consisted of 3 songs performed by the group: A Friend Like Me, A Whole New World, and Price Ali. This was probably my proudest moment because she really puts emphasis into her acting and her facial expressions just crack me up, but even more proud as she had a solo line to sing in "Whole New World" and I could hear her loud and clear (and in tune!) and it didn't even seem to phase her that there was a big audience of strangers watching her.
She had a quick change for her next number (only one dance in between, and she was the only one with a quick change here) for "Singing the Blues" for tap. The dress rehearsal and the first night everything went smoothly, the last night, she was just a little late, and she came running on stage with a big grin on her face saying "I'm late". Everyone in the audience laughed, and I heard a few people say they thought it was part of the performance :) She said Singing the Blues was her favourite.
She got a little bit of a break then until the opening number of Act II which was called "The School Bell" and was with her freestyle class. Then there was a huge gap until the finale. The finale was in red, white and blue, with an Olympic theme and and appearance from 'The Queen'.
It was so much fun to watch and all of the dancers were wonderful. Sharyn and her team did a fantastic job.
I spent the dress rehearsal night in the dressing room with her trying to make sure it went into her head what she needed to do and when. It didn't go all that smoothly, and she asked if I could write it down, so I did a mini print out for her with a list of things to do for each cotsume change an things to ask for grown up help with (there were chaperones in the rooms), but I was still worried, so enlisted the help of my sister for opening night. I watched the performance on my own, my sister stayed with Alexandra in the dressing room. It really put my mind at ease. The next night, I think Ali had a bit more of an idea of what she was doing and when, so it all seemed to go OK (and we didn't lose any costume bits!).
She had a big smile on her face the whole time, and said how much fun she'd had. She didn't get whiney or tired, which considering she put in full days at school, came home, ate dinner and rushed off to the theatre until gone 10pm, for 3 days in a row, is quite an achievement in itself. We even gave her the chance to take one of the mornings off from school to catch up on sleep, but she was adamant she wanted to go into school on time.
She was just so excited after the whole thing. She loved every minute of it. I asked her if she felt nervous at all at any point, and she said "I think I did a little bit before we went on, but then I was just having fun so it went away." She also asked me if she keep dancing forever. I said she could keep dancing as long as she still thought it was fun. I'm so glad she had such a great time, I really enjoyed watching the show, and I can't wait to see the video when it's finished being edited.
As I said before, Mr Bogert was on photo duty and someone he knows did the professional video, so we'll have plenty to remember her first stage performance by.
She has another show coming up in August, but this time with Playbox Theatre who she goes to on a Friday. The show is called "Starry Nights" and has 150 children of varying ages in, but I haven't a clue what it is about. Rehearsals for that run from the Tuesday to the Thursday, 9am-4pm, and then part day on the Friday, of the week of the show. There are two performances on the Friday, one at 3pm and one at 7pm. She is so excited! I'll let you know how it goes.
But as for this very first performance: Good job Small Person!