Friday night, May 13th (yes, Friday!) was my daughter Sophie's 5th grade talent show. It's a big deal for the 'seniors' of the elementary school that she goes to. However, not every 5th grader participates. It's purely voluntary, whether you are part of an act or helping behind the scenes with the show.
When Sophie first announced that she was going to be doing a dance routine with her 3 BFF's (Kayla, Tory & Bridget), I was surprised, but pleasantly. Sophie tends to be on the shy side when it comes to doing things where she would be the focus of any attention. As much as I love her friends for a variety of reasons, I'm really glad that they are all really outgoing, which I'd always hoped would influence Sophie at some point to get her out of her comfort zone and into doing more fun things.
There were many dance rehearsals, after school and at her friends' home, so I never actually saw the routine before the night of the show.
I am totally guilty of the 'do as I say, versus do as I do' syndrome, because I am certainly not one to get up in front of people and feel comfortable by any stretch of the imagination. I always encourage Sophie to do those types of things, and tell her she'll be fine when she has to make presentations at school, but inside, I am sick to my stomach for her and secretly hope for the best. Then on the day of the presentation, she is SO cool and calm and does such an amazing job, I am just completely stunned... and proud.
So Friday came and my ex has planned on picking her up from school that day and to bring her to the school after dinner by 6:30. Linda & I met them at the school then and went in to get a good seat (3rd row from the front!). The show was starting at 7, but as with all of these types of things, it's a little chaotic and it causes some delays.
There are to be 15 acts and Sophie's group is about in the middle. We snap quite a few pictures of the girls in their matching outfits (navy blue sleeveless hoodies with earphones on the front, white shorts and crazy colored anklet socks) as all of the groups are lined up in order of their time on the stage and I can tell that they, along with all of the other acts are both excited and scared.
As in all schools, there are the cliques of kids and the acts reflected them. There was the 'bad boy' doing his version of break dancing and the 6 'popular' girls doing a dance routine to a medley of Justin Bieber songs (spare me!!), and some magic trick acts, 2 different boys doing solo karaoke versions of "Soul Sister" and "Animal", and a few other acts with gymnastic stuff and other things.
The audience, which was made up of the parents of the kids in the acts along with other 5th graders who were not participating, could not have been more supportive and appreciative of every single act. Sure they applauded a little bit louder for the really great acts, but every act was made to feel extremely proud of their efforts. I'm sure that not one act came off that stage not feeling great!
There were 4 outstanding acts, as far as I was concerned and of course, Sophie's group was at the top of them. The 2 karaoke singers were excellent. And then there was a very funny, but short, dance that involved 4 boys who dressed up with outfits that made them look like midgits (shirts/heads made to cover their heads so that it made for a distorted body shape, but very funny when they started doing their little dance around the stage!).
When it came time for Sophie's group to take the stage and in those moments when the curtain was closed and they were getting set up, my heart was beating so fast, I thought I was going to pass out. I could not have been more nervous than if it was me about to do a dance up there! It was ridiculous!
The introductions were made by the emcees and then the curtain opened up and the music started (Usher's "DJ's got us falling in love") and the girls started moving and all of a sudden I wasn't watching my little girl. I was watching a performance. I was watching a wonderfully professional performance of 4 young women who were so confident and poised, it just blew me away!
I could see that they were all a bit scared when they first came out, but they took the cheers and whistles from their peers and it boosted their confidence and all of a sudden, they were just 4 friends dancing together like they always do. Except this time with a more formal routine. (that they made up by themselves) They were great!
I didn't realize that each one would have a 'solo spotlight' dance in the middle, so when Kayla had hers, I started getting nervous all over again for Sophie... but by then, she was on a dance high and was enjoying herself SO much, that she just danced. She LOVES to dance - she does it all the time around the house. But to see her dancing on that stage - with such a happy look on her face - surrounded by her friends and peers, it was incredible. I didn't want it to stop.
But it did, to the resounding cheers of parents and kids alike!
It was a highlight moment for me and I hope for her. She has so much going for her, but she lacks confidence. Here's hoping that this will give her a little boost so that she will continue to do new things and not let fear keep her from doing things.
Linda video taped it from her iPhone, and it was too large a file to e-mail anyone, so we posted it on yo*tu*e. Here is the link if you want to check it out: Sophie Talent Show
It was truly a magical night! One that I won't soon forget!