Albuquerquewas a great success for Dance Force 1

April 09, 2012  •  Leave a Comment
Allyson place 1st in her Solo
Leyla and Sarah

Albuquerquewas a great success for Dance Force 1. Shining Star team, the team Leyla’s on, took first place, sound place, third place, and fourth place overall.  They ROCKED that house!  The Lyrical dance “Somebody” took first, the Jazz dance “Party Girls”took second, and the other Lyrical dance “Warrior Is a Child” took third place.  My money is on “Party Girl”taking in all the way this year!!  Each competition is different so you never know what the judges will be looking for and how the dances may place in any given competition.  They may sweep the competition, like in Albuquerque, and may not even place at all in the next competition. The dance “Party Girl” took 2nd overall in Phoenix out of 22 dances and 2nd in Albuquerque.  I just got a really good feeling about this dance!!

"Somebody" Place 1st overall
"Party Girl" Place 2nd overall

"Warrior Is a Child" Place 3rd overall
 (this photo taken by ShowStopper)

 Competition can be very stressful and I have to say that every competition is a new learning experience for me.  I’ve had to learn so much in a short amount time.  I hope that Leyla and I can come to a better understanding of each other and learn to leave the stress at home and not bring it into the dressing room. The biggest challenges are the back to back dances with very little time to change costumes in between each routine.  Changing tights on a warm sweaty body on a child with big feet without tearing them is beyond frustrating.  The more you panic the worse it becomes.  I never remember feeling so stressed during a competition when I was a kid.  I think it’s harder on the parents.  I know that, for me, the main stressor is that I just do not want to let Leyla down.  It is times like this when I hope Leyla knows how much I love her and how proud I am of her.  As a mom of an 11 year old it can be tough since while I know that deep down she recognizes all that I do for her, on the surface it does not usually show up as often as I would like.  I always end of thinking of what my mom went through with me and I gain a new appreciation for her.  Hopefully I won’t have to wait until Leyla is a dance mom…

Winter-Dance Force 1 2012  Regionals Junior Group

The most rewarding moment for me was watching all the girls dance on stage.  These kids are amazing and are way better than I ever was. I’m sure my mom would argue that! =)  There were times during the competition where I had chills and was frozen in my seat. The love of dance came through in their body movements and expressions of some of the dancers. I don’t think it would be possible for me to ever get tired of watching these kids dance!!!  Amazing! This time in their lives will shape them into who they will become as adults.  You can’t put dollar value to that .  All I can do is hope that the influences of their dance teammates, the hard work to learn the dances and prepare for the competitions, the experience of the competitions, and the knowledge that their moms will always be there for them will be enough to ensure that they become the best young women they can be. 


The girls had last week off from dance for spring break.  We got to have great family time.=)   We baked cupcakes, caught up on TV,  read , shopped,  but most importantly we were able to just have time together; it was very good for all of us.  Today, Monday, the girls are back at the dance studio getting ready for this week’s competition/workshop in Phoenix.   It called LA Dance Magic  Each dance studio can only enter a maximum of 25 routines in the competition.  Leyla will be performing in four team dances.   This is the first dance workshop for Leyla and me and will be a full two days of dance plus a competition.  The first day is a workshop where Leyla and team will be learning dances from several different choreographers from 7:30 am until 3pm followed by a dance competition.  It’s a long day for the kids and the competition does not end until around 9 or 10pm.  The 2nd day will be auditions for a scholarship to the summer dance workshops.  This will be a great experience for Leyla. Stay tuned for updates and the results! 

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March 21, 2012  •  Leave a Comment
Fred the Owl

The room never cooled down so after a very hot night with little to no sleep I called
the front desk to have someone come look at the AC. While RL and I waited for the
maintenance guy to come to the room Sarah and Leyla went down stairs to buy their
wonderful sweet moms some Starbucks coffee. The first guy who came to the room
took one look at the AC and offered us a change of room. It was a nice offer, but
frustrating since we all had already unpacked everything and organized all the costumes
and makeup. We agreed to move rooms only if we would be upgraded to a nicer room
otherwise we would wait for them to fix the AC. The maintenance guy went back
downstairs to see about an upgraded room and said he would let us know in a few

Shortly after he left the girls were back with our yummy coffee. We would have made
coffee from  the coffee maker in our room but I think housekeeping forgot to ever
clean the coffee maker out because the water was yellow and smelly. The good news is
that at least I could use the creamers for my StarbucksI opened a creamer to poor it
in my coffee but instead of a smooth white fluffy cream I got chucks of curdled milk
My yummy coffee was now brown cottage cheesy, the room was hot, and I was feeling
like the day was not starting off the way we had hoped. When the girls told us that the
maintenance guy wasn’t looking into getting us another room but was instead standing
around talking to the Starbucks girl I just about lost it!!!

