It’s dance competition season again, and for this dance dad, that delivers pride and joy, as well as some frustration and eye rolling.
This past weekend, our teen took part in her first competition of the season, all while turning 15. Yes, her birthdays are very often spent in a theatre or hall competing. She’s with a group of very supportive friends, so it certainly could be much worse.
Brenna only had four dances at this event (she’s quite often in eight or nine), so it was a relatively light weekend for a dance dad such as me. I’m talking about the proud fathers who are most interested in the enjoyment and physical activity their daughters get out of dancing. She’s met some awesome friends over the years, could probably break my jaw with a leg kick, and really enjoys hanging out with her team during competition.
For me, what I need to know is simple: When does Brenna dance? Do I need to pick up anything she or her mother may have forgotten? Do I need to bring anything else or take anything home?
And when Brenna dances, I give myself enough time to find a parking spot and walk to the theatre, slide into a seat near the back, enjoy her performance, and usually book it back out of there. If it’s almost time for the results, I might hang around for that as well.
I’m not alone in that mentality. Fellow dance dads such as Eggless Chad and Sensei Jeff are in the same boat. In fact, Jeff, whose daughter now dances at another studio, is by far the best at the in-and-out routine. It seems he can pretty much time it so he sits down just as Sydnee is about to start, and is out of the theatre seconds after her performance.
Chad finds excuses, valid ones I might add, to egress as soon as possible after his daughter, Reegan, performs.
Let’s face it, we’re all there to watch our children perform. While it’s nice to see the efforts of friends’ kids, for the most part, if your own child is not on stage, you’re watching children you don’t know up there.
Since I don’t know the intricacies of dance competition, and generally dislike the music, why hang around?
But I’m certainly there when needed.
As for Brenna’s performances, she and her dance mates received solid marks all around and two of the four dances earned special awards.
I honestly couldn’t tell you the names of any of the songs she danced to other than the spoken-word effort, Beauty.
That’s dance music for me. I admit I’m becoming indifferent to it, which is saying a lot, considering how closed-minded I am about music (I like what I like). I’ve pretty much learned to tune it out while I’m in the theatre … except for bad cover tunes.
Breathy female singers dominate the music of dance competitions. It works. I get it. But what I just can’t wrap my head around is when the original version of a song would work just fine for a performance, why use another version?
The Eurythmics’ 1983 hit Sweet Dreams is a good song. Annie Lennox is an awesome singer. Yet when a dance team came onstage to perform to that song, it most certainly wasn’t the original.
The biggest musical disappointment during my brief time in the theatre was The Sound of Silence. I naively wondered briefly, “Will they use the original 1965 Simon & Garfunkel version, or the Grammy-nominated, haunting, and very cool 2015 Disturbed version?”
Neither. Enter the breathy female lead singer.
Next competition, I’ll be easy to spot in the theatre, as I’ll be the guy with earbuds.