Each age group had their own ballroom with plenty of room to move around. The choreographers taught the dancers from a small stage in the front of the room. They also had four dance assistants moving throughout the room to help the children. The first day of the workshop was jam packed with small breaks for the girls to have a snack, change shoes, and to eat lunch. The dances taught were Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet and Tap. There were taught by five different up-and-coming new choreographers that each brought a unique and different style to the classes.
One of the reasons I decided to watch the dancers was to see how our girls compared to the
Most of Shining Star, Shooting Star, and Future Star were all in the junior workshop group together. There were two girls who were in-between ages and decided to move up to the next age group. I am very proud of the girls who moved up because they had to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves =)
Overall our girls did ok in the first two dance classes. As the day continued many of the girls started to standout and were amongst the best in the class. In fact, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them!! They were dancing full on and had great facial expressions. Their poor little faces must have been sore by the end of the day from smiling so much. The Shining Star dance team mostly stayed in the first two rows in front of the stage. The girls were told to stay up front and not to slip to the back; which is exactly what they did. I would also like to add that they were very polite to the other dancers. We had a couple of dancers who really seemed to struggle. BUT not one child gave up or quit no matter how difficult the routines were. =)
Saturday night Competition
By the time I got downstairs the auditions were almost over. Some of the mothers from the other teams that I met at the Saturday workshop filled me it on what I missed. As the moms filled me in there were girls exiting the ball room who were cut. When one of the moms told me that they started with ballet across the floor I was surprised that Leyla hadn’t come out yet. Leyla is starting her third year of dance and just doesn’t have the same level of experience that some of the other girls on Shining Star have had. I had a talk with Leyla before the workshop began about not having high expectations about receiving a scholarship. I explained to her that she has come a long way in a short amount of time and will be going up against girls that may have had double the experience and that she should just concentrate on doing the best she can do. Leyla did well in the Saturday workshop but when it comes to auditions there is a lot of pressure and no room for mistakes. There are many good dancers that don’t do well under pressure or make one mistake and get cut in auditions. Aside from trying out for dance team this is really Leyla’s first audition. I wasn’t sure how she would perform under the pressure. Some of the parents took turns looking though the peep holes in the door. I have really bad eyesight so I couldn’t trust what I was seeing. It looked like all of our girls were sitting together and that they were cut from the auditions. The door opened and the dancers made their way out of the ballroom. When the crowd thinned out parents started to make their way into the room. I heard one of the mothers say that six of the girls made it to the finals. Leyla was one of the six that made it to the finals. I was so happy for her; what an accomplishment! Wait a minute, what the heck was wrong with me? Oh my goodness, Leyla made it to the finals! I wanted to run and give her a hug and congratulate all the girls who were going to the finals. My guess is that there were over a hundred dancers who tried out and only 22 of them made it to the finals. I held myself back from showing too much excitement. Some of the girls that didn’t make it were in tears and I remember how that felt from when I was a little girl. Most of these kids worked very hard during the workshop and to see their little faces and feel their disappointment broke my heart. I only wish I was able to take the hurt away when things go badly; but that is part of growing up. I waited about 10 minutes before walking over to Leyla and the rest of the girls.
The morning flew by and before I knew it the finals were starting. All the dancers from the different age groups went on stage for a dance off. As the final tryouts were being held on the big stage the room filled up quickly with eager parents and other dancers to watch the tryouts. The dancers were grouped by number and asked to dance. Once the group dances were completed they were asked to stand in line while the judges took a final look at each of the dancers. The older kids had an opportunity to dance a short solo in front of the crowd after their group auditions. These kids kicked some BUTT!! Since all the kids did very well, I had no idea how the judges were going to narrow it down to four or five dancers in each age group.
By the time the winners were announced Leyla and I were ready to go home. I could tell from her face that she was disappointed that her name wasn’t called. Even though I expressed to her how proud I was of her, I could tell she was still upset. On the way home she fell asleep exhausted from the fun, but long, weekend. I enjoyed meeting the other moms from the different dance teams and hope we will stay in contact with each other. After all, we might be at the next competition together!