You ever do something, knowing that it is likely a waste of time, but you just have to do it anyway? My sweetie and I have been struggling with a hard question involving Crafty. For a 10-year-old (almost 11), she is quite tall and a beautiful dancer. This past week we had to decide if we wanted to allow her to try out for Ballet West’s Nutcracker.
Three years ago we were faced with the same dilemma for Princess. Except we were told that the effort was probably futile but that it was a good experience for her to try out for a real ballet, she could put it on a resume…you get the idea. Basically we were coerced into giving her an opportunity we were pretty sure would turn into heartbreak. Imagine our surprise when our almost 12-year-old Princess landed a part as a red soldier!
The commitment was grueling. She had to be pulled out of school on several occasions for rehearsals and performances. She had to miss dance classes and the entire experience was very expensive! She needed professional pictures, a warm-up outfit and a t-shirt all emblazoned with “Ballet West.” There were dance bags and luggage tags. And don’t forget that I had to buy 15 tickets to the show! But even from our nosebleed seats we could see her dance her heart out on that amazing stage in the Capitol Theater…we were so proud.
So that brought us back to today. We decided to let Crafty audition, even though we didn’t have the time or the funds. We also didn’t want the guilt. At noon today, I took her down to the theater. She stressed with me for 30 minutes after she checked in and then she disappeared with over a hundred other girls into a practice room. After an hour of intensive rehearsal, they strutted their stuff on the stage.
As parents, we hung out in the lobby, sweating it out as we mentally tried to guess who might get in and who might be cut. Crafty and I were both pretty pragmatic. Even though she wanted to be like Princess and dance with a big-time ballet company, she knew she would have to give up things to participate. I knew that if she made the cast our lives would become incredibly complicated. But still, there we were, putting it all on the line.
We stood for a moment, arms around each other. We both knew it was not the end of the world, although for some of these girls it obviously was. One of Crafty’s dance teachers also had her daughter there for the audition and she hugged my girl and assured her that she was an amazing dancer. Then arm-in-arm, Crafty and I slipped passed the happy girls who were just released to happy parents with a folder welcoming them to the Ballet West family. It only took us halfway to the parking lot before she was talking about next year…she would have her pointe shoes by then…she would be almost 12…yeah, not the end of the world for us. Not by a long shot.