Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Who Steals Ruby Slippers from Children?

"GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. - A pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" and insured for $1 million is missing from a Grand Rapids museum.....The children's museum houses the Judy Garland museum, which displayed the same pair of slippers last year. Garland was born in Grand Rapids in 1922...."The slippers are a major attraction at our museum," Kelsch said in a news release Monday. "It is our hope that the slippers can be recovered immediately." -ET, Yahoo News

OK, so the slippers were insured for $1 million. But, taking away the main attraction of a children's museum? I don't know. Sounds fishy, but whoever stole them will surely burn in hell for disrupting entertainment education for kids! GIVE BACK THE SLIPPERS!

Monday, August 22, 2005

New York City - I met a guy named Joe!

We go to NYC all the time now.... for dance, of course. I love everything about it! Since L dances for 8+ hours every day, every trip, I have a lot of waiting to do and I'm having a great time meeting all types of people. People who are on the go, getting things done and going places. Even the "little people" seem to be motivated!

I met a guy named Joe who sold tickets for the Improv Comedy Club while I was sitting in front of Virgin Records. That guy must have been rejected in a hundred different ways by a hundred different people. It was quite funny to watch, but impressive too. Each time that Joe was rejected, he'd just smile and move on to the next potential tourist. As we talked, I learned that he usually sells about 8 tickets a day and that he was on ... something like his 54th job in the city. He'd originally moved to NY to make films. During the hour or so that I was waiting, I saw Joe put on at least seven different accents ... how impressed I was with his acting abilities. I'll definately go back and buy some tickets from him ... simply because he really worked hard to earn a buck .... plus I really do like comedy.

I also met a guy named Mo et. Not sure if I spelled it right, but he was there trying to sell the Hip Hop CDs that he made on his computer. I think I shocked him. I was standing there talking with Joe, the comedy guy and mo et was looking at me saying "do you like hip hop?" ... well, at least I though he was talking to me ... hahaha. When I said "yea", his eyes widened and said "YOU!! like hip hop?" Understand that I'm 43 and a bit rotund and, well, I'm momish. hahahaha. Well, he did let me listen to a bit of cd that he tried to sell me for $10 out of his bag. I really liked it ... a lot! I will go back and buy one from him one of these days when I have an extra $10 ... if I can find him. If you hear of him, give his music a try!

Here is pic of L on one of our long walks back to 42nd Street! Love Time Square!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Get out of my way!!!!!!!

Rude dance parents drive me nuts! Recently I was watching my daughter in a dance class. Just sitting there minding my own business, quietly sitting next to the other dance parents who were watching their kids too. Then these two mothers come into the room and stand RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!! Of course, they were blocking my entire view. I waited a minute to see if they were just temporarily looking into the class and then moving on. When it became clear that they had chosen their viewing spot, I nicely asked the mother blocking my view if she could move over a foot because she had blocked my view. She threw me the most annoyed look as if I had a lot of nerve to ask her to move. She did end up moving... Now, I'm confused.... she was ruder than rude, but she was annoyed with me? First, I want to know why people think they are the only ones that exist in society, that they are the more special than everyone else. Why did this woman feel that she was more entitled to see into the class than I was? Or was she that oblivious that she just didn't think that her wide posterior might have hindered someone's viewing pleasure! But this is not the first, nor the last viewing situation I've found myself in ....

I was sitting in another classroom with lots of space around the sides of the room and these two male dance students, approx 20 years old, walked into the room and stood right in front of me. They were literally five inches from my face.... butts five inches from my face!!!! The didn't even turn to notice that I was there. They just stood there, closely enough so that I couldn't see anything. They never moved and this time I was just too tired to say anything and the class was almost over, so it wasn't worth it. But, I ask again, why don't people pay attention? In this case, how does one hold one's butt five inches from someone elses face and not notice it? I could've bitten you! .... a thought I'll keep for next time! Argh!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Reality - So you think you can dance!

Not going to NYC this Sunday, as planned. Instead, we're saving the money for mirrors in the dance studio. $400.00!!!! Hope we can get them by October. Our mailman must be on vacation because our issue of Backstage hasn't come yet. I'm kind of pissed off since it cost $150.00 for the subscription and we didn't get this weeks copy. But who do you get mad at? The girl who substitutes for our mailman doesn't really pay attention... on a regualr basis ... and if I complain, she'll just fall apart. Can't wait till he gets back ... best mailman we've ever had. Ha! I'm watching Trading Places with Eddy Murphy and Dan Akroid. I think it's true ... people really do adapt to their environments... or at least they try to. My daughter and I have had a lot of fun watching "I want to be a Hilton"... Brainless fun and escapism! I enjoy 'reality' tv. Yes, we are watching 'So you think you can dance' L, my daughter, studied with one of the choreographers in NYC, so we're watching to support him. The dance world is very small, so we know of a few of the contestants too. It's been fun to watch, although mostly not up to the caliber of dance we're used to.

