We’ve all heard the old Irish proverb…you know, the one that goes…
Dance as if no one were watching,
Sing as if no one were listening,
And live every day as if it were your last.
I love those words. Those wise Irish proverb writers.
Yesterday one of my daughters danced as if no one were watching AND she also did it in front of about 500 people. She was calm, hit every choreographed note and did it with elegance and penache. To say I was proud was an understatement. I was enthralled. She was dancing with her group, but you could tell that she was also dancing for herself and loving it. Yes, that’s my child up on that stage and just a minute ago she was a little, bald newborn. And now she’s up there dancing and looking so grown-up…how did this happen? Cue teary-eyed Mom.
It was the end-of-year dance recital and dancing, tulle-wrapped children and bouquets were the name of the day. Cuteness times ten.(As a side note here and every parent will understand my joy at reporting this… they split the show in half this year so that it was only an hour long instead of last year’s 2+ hours. Smaller dancers in the morning, Older dancers in the afternoon. I speak for all parents when I say “Brilliant Move!”).
To watch one of these dance recitals is to see this Irish proverb in clear, technicolor action. These girls are doing what they love and yes, some are very aware of the audience staring at them, but unlike adults, they eat it up and never seem to be nervous.
The smallest dancers are a group to be reckoned with in the adorable category. They are a group SO crazy-cute that they reduce the audience to a teary, giggling mess. Myself included. Every year I kick myself that I haven’t videotaped their act because THEY would be the thing to watch when you are having a completely cruddy day. There’s no way it can’t lift your spirits.
Picture this…12 little girls, all in a row across the stage. This year they were in electric aqua bodysuits with big, puffy, tulle skirts. Satiny ribbon and headbands included, of course. The little dancers, due to their age, are only a little over 3 feet tall and thus, the skirts virtually hit the floor. Little feet peek from beneath. I deemed them the “Blue Puffs” because that’s how they looked…Puffs. Sweet little puffs. Aside from the outfits, it’s their stage presence which just tips it over the edge, entertainment-wise. Some are enthralled with seeing Mom and Dad in the audience, which results in them waving on and off through the whole song. To heck with dancing. Some are dancing to the right. Some to the left. Some are looking off-stage for guidance from the teachers. And some, like the little one to the right, just stand there still as a statue, entertained as much by the audience as they are with her. As it is many of their first time’s on stage, when the audience erupts into applause, they almost seem surprised…”hey, I just danced and they are applauding me!”
This group is sweetness, hope, courage and humor rolled up in one puffy, satin-trimmed ball.
And they did it. They danced (or stood) just how they wanted. Like people were watching, but also NOT like people were watching.
Watching all of the adorable girls of all ages, dancing their little hearts out, was testimony to that proverb. If you love it, just do it. Sing at the top of your lungs in the car, dance a jig in your kitchen even if your tween is rolling their eyes, hey…wear a tutu even if you are over the age of 40 and the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes we all need to do this kind of thing. It keeps our humor intact, which then keeps our brains and hearts and souls intact, too.
All hail the Blue Puffs!