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Auditions and competitions

The Princess is in the middle of competition season, and audition season for Summer Intensives. It is, quite literally, intense.  We spent a couple hours in Irvine this morning for an audition. She has a DVD prepared to send for another audition, and two more competitions coming up. I love she knows what she wants, and I don’t mind being her driver to get her to and from. I will admit, though, this process is painful for a parent.

I was trying the other day to figure out why this is difficult for me. And I realized it makes me feel as I did before Big Man started kindergarten. My biggest worry was if the teacher would love him, would see inside him, see what drives him, what makes him him, what an awesome kid he is.  I felt that way when all three were getting ready to start school. And I feel the same way when I take her to an audition or competition. I want so much for the judges and teachers to see the light inside my precious girl. I want them to see more than just whether her feet are pointed enough, or if she finishes a turn properly.  There’s so much more to her than that, but then they won’t get the chance to see all of that in a 90-minute audition, nor a 2.5-minute competition performance. I want to tell them, “See her, see what potential is there, see how hard she works.” But then there are 30 other moms there probably thinking the same thing.

It’s also hard because this is her dream, her passion. I want her to be able to live it out on her terms. That’s not always going to happen. She’s going to have setbacks. She’s going to be rejected. It’s a competitive world by nature.  She fights through it, head held high no matter what. She is her own worst critic too.  But she keeps going. It’s brutal though to see the process however, knowing there’s such potential for your child to be disappointed and hurt.

Lastly, I can’t do it for her. She’s out there on her own. I can’t hold her hand. If she falls, she has to pick herself back up. If she forgets the steps, I can’t help her. It’s all on her. While I’m beyond proud, I’m also terrified for her. You spend their first years getting them ready to be independent of you. When they reach that step, you ache.

This road she’s chosen isn’t easy.  When I see her dance, though, and she lights up from the inside, I am overwhelmed with love, pride, and even a little bit of envy.  She’s driven. She’s passionate about this. She knows what she wants. If you tell her what to do to get where she wants to be, she will do it. I’m just along for the ride, a happy spectator (who covers her eyes frequently until the dance is done).

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