endless stream of 5 year-olds in false eye-lashes
Sunday May 29th 2005, 11:23 pm
Filed under: personal

this holiday weekend i’m in anaheim. my daughter liesl (11) is in a dance competition at the disneyland hotel. i’ve been here many times before for the same purpose (she’s been in competitive dance for years). so i know the drill. i know where the coffee shops are, and how to get my parking for free.

there are literally thousands of dancers here — all 5 to 18 years old. three large stages in ballrooms have a constant flow of performances in front of a judging panel, and the whole thing runs for three days. mindnumbing is truly the best word i can think of for the experience. one can only sit through so many groups of 7 year-olds dancing to a rockabilly song (apologies to dan kimball) before glazing over. and i know too much about this now: i know about lyrical and ballet and tap and jazz and hip-hop and production and, even, folkloric. sorry — i know this is cold — but two or three girls in what can only be described as a costume from “cats”, rolling around on the stage in a “lyrical” routine to “send in the clowns” must — absolutely must — kill off brain cells.

a tiny number of dads shuffle around, toting props and pink-and-black-zebra-striped dance bags, not making eye contact with anyone, afraid that doing so might somehow imply that they are either: a) a dancer themselves, or b) some sicko who enjoys watching endless streams of 5 year-olds do what can only be called “tap” since god invented the word “grace”. or even worse, as a sicko who enjoys watching the 16 year-old girls.

yes, kids — this is how the president of youth specialties spent his memorial day weekend: watching pre-teen girls dance, by the hundreds.

oddly enough, we are 1/2 mile from the “it’s a small world” attraction at disneyland, which has the same effect.

but my daughter loves it. and i get all choked up watching her, because she loves it so much. she rocked this morning in her trio (it was a “small group” of 4, until one of the girls rolled out of her bunk-bed this week and broke both wrists) danced a wicked-fast tap to a fun song called “supersonic”, and tied for 2nd place overall in her age category.

3 Comments so far
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Blessings on you, a God fearing man. As long as you don’t make us endure the same at NYWC, I envy you not (expect the being a great father part). Truly you are a man that is taking one for the team. Go Marko!!

Comment by Andrew Seely 05.30.05 @ 12:02 am

That was so completely hilarious and completely true- and I hope you have a tape of her competition, because i really want to see it!

Comment by lori rey 05.30.05 @ 10:17 am

I once went to watch some of teens from our youth group in a cheering competition. There were a couple guys who were on the team. I asked them if they ever get harassed for being guy cheerleaders. They said yes, but that it was worth it to hang out with 17 girls all the time.

Comment by kevin 05.31.05 @ 9:22 am

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