Zoe’s First Dance Recital (a REAL one)


Remember that last recital? Though that class was the same dance company, it was a small extension course through Zoe’s school. Because of that course (and how excited she got to wear a tutu), we signed her up for the “real deal”, and she’s been taking dance classes once a week since mid-January.

Yesterday, Creation Station put on a HUGE dance recital with just over 100 kids ranging in age from 18 months to 6 years (lots of 2-4 year olds) in a local middle school auditorium. It was a zoo. Actually, in fairness they did an incredible job with that many kids and their crazy parents, each armed with a camera, phone, iPad, etc carrying flowers and ogling over their small, beautiful children.

But before you see her stage debut, here are a few fun facts that led up to it for perspective:

  • OUTFIT? Blanca, who watches Zoe on Fridays and has been taking her to dance class, wasn’t entirely sure whether we were supposed to wear pink or where to put the bows, etc – and since we weren’t around for instructions (our own fault), the night before the recital we decided to wing it. What could possibly go wrong?
  • RELUCTANT DANCER… Literally 10 minutes before we were supposed to leave, Zoe decided she didn’t want to dance – even though she had been super excited every moment leading up to that one AND had literally, on her own initiative said “Mommy, would you please come to my dance recital tomorrow?” I’m not sure exactly how Dad talked her into it, but he did.
  • RIBBONS?! There were two ribbon-infused hair barrettes that we knew she was supposed to wear, but we had no idea where or how. I tried putting them in before we left, but one slid out and so she removed them both… I decided to ask a kind mother or dance teacher at the event for assistance, and we left for the show. When we arrived, her dance teacher greeted her and hugged her (YAY, salvation!), so I asked her what to do about the hair. She said “Well, we were hoping you’d put them up in ponytails and we’d clip in there, but it will be ok.” She twisted one side up and slipped in the ribbon barrette, and I thought “I can do that!” EVERY OTHER KID had their hair up in ponytails or a bun (as I guess dancers do). I didn’t even have a ponytail holder…
  • STAGE FRIGHT? At the show, all the kids were running around and dancing on the stage – except Zoe. She just stared down from the stage at Daddy, looking a little lost. To make matters worse, there were 16 performance groups – Zoe was in group 12. Every anxious/annoyed “Mommy, am I up next?” moment leading up to that one, I was unsure whether or not she was going back up there…
  • WORST DANCE MOM EVER. On/off throughout those 11 performances, I tried to twist and clip Zoe’s hair into those barrettes and it slid right out within minutes. I stole a slice of balloon ribbon, cut it into pieces and tried to tie up two ponytails, no luck. Moments before the show as we were sitting “on deck” with the dance teacher, she twisted them up again, and I told Zoe, “If they fall out, don’t worry – just keep dancing!”

Now, in my defense, I didn’t take dance. In fact, I took makeup lessons before my very own wedding because, as anyone who knows me will agree, I am NOT a girly girl. I have no idea how my mother’s gift for looking beautiful at any age, all the tips, tricks and so on are so foreign to me. But it’s true. (Poor Zoe)

To have a little girl who, when asked what she wants to be when she grows up says “A PRINCESS!” is almost cruel. But hey, maybe I’ll learn something along the way.

AND WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, please join me UNDER THE BIG TOP for “Talk To The Animals” starring our little princess, ZOE ANIKA JOHNSON:



I am so proud of our little girl who, despite having ill-prepared parents, did a great job all by herself ;) Sure, her barrette fell out, but she KEPT ON DANCING! And yeah, she was the only one in a burgundy vs. pink leotard, but it was a lovely color on her and no one seemed to care. Her face was beaming as she filed off the stage and got her trophy, and we let out a huge sigh and went home.

And next time, I’m bringing ponytail holders, just in case.

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2 thoughts on “Zoe’s First Dance Recital (a REAL one)

  1. Zoe ROCKS! She nailed the dance and kept her composure around the 1m mark when the girl next to her almost clobbered her. Oh – and that smile? You might just have a little Shirley Temple on your hands. Hope you’re ready to be a stage mom.

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