Today was my daughter's last dance class for the season, but it wasn't the last class for the rest of her friends. We opted out of the recital and the last few weeks are spent entirely on recital readiness, so I decided to save us both the annoyance and end lessons early.
She had been asking for a break and the timing was perfect. Or so it seemed. Apparently, her teachers did not share my sentiment. As the only one that opted out of the recital, I'm sure they saw me as the ultimate cheapskate.
I'll be honest, we saved over $400 by not participating in the recital. Yes - I said $400. But that wasn't my only motivation. My daughter loves to dance, but she hated the "routines."
She said the structure of the class made her "exhausted." It took the fun out of dancing for her. That's why she was begging for a break. And the recitals are 4 hours long. For 4 hours, the girls wait behind the stage with their teachers. At some point (unknown to all but the dance company) they come out for their first routine. Then they head back stage for a costume change and wait some more. Then at some point they have their second routine. 4 hours, a crabby brother, and an exhausted little girl later, the recital is over. I didn't want to do that at 3 or 4 years old.
Maybe next year. Or maybe not after today's fun filled conversation with her dance instructors. I went up to their desk to inquire about her dance trophy. They were originally scheduled to be given out in March and since it was the last class of the month and we wouldn't be coming back, I wanted to be sure she got one. Not because I want more junk, but because she had been looking forward to it.
So I asked. They told me to stop by in the summer and pick it up and...."oh by the way, why are you taking the next month off from dance?" Well, she wants a break and since they'll only be working on recital details, it seemed like a good time. "What will you be doing instead?" We'll be hanging out at home, playing outside, that sort of thing. "Sounds boring." Hmmm... "You know, she's really good at dance. She would have been great at the recital." I'm sure she would have been great. Maybe next year. "Yeah.... you know she would have loved the stage. You really should have had her in the recital." Okay. I'm going to get her things ready.
Like moms need any extra guilt! This was a new form of peer pressure that I wasn't ready for. But whatever, I know why they're mad she isn't in the recital. And yes, part of it was a money saving situation. But a bigger part was a stress saving situation. I'm not going to put our family through extra stress or financial burden just because someone else thinks I should.
These same instructors coerced my friend into signing her daughter up for 4 consecutive dance classes (on top of swimming, gymnastics and kindergarten.) Her poor mom is run ragged and she's only 5. She spends so much time running from place to place and to competitions on the weekend. I don't want that life. Especially not at 3 and 4 years old. No thank you!