Instead, I called the front desk and asked to speak to a manger and after a few minutes
of polite but direct conversation he agreed to change our room for us right away and
included two free breakfast tickets as compensation. By the time we got in the new
room it was 10am and the girls were starving. The girls joined their friends downstairs
for breakfast while RL and I once again unpacked the room. I HATE to complain but
enough is enough and at this point we did not benefit by coming up Thursday rather
than Friday. We were not at all rested and were unpacking when the rest of the team
was checking in and eating breakfast together. The new room was not an upgrade
but the AC was working great!! At that point I allowed the AC to cool my temper and
decided to make the best of the situation for the rest of the day. Besides, my lovely
Leyla went back to Starbucks and explained what happened to my coffee and
they were nice enough to give her a new one…so
 I finally had both AC and coffee; the day was looking better already.

We arrived downstairs and joined the other dance force 1 moms. We all hung out while
the girls were playing on computers and being kids. Then we took the Hotel shuttle to
go explore Albuquerque and grab a bite to eat. The shuttle guy must have partied hard
the prior night because he almost hit a parked car on the way out of the hotel. He was a
very nice guy but every time you would ask him a question he would slam on his brakes
to avoid hitting a car in front of him. At first it was funny and we all laughed but after
the second time coming close to hitting a car we all agreed to not ask him any more
questions until we arrived to our destination safely.

One of the girls on the dance team, Allison, loves owls and has a wooden owl named
Fred that she keeps around her all the time for good luck. What is funny-odd about this
story is that Allison was playing around with one of the other girls while on the shuttle
and started telling her “fortune”. After a few minutes of “fortune teller theatrics” she
suddenly went quite and in a long drawn out whisper summed up the fortune telling
with the word “Biirrdd”. As all the girls were still in their quiet suspense filled state
Leyla happened to glance under one of the shuttle seats and saw a small wooden owl.
She promptly pointed and started screaming “Allison look it an OWL! ” It was Fred.
Allison had dropped him during the early morning shuttle ride to from the Airport and
never knew he was missing. Fortune came true…. Then in serendipitous fashion, the
restaurant where the shuttle dropped us off was across from “Bird Land” pet store,
which was close to the store where Allison originally saved Fred from the anonymity of
a souvenir shop shelf and to top it all off as we got off the shuttle I happened to look up
and guess what was in almost every tree in the area….you guessed it… OWLS!! Turns
out that almost every tree in the area had wooden owls on their branches ….Bizarre turn
to the day and it was just lunch….

First night in Albuquerque, NM

March 20, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I think I’m finally recovering from the Albuquerque, NM - Regional Competition.  We left Thursday night of last week and returned home Sunday around 8pm.   I never knew it was possible to experience so many mixed emotions in such a short amount of time.   
A group of us left Thursday night to Albuquerque even though competition didn’t start until Saturday.   One thing that sucks about planning your traveling for dance competitions is that you don’t always know which days you need to be at the theater until a week or two before competition.  We all got a great deal on our tickets and didn’t want to risk the cost of the flight increasing or not being able to get a direct flight so we booked the trip from Thursday thru Sunday. As it turned out the girls were only performing on Saturday and Sunday.  Robin and I thought that having an extra day would give the girls plenty of time to relax before the competition.

