Shining Star took 2nd in Phoenix out of 22 routines!

February 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

 Watch a short video
 from some clips of the Shining Star dance team http://vimeo.com/36248076 

This past week has been very busy at work with projects and with photo shoots.  I have been complaining more than I usually to Charlie that all the driving I’m doing on a weekly basis is killing me.  It a 35 minute commutes to the girl’s school, 40 minutes to work, 20 minute to the dance studio from work, and then another 40 minutes back home.  A grand total of two hours and 35 minutes a day on the road (when there is light traffic), every day and that’s not counting the traveling I do during my regular work day.  I spend most of the weekends cleaning the house and doing laundry.  10 loads laundry between Statuary and Sunday for all five members of the family.  YUCK!  I guess that is the joy of being a mother!  During my down time I enjoy writing for the blog and editing photos from the photo-shoots, which I absolutely love!!  Photography is my calling and I enjoy it more and more every day.  It is my escape and from this crazy busy life and brings meaning to my life on a level that words cannot express.
Charlie’s schedule is also jam packed; he takes care of our youngest, Alexandra.  He gets her ready every morning and rocks her to sleep every night.  Charlie is a project manager during the day and is an awesome father who has a passion for cooking and makes dinner for the family every night.   This is a good thing because I can barely microwave a TV dinner.   We both feel a little overwhelmed and sometimes debate who is busier than the other.  Sounds familiar?   I hope we are not the only couple that feels this way.  I challenged Charlie to trade places with me for a couple weeks to get a taste of all the driving I do each week; Charlie accepted my challenge.  Thursday Charlie picked up Leyla and Leah from school and I picked up the baby Alexandra from day care.  This was the first day of our trading schedules.  It was so nice to come home after a long day and not have to sit at the dance studio for another 3 hours or more after work.  My gas tank was happy too!!  When I arrived home I put a load of laundry in the washer, picked up the living room, unloaded the dish washer and vacuumed.  Alexandra was my little helper and enjoyed being with Mom.  Everything was going well, I felt relaxed and happy that I was getting an early start on laundry.   I only had one thing left on my check list, dinner!  
I could not remember the last time I cooked and I started to feel a little nervous.   I ran though the meals in my head that I know I could make.  Hmm… tacos, spaghetti and tacos and spaghetti.  That’s it?  Really?  No way!  I was sure more would come to me later and that I was just a little rusty.  I decided to make Spaghetti because you would have to be a complete moron to mess up spaghetti.  I flavored the ground beef and added spaghetti sauce.  I forgot that I put water in the pan when I was prepping so when I grabbed the pan off the stove to fill it with water it spilled all over the place, with most of it spilling on me.  I laughed and told baby Alexandra don’t worry I got this.  Alexandra smiled and said you got this mom?  Yes I got this!!   The water started to boiled, I grabbed the Gluten Free noodles and noticed that the package was rice noodles.   Oh my goodness, I thought, how hard can it be to cook rice noodles?  I glanced at the directions and the only difference I saw was the amount of time the noodles needed to cook.  To make a long story short, I have no I idea what I did, but I over cooked the noodles and they were mushy, very very mushy.  The dogs wouldn’t even eat it so how was I ever going to pass this off??

 Friday, I was at the dance studio and the girls were practicing getting ready for the next group completion in Albuquerque, NM.   I am starting to really get into this whole competition thing.    I think the girls are capable of placing first this year!!  The fact that Shining Star took 2nd in Phoenix out of 22 routines proves that this Tucson dance team can be a true competitor in Phoenix, and in any other city that is known for great fine arts.  What the heck do theses Phoenix dance team mothers feed their children to make them so good?  Even when I was a little girl Phoenix teams were always stronger in football, track, cheer and dance.  I am really getting tired of Tucson being second class citizens when it comes to the performance level of our children.   The fact of the matter is that our girls put in the time so there is no reason that we can’t take them down!!
 This week I videotaped one of the dances that will be in competition.   After playing the video in slow motion it became very clear what the team needs to work on.    
1) Facial Expressions: The girls are using facial expressions but they are all telling different stories.    Some of girls are smiling, while others look like they are about to cry.  That can be a little confusing to the audience.   As Leyla would say “I’m just saying.”
2) Timing: For the most part the girl looks together, but after watching the dance in slow motion there were areas that need to improve.  Arm placement, turns, and transitions are the most obvious ones.
3) Cleaning it up: Throughout the dance arms, turns, leaps, and transitions could be more precise; the girls need to dominate and own their performance. 
 I heard a comment from some of the girls that the dances were good and that there wasn’t much to work on.  Ok, I’m sorry, but only one of the dances placed in the last competition and they didn’t’ take first place overall. That tells me that there is still plenty to work on.   There is always room for improvement!!!  See, this is the problem; we settle for just being good instead of striving to be the best.  I pay way too much money to have a good dancer.  I want Leyla to want to be the best she can be, or don’t dance competitively.   I’m wondering how the teachers are feeling about the dance numbers?   All the girls love to dance and they are very close.  I also know they would love to take first in any competition.  I am really not sure what to do at this point.  Do I bring the tape and show the girls, or do I just say nothing?  Any advice??

P.S. Due to the large amount of emails I received requesting a video of the girls dancing I created a short video from some clips of the Shining Star dance team.  The video is a compilation from a performance and some of the practices.  I changed the music and combined different dances to protect the choreography from getting out to the competition.





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