Daily Prompt: Harmony
I am at my granddaughter’s dance competition this weekend. There are 17 schools of dance competing here. For the first time in my eight year old granddaugher’s dancing career, she did not take first place for her dance solos. She competed in two.

Firstly she had to be at the Convention Center by 6:30 AM this morning and take the stage at 7:35 AM for her first performance. She did not wake up happy and her allergies are bothering her. Everything is blooming down here. So, she begins her dance and proceeds to do a costume adjustment. Now I have been watching this child dance since she was three and her compete since she was 5 and I have never seen her do this. From the get go she has had an amazing stage presence.

Secondly at 8:00 AM she took the stage for her second solo. The music started and she not only readjusted her costume, but she just stopped and stared at the judges…she had forgotten her moves.  She did, however, regain control and completed her dance. The fact that she didn’t run off the stage crying says a lot about how much she loves dancing and how responsible she feels to not only her parents, but to her school and fellow students. I was/am very proud of her.

We had a break at that point so we took Alannah for some breakfast where she proceeded to have a minor meltdown over our meal. In all fairness I may have been the cause of the meltdown. I made the mistake of correcting her during breakfast. Any other day or time she would have listened, then moved on. But today was not that day. Clearly, something is not right with her today. She finally revealed she feels awful with her allergies and she is so tired and she just had a bad, bad morning. She is so disappointed with her performance. How do you get an 8 year old to understand that this happens. Professional dancers who are world famous have bad days. Maybe they don’t attempt to adjust their costumes, but they do forget where they are in dances and what comes next. Alannah seemed to accept those words of wisdom finally.   She actually didn’t have much choice as her mom has a strict no whining policy.

Next, we are back at the competition. Alannah is in two group dances. Hip hop and clogging. The girls dance onto the stage and my Alannah is back. She is clogging with great abandon and they are looking good. These girls are dancing as one unit, all together and their moves are sharp. After that performance she has her Hip hop group dance. She’s still got it together, but not like the clogging number. Again off the stage, long face again. Next up- award ceremony.

Alannah earned Gold for her two solos which were tap and jazz. So, although she didn’t win those dances, she took second. That should give you an idea of her talent. She earned second while messing up. She was relieved about the outcome.

Next up lunch. Off we go to Fudruckers.

We get back just in time for the group awards. Her clogging group dance earned Platinum and took 4th over all; and won a special judges award for technique. She was beaming. Unfortunately her hip hop earned her a top 20 overall.

I now sit here in the front of the convention center writing this blog waiting for Alannah’s sixth and final dance of the weekend. It’s her tap group dance. Followed by two more numbers from her studio and then awards. Our next trip out of here will be to the hotel where I will not waste any time getting into my bed.

So, what has this to do with harmony you ask? Well it occurs to me that without harmony with your environment it is difficult to perform your best. To maintain this harmony, you must get adequate sleep, eat well and keep illnesses and allergies in check.

It also occurs to me that harmony with your dance partners is important for success. In music, without a complimentary blend of harmony you are left with just noise. In dance you are left with a collection of ungraceful missteps. With that harmony, you soar with the music and glide across the floor producing a beautiful display of talent and ability.


Dancing Competition Weekend

Daily Prompt: Spike

I am sitting here in my room at the Breakers Hotel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina after an exhausting day at my granddaughters dance competition.  She’s 8 going on 35, but sound asleep on the other side of our suite.  We left Wilmington, NC this morning and arrived at the Convention Center in time to watch one of her friends perform her very first solo.  Alannah has made it her mission to be at the competition even when she is not performing to support her friends.    Alannah explained to me while we were headed down here today that she completely understands Marlie’s need for support because when she (Alannah) competed in her first solo she was also the very first one to dance in that competition too.  See what I mean?

Alannah has to be onstage at 7:30 in the morning which she has to be at the Convention Center at 6:30 when the doors open.  Have I ever mentioned I am not a morning person?  I spent my entire career in nursing working night shift.  Needless to say I am not looking forward to this little spike in my circadian rhythm.

I do enjoy watching Alannah compete in dance.  She has two solos she is competing in tomorrow and then four group dances she is competing in.  She loves dancing and she is at the studio every day during the week but Thursdays.  She takes ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, clogging, hip hop and acro.  When I was a kid you had three choices, ballet, tap and jazz.  I will say that with the addition of more types of dance it has opened the door for more children to participate.

Alannah’s older brother who is 13 takes hip hop too.  He doesn’t compete, but he does participate in the recitals through out the year.  Andrew has Asperger’s and the dance has done wonders for his motor skills and his social skills.

During one of the breaks late this afternoon, I went outside with my camera to see if I could find some good shots.  Alannah was with me and I showed her the way that light can change how a picture looks without changing anything else.  I had her move around so that the sun would hit her target at different angles.  She was really interested in taking the pictures and told me she didn’t realize how much you can affect the picture by just moving light around.  I can see an SLR camera in her future.

That is my dream.  To someday have an Nikon SLR camera.  I really started getting into photography when in 2000.  I have slowly gotten better cameras and believe it or not I have some really beautiful shots from a Kodak point and shoot camera.  I love it because it was not too big and I could take it with me anywhere.  When it died I was so disappointed.  I so wanted to get a good SLR camera then, bu I just couldn’t afford it.  After doing a lot of research and finding out that most cameras today only have the digital screen on the back of the camera to see your object I decided to get a Fujifilm.  It is a bridge camera.  Point and shoot but with lots of options for your own settings.  Several good filters pre installed.  Wireless transfer of pics to phone, tablet, and a 50x zoom.  I have gotten some great shots.  I was at a Phillies/Marlins baseball game two seasons ago and I was getting shots of the players swinging and missing the ball at home plate.  Got the ball in mid air and the bat moving past it.  I couldn’t be more pleased with this camera.

Well it’s after 11PM here on the East Coast and 5:30 will be here before I know it. Goodnight one and all.