Stage Mom My Ass!

Stage Mom My Ass! One of the most frequently used terms in show business and young performers is 'Stage Mom.' I've known a lot of dance and performer moms throughout the years. I've never met a stage mom ... at least not one that fits the standard definition. Seems to me that the term is now used for ANY parent who speaks up about wanting to get his or her child more training or solo training or more into the spotlite. And what is wrong with putting your child into the spotlite? If no one knows you're there, no one will hire you. If no one knows you're there, no one will see you. If no one knows you're there, no one will call you to do anything!!! Talent or no talent!

I once knew this woman and her daughter. The daughter was good at some things and absolutely horrible at most everything else. Everyone labeled her as a girl with very little talent. There was NO chance she would be selected to solo. Her mother practically camped out in the dance studio office constantly asking about solo opportunities, private lessons, auditions, etc. She drove her daughter to NYC at least once a week for auditions (which she got sometimes) and demanded that she be given special attention by asking for private lessons so her daughter could improve on the areas where she was lacking. Well in this studio, private lessons were reserved for kids who demonstrated natural talent. When the mother got upset because the dance teachers would not give private lessons to the girl, they labeled her as a stage mother ... and the worst kind. The mother left the studio ... and rightly so ... as I heard the 'after hours' gossip and her daughter would never have had a chance there. The girl ended up at a studio with a lesser reputation where they were not too proud to give the girl a solo and she grew into a beautiful dancer who started winning lots of dance awards. I saw this girls mother as a good mother who stood up for her child and fought for the good of her child ... not a stage mother. If that's what a stage mom is, then anyone who is not a stage mom should be ashamed.

I find the term stage mom is most often used by studio owners and instructors who ... after closer investigation, aren't giving that child what they need and the parents say something about it. Sure, there are some kids who clearly lack talent ... but where do these instructors think that the talent comes from? ... That is, after all, what kids take lessons for. I'm so sick of hearing that a child is hopeless if they don't have "natural talent" ... like these people know talent when they see it. In fact, I've seen many kids who "lacked talent" leave one studio, only to flourish in another studio. It is true, that sometimes parents see more talent than really exists, but many times when a parent points out the potential for talent, they are labeled as a stage parent.

I should have spoken up more for my daughter. I should have tried to earn the stage mom label a little sooner. I should have been loud and requested more than she got. Fact is, that because I was quiet and followed the rules of the studio, my daughter suffered. Only after I realized that my complacency was hurting her, did I begin to speak up and get her what she needed. It took her a lot of work to catch up and thankfully, she did. So, if you ever run into anyone who is labeling another parent a stage mom, they probably have some kind of motive behind calling them that. It's probably because they don't want to do what the parent knows is best for their child. It's probably because the parent wants to be in control of their own kid ... which is kind of their job as a parent, isn't it!

Friday, August 12, 2005

My life as a dance mom! The Journey Begins!

"When I grow up, I either want to be a baseball player or a ballerina!" How was I supposed to know, nineteen years ago, that she was serious?! By the way, the baseball thing . . . . didn't work out. That's her on the left in her first ballet studio.

My name is .... well, let's just call me Dannielle. That's the name I chose for myself when we were forced to choose a name for College French when I was twenty. It's pronounced with a bit of a flare 'Don Yellll e' with the tongue held against the back of teeth a moment longer than any normal person would feel comfortable holding it and then add a whispering little grunting noise when expressing the 'e' at the end. Don Yelll e. Makes me sound sexily foreign and intriguing . . . . o.k., maybe it makes me sound a little dramatic, but I like it that way!

Back to my story. It all began, like I said, about nineteen years ago. I was a young mother charged with the seemingly simple task of finding a place for my little princess to take some dance classes. Sounds easy, right? WRONG!!!! It was to be the beginning of my journey to the guilt ridden world of making wrong choices in dance. If I only knew then what I know now....

If you're an experienced dancer, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Silly things like turnout and the bones fusing together at the hip before a poor dance mom has a clue that turnout has to be developed before age twelve ... or else! Argh!!! That's where my guilt begins, I didn't even know what turnout was until she turned fourteen.... just when she decided to become a professional dancer. I'd unwittingly ruined my three year old daughter's wish to become a professional ballerina ... even before her first audition! O.K., I hear you all "Don't be so hard on yourself. How were you to know?" Well I agree. How was I to know... THAT, after all, is why I hired a professional dance teacher!!!!! #@!%$# $#^@^% #$#$@ #$@%$!!!

In case you're all wondering, she is a wonderful dancer and is on the professional dance track. We travel to New York City two to three times a week for auditions and training. However, I often wonder if it's too late for her to start in baseball .....