We checked in to the Doubletree by Hilton around 9:00pm.  I am not a fan of Hilton hotels; and it does not have anything to do with Paris Hilton. I just haven’t had one good experience in any of their hotels.    We were all hungry after the flight and had to order room service for dinner because the hotel restaurant closed early.  We had  used a shuttle service from the airport so we didn’t have any other options.  The next thing we did was check out the pool.  Leyla’s dad had brought her a new swim suit for the weekend and Leyla was looking forward to swimming with her friends.  I was looking forward to sitting in the Jacuzzi while doing absolutely nothing.  We walked through the hotel gym to get to the pool.  There was just one little small missing detail in the online description about the pool ….IT HAD NO WATER… and there was no Jacuzzi.  It never crossed my mind that the hotel wouldn’t have a pool available for guests year around.  I have never been to a hotel that didn’t have a pool.   Wow what a big disappointment!!    
Dinner was delivered to our room and we forgot to order drinks.  Opps..   We were pretty lucky because our room was right outside from a vending machine full of cool refreshing beverages.  Leyla and Robin searched the room for change and could only find a dollar.  The cost for a beverage was $2.00 but oddly enough the machine magically spit out a dollar bill. We thought that it would be ok to take the dollar bill under these circumstances since we couldn’t let the kids go thirsty.  Leyla inserted the first dollar bill but the vending machine kept spitting it out.  Both of the dollars was not accepted and we were all dying of thirst.  The end result is that we were a dollar richer and had to drink tap water.  When I told Leyla I was going to use the bathroom water to fill up the cups she just about had a heart attack.  Its sounds gross and in her defense she never had drank tap water before. It was actually pretty good.  It may sound crazy that she has never drunk tap water but there was a refrigerator with filtered water everywhere she’s lived; which is a little funny because I was raised on tap water.  Wow I’m getting old!!   
Robin lowered the air in the room since it seemed a little stuffy.  The best part of a hotel is the cool AC and being able to lower down the temperature to your likings.     We were disappointment when we found no refrigerator in the room and felt horrible to have to throw away our left-overs.  We were planning on buying food and eating healthy and now we had to rethink the food situation.  We found out later that we could have gotten a refrigerator for an extra $10/per night. 
 After dinner Leyla turned on the TV and flipped to the Disney channel and to our surprise there was a cost of $3.99 per episode. We decided to get ready for bed.  Robin open the door to the hotel to get some cool air in the room and notice the vending machine had spit out another dollar.  I thought maybe we were on Candid Camera and we were being filmed to see how many dollars we would take.  Our first Thursday in New Mexico was turning out to be an interesting start....

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Last chance workout!!

March 14, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Click here to watch a short video

 Sunday was the dress rehearsal for all of the dances that had not already been performed in a competition or that needed a little more practice.  Leyla was feeling horrible and had been fighting a bug since Thursday of last week.  She was complaining about a sore throat, felt warm, and had a light cough.   Strep throat has been going around and since it was Sunday so we had her checked and got her on some antibiotics.  They worked and Leyla started feeling better within a couple of days. The bad news is that her friend Sarah on the dance team now has a sore throat and Leah, my middle child, has had a 101 fever all day.  At this point I would be happy if we made it to competition alive. EmergenC has become our family’s best friend and the girls love the punch and berry flavors.  I just keep telling myself Think Happy Thoughts!!

Dress rehearsal was intense!  I think there were some dances that never got to run their whole dance number all the way though.  April, the owner,stopped the music for every little mistake the kids made and even made them doing push ups.   This had me VERY happy!   I know what kind of mom am I?? Tough Love!! Yah!  Hey, the way I see it is that you 'll never know when you’ll see the Abby Lee dance Company and we want to make sure we give them a run for their money (or beat them).

I recorded the dress rehearsal so that everyone can see little clips of some of the dances that are going to this week’s competition.  The girls have worked very hard and I hope we do well in competition.

I am happy to announce that I conquered the competition hair without the help of anyone else! Woo Hoo! Oh wait, there is more; I am done putting Rhinestones on everything!! Watch out world here I come.  Ha ha   Charlie surprised me today,no, not a wedding ring but with a UPS box that had clear panel garment bags and an On the Go Travel Companion.  He knew I had a tough time finding the right costumes because I had to go through every bag and it was always in the las tone I looked in.  So he found garment bags that have clear vinyl in the front and a solid color on the back. They should fit around 3 costumes each. Perfect!  I also picked up extra earrings and extra pairs of tights.  Tomorrow I am picking up fishnet stockings and eyelashes.   I am excited about the trip and have to admit that it feels really good to be prepared; what a relief.  I don’t want to jinx myself but my rookie days of being a dance mom might just be over.

