|Shining Star Dance Team|
I cannot believe that competition has come and gone, and I’m still alive!! “Barely”
Leyla’s first competition of the year was Saturday Jan 21st. I tried very hard to get a head start, we even left Friday night after our photo shoot at 6pm to make sure we would have enough time on Saturday. I spent most of the day busy working from home, and between checking emails, I'm busy working hard putting rhinestones on the costumes. Leyla stayed home from school on Friday; my poor child was exhausted and fell asleep in the car Thursday on the way to school. I was really worried that she wasn’t getting enough sleep since we live about 40 minute away from the dance studio and don’t get home until almost 9:00 p.m. at night. By the time I get the girls ready for bed its 10 p.m. Charlie and I usually get to bed by 1 a.m.; and I wonder what wrong with my brain. Leah, our 6 year old, packed her own suit case and Leyla packed her baby sister Alexandra’s suit case. By the time we left the house it was 9:20 p.m. and my brain was shot for the night. I was excited to get on the road and my adrenaline kept me from falling asleep during the trip; well that and a crying two year old baby. Charlie and I forgot to pack her bottle and she is one stubborn little SWEET ANGLE; she cried the entire way up. NO, we did not stop to buy a bottle because we had to show her was BOSS. Clearly it’s wasn’t us!!!!!
My plan was to finish putting rhinestones on Leyla’s hip-hop boots, and jazz costume once we got to the hotel. No, I still wasn’t done with the rhinestones; I know that you’re thinking it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to glue rhinestones. No comment, I’ll take the 5th. By the time we finished checking in to the hotel it was 11:00 p.m. already and we were all dying from sleep deprivation. As we were unpacking I noticed that the bag with rhinestones was missing. Leyla reminded me that she had handed it to me on the way out. I honestly had no recollection of what I did with the bag. Charlie had already left for Wal-Mart to buy the baby a bottle so I called him and had him look for rhinestones. Wal-Mart did not have the right kind and size but they did have a bottle. I was about to cry from the stress so I guess I was lucky that I just fell asleep. Leah and Leyla shared a bed and Charlie and I shared a double bed with Alexandra. I think I had her foot in every part of my body that night. Or maybe it was Charlie’s foot =/
The next morning Charlie went to Michael’s on a rhinestone hunt, Leah played with Alexandra and I tried to do Leyla’s hair. The competition hair was going to cause me to have a nervous breakdown. I watched the You tube video 10x and after 45 minutes of close but not-quite I was going to kill someone. I was sure that Leyla wanted to cry but she was probably too scared to because of what her crazy mom might do. I decided to move on to something I was good at, makeup. Charlie was back from Michael’s and took Alexandra and Leah to Breakfast so I started on Leyla’s makeup until I realized I didn’t bring the right foundation color for her skin. I wanted to scream, but instead I decided to start putting on the rhinestones. I glued all the jazz rhinestones on while Leyla ate the breakfast Charlie brought back, and by the time I was ready to start gluing the rhinestone on the hip hop boots I noticed that we didn’t have the right color pink. Can someone pinch me because this has to be a bad dream!!
After breakfast Charlie took Alexandra and Leah for another hunt to look for the right color rhinestones. Time was not on our side, tick-tock tick -tock, we were running out of time. Charlie bought a series of four foundation colors that he thought matched Leyla from Walgreens and found pink rhinestones he thought matched a picture on his phone from Michael’s. Ching, ching goes the ATM. Leyla and I gathered everything together and ran out the door to meet Charlie in the lobby. No one was ready. Alexandra has a one-of-a-kind afro and Leah? Well, we just won’t go there. I hadn’t brushed my hair or my teeth. I probably should have had a paper bag over my head.
I called RL because I needed to have someone to come to my rescue and RL has been a great friend to me. We car pool together during the week and she always makes comments about how grateful she is for my help. Little does she know how unbelievably blessed I am to have her and her beautiful daughter Jade in my life. RL shared with me how she was also having trouble with the competition hair, and not that I wanted her to have a hard time, it was nice to hear that it just wasn’t me. When I told her about the rhinestones she eased my pain by assuring that no one would be able to tell from far away. Slowly I started to feel that I could breathe again.
We arrived about 90 minutes early to the competition and found the dressing room. Another mom and her daughter did Leyla’s hair. I have to tell you that I am so very blessed, the moms were unbelievable. Everyone came together to help each other. I’m still in shock by how smooth they were!! The dressing room was very small we were packed in there like sardines, all I kept thinking was “Crud, I didn’t brush my teeth!” There were suitcases everywhere, by the toilet and in the shower. I was not impressed with how the competition was being run. Every dancer had to pay $70 and up for each routine they competed in. Leyla was in 5 dances, $ 350 dollars, and that’s nothing compared to some of the other dancers in the dance studio. On top of the dancers being packed backstage, there were not even enough seats for every one to watch. The parents, friends, and family were lined up outside waiting for a seat to become available. Absolutely ridiculous!! Not only were there lines but eventually they cleared the theaters and only let people in just as the dance was starting. The moms missed the start of one of the dances because they would not let us in on time and there were plenty of extra seats. Leyla had four dances separated by three dances in between. One of the people working in the theater tried to have Charlie, Alexandra, and my pregnant friend leave to free seats. At least until Charlie told her there was no way he was going to constantly wake up his sleeping 2 year old just to go and stand back in line and that it was not very empathetic to do the same to someone that was 8 months pregnant. The lady grumbled but left them alone after that.
When it was time for Lelya’s team, Shining Star, to perform I’m happy to say that all the rhinestone were on and looked great. The first dance to go on stage was called “Party Girls,” the girls rocked it!! They were absolutely amazing. After each dance we ran backstage to help change the girls into the next costume. I was a complete mess (blaming little feet and no sleep) and was amazed when every mom on our team jumped in to help!! Leyla misplaced one of her tights and BM reached into her bag and gave Leyla an extra pair. I could give another dozen examples of a helping hand. WOW!!! The moms supported each other, took care of all the girls together and were not just a team of mom’s but a force of nature! They ROCKED it!!
April, the dance teacher, texted a mom to tell the girls that they did great on “Party Girls.” You could feel the energy in the room when the girls got the message. If I could freeze time I would freeze moments like this and then set them to aside to look at whenever anything bad happens to remind us that the smiles and excitement on the girl’s faces makes it all worth it!! I was very impressed with most of the numbers and I enjoyed watching them all dance more than anything in the world. I’m so proud of Leyla. That night, while watching Leyla dance on stage, I could feel the love and passion she has for dancing.