Daughter's spring dance recital was this weekend. It is at the recitals twice a year that I note the differences between this studio and the first one she attended, and I find myself nodding in agreement (with myself) and patting myself on the back for a decision well made.
Her first foray into dance was with a very splashy studio. She'd attended many birthday parties there and signed up for her first dance class in the fall of third grade. The recital in January was held at the Marin Civic Center, which must easily seat close to 2,000 people. The ticket prices were at least $20 a person. The dances were superbly done but some were far too oversexed and adult. I mean, there was the S&M dance -- complete with handcuffs and whips -- at the close of Act I that shocked the hell out of me. [Dude, I expect to pay more for my porn, thanks. And I expect to not watch it in the presence of my -- or anyone's -- children.]
That was our one and only experience with a recital put on by that studio. I understand from others who still send their impressionable daughters there that the shows have been toned down somewhat because so many people reacted in horror to that show. "Somewhat" is a relative term, though, as it's still a splashy, over-the-top event showcasing the teachers as much as it is showcasing the many students. [IMHO, natch.]
The new studio, the one Daughter has attended for two years now, holds its recitals at a local high school. The theatre has a capacity of about 200. The four shows put on likely match the total number attending the one show the other studio puts on, but the take is quite a bit lower as the ticket prices are $5 a pop.
The dancers still dance. The mothers still dab tears from their eyes. The dancers' brothers still grumble about their forced attendance. The teachers stand on the side, hidden from view, doing the dance steps as the littlest students, the 3-year-old and 4-year-old future ballerinas, stand on stage watching and, occasionally, lifting a leg.
The studio has a very small town feel. The two owners are wholesome, girl-next-door types. The dancers come in all shapes and sizes, not just petite. I guess that's what I find appealing about it. It's kind of an every girl's studio.
I'm okay with saving the glitz for later. Hell, Daughter can always learn to pole dance later on. She is, after all, only 10.