Charlie is doing a photo-shoot event with out me while I’m in Albuquerque.  He even rented a kick butt lens that I won’t get to try until I get back in town form competition.  I know he’ll do a great job because he one of those people who is good at everything.  In fact he is making me look bad with the other dance mom’s.  He sewed the clips on Sarah and Leyla’s costumes and then on Saturday he baked both Gluten free and regular chocolate chip cookies for the girls and made enough so we could take some to the other girls at the dress rehearsal.  When Robin asked Leyla if I had made the cookie she replied“no it was Charlie.”   I’m sorry; I have to laugh at this point.  I don’t want to complain because Charlie is definitely my better half.  There is no other person in this world I rather take this journey of life with.            

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Before I knew it, it was hailing rhinestones.

March 09, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Me & Robin counting, counting, counting

This is so much FUN!!

 I can smell the competition in the air; it’s in the aroma stemming from the mist of sweat streaming off of the dancers practicing nonstop.  Yummy =)  The mothers are running around  like crazy hoping that all the costumes arrive in time to have the rhinestone added before  the competition that is only days away.  It’s such a bittersweet feeling.  I’m excited to see all the girls dance but I was not excited when I received this month’s bill.  My grand total was $951.00; not counting the traveling expenses for the competition, or the hospital bill for me after I fainted when I looked at the bill.  The only good news about this bill is that $279 was a mistake.  I did not realize that the $60 I paid per costume was just a deposit.  The high bill was the additional cost of the costumes that were not covered by the deposit.   While in shock I was asked by one of the other moms, who had to leave the dance studio for another obligation, to cut the girls Lyrical dance costumes.  The costumes were long so we needed to trim the length by 2 ½ inches.   Out of all the dance mom’s in the world why would you ever ask me??  Apparently none of them read my blog.  Before I could respond to Lalita she was gone!!!  Do you blame her?   I asked Robin “RL” to rescue me from ruining the costumes.   I felt horrible for asking her since she was recovering from strep throat and just wanted to rest.   Robin laughed and said yes, but I knew she wasn’t excited to help.  But I figured that between the two of us we could get it done without inflicting any major damage.  When it comes to messing up competition costumes I don’t know who I am more scared of; the girls or the other dance moms.  We decided to do our girls costumes first to make sure any mistakes we made would be to our girls and not anyone else’s.   After 20 minutes on one costume we built up confidence and a rhythm and completed the rest of the costumes by the time the dance class was done.  I have to add that we made no mistakes and receive “two thumbs” up from April.  

 Robin and I cut 2.5 inches off
When I got home I had some wine and was feeling good about where I was in preparation for competition.  All of a sudden I felt a rhinestone fall on me.  I must either be dreaming or Charlie had put something in my wine.  I know I should had have stopped at my first glass!  Before I knew it, it was hailing rhinestones.   This couldn’t be possible.  I had only one costume left to touch up.  I must have fallen asleep on the couch while watching TV, Charlie will wake me up any second…WRONG!!  That was no dream it was a premonition!  I received a text from Robin about all the costumes that needed rhinestone makeovers.  You have got to be kidding me. I starting to feel like I was never going to be done with rhinestones.   At this point all I could do is laugh and pour another glass of wine.

 Today the Future Stars dance moms had the DF1 lobby looking like a Nike clothes plant.  They had tables lined up along the wall and were clustered in groups rhinestoning away; they even order pizza.  Robin and I were once again asked to count out rhinestones for the team.  What did I do in life to deserve being constantly worrying about rhinestones?  I just cannot escape RHINESTONES!!  Luckily for me Robin is so sweet and offered to rhinestone one of Leyla’s costumes for me.  Thank you, thank you so very much Robin.  Well, to be honest we made a trade.  She would stone up the “It's My Party Girl” costume and I offered to have Charlie sew the clasp on one of Sarah’s costumes.  Nice trade…for me. Charlie was great about it and knew it was important to Leyla and me.  When Leyla found out that Robin was going to help me her expression of relief said it all.   
Future Star

Page after a long day at work rhinestoning

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