the ballet team

So this weekend was the first big competition of the year for Mary’s dance studio–they attended one at the beginning of February, but without a lot of the new dances. This weekend was the first time Mary performed her group number from “The Lion King,” her trio, and the big ballet team number.

I have to say, when we agreed to put Mary into the ballet team, I had no idea how big a group it was going to be. There are 37–37!–girls in this dance. It’s “Friends” from Coppelia, and the music is great. The teacher/choreographer  (also known in these parts as “aunt Elaine”) put together this dance, and for the first few weeks it was barely-controlled chaos–I mean, it was amazing to me that they didn’t crash into each other. It got more and more polished, of course, but in a smaller space it’s hard to imagine exactly what it’s going to look like on stage.

The answer, apparently, is: it looks fabulous.

It’s the most exciting, fun dance. I am not knowledgeable about ballet, and usually I am more interested in other kinds of dances, but I love this one. I think it reminds the audience that ballet is supposed to be fun, is supposed to be entertainment, is supposed to tell a story. The crowd in the auditorium–including all of the people who had come in just to wait for the next number, which featured their own kids–was transfixed by it.

Anyway, it’s just shocking to see it on stage and see how ambitious and lovely it is. And it’s wonderful to see the girls Mary’s age dancing with the seniors (and all of the ages in between) and see ALL of them understanding what the purpose of the dance is.

I don’t have any onstage pictures–not allowed–but here is one of Mary showing off her costume:


And here’s one of the massive crowd of girls getting ready to go on:

They won first place, by the way–which is fun, even though it’s not really the exciting or important thing. The exciting and important thing is, everyone in the auditorium was happy by the end of their dance. It’s a totally irresistible, happy performance. Way to go, Miss Elaine. I can’t even imagine how much vision it takes to put together so many pieces and be able to think ahead to what they’re going to look like.

p.s. The whole studio did well this weekend. And Mary’s other dances were a lot of fun–the new musical theatre number and her trio were both adorable.


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