Dancing with the Stars


As usual, I have a confession. I have never been a big fan of the traditional Wizard of Oz. I don’t mind black and white films, but as a kid I really thought it was kind of scary. Now The Wiz was a different story, I can easy on down the road with the best of them. And who doesn’t like Michael Jackson? But it wasn’t the Wiz my four-year-old was a part of. She was a sleeping Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz.

Now I really can’t believe she’s been in ballet for two years already. We started out in toddlers and toes and now she was performing in her first performance on what we affectionately refer to as “the big stage.” I will say I sure wish my graduate mommies had warned me about the dance mom culture, cause I was a little unprepared. A full two weeks of dress rehearsals, special hairdos and particular make up colors had me on edge. She completely commendeared my calendar. How’s a poor working momma suppose to follow all those instructions?

Needless to say it was a lot different than showing up during her regular 45 -minute dance class for observation day. I mean a four-hour Wizard of Oz performance is a big deal. Ok, so I heard it was 4 hours, truth is we left at intermission, which was still about an hour and a half after her 60-second performance.

As usual she had a great showing of support. In fact, the entire first row of one section was just for her including aunties, cousins, grandma and family friends. Her furthest cousin drove 2 hours in the rain to be there. And she was thrilled. She received flowers from all of her guests and requested a personally made poster with her name on it from one family. By her account, you would have thought she was Dorothy.

She had warned me before the performance that there was a witch in it, but it was just make up. “She’s just acting, so don’t worry about it,” she said. “She’s really very nice. I talked to her backstage.” I asked her if she was nervous about performing and she said no. I probably should have taken some advice from her.

Truthfully, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety. I kept thinking about not being backstage (no parents allowed), what if she refused to perform? What if she looked for me and couldn’t see me? What if I read something wrong and her hair wasn’t right? And all that went away when she so elegantly made her way to the center of the stage for her part. My eyes got watery and I was overwhelmed with pride. She was confident, smiling and knew what she was doing. She didn’t look for me, she didn’t need to and I was so happy for her. She had such a great support system and I just kept thinking of how very Blessed we are. Her brother watched her intensely, he didn’t say much but he watched her every move.

I was glad for that ray of sunshine because Lord knows it was raining cats and dogs outside and that put a ringer in her after party cookout. But she didn’t seem to mind at all. She was beaming inside and out and so was I.

Ballerina II


Click, Click

“You want fame? Well fame costs and right here is where you start paying, in sweat,” that’s what Debbie Allen yelled every week in the early 80s on the popular musical television drama that most of watched. And although, my daughter has never seen the show, she obviously thinks she’s the next Cocoa.

Since she is now 3 years and some change, and in her third dance season, she is no longer enrolled in toddler and toes, but pre-ballet with two other former classmates. With this new status comes parent drop off, which took me a few weeks to get used to, but I’ve adjusted. The downside to dropping her off instead of staying and participating in the class is, I really don’t get to see how she’s doing. So I was overly excited at the Fall Observation class that allows parents and visitors to bring cameras, video equipment and whatever else you can think of to make it “special.”

I invited grandparents and sudo-aunties to the occasion and pulled out her handmade tutu her Godmother made for her. She has almost a whole bench of members of her fan club present; me, her daddy, baby brother, my mom and Auntie Sherri are all in tow. They open with their traditional warm up song and all miniature ballerinas are up on their toes dancing around. Right before the song ends, Morgan runs to the middle of the dance floor, crosses both arms with a clear attitude and plops down, crisscross applesauce. One of the two instructors runs to her aid and kneels down to survey the problem.

I’m glad she got to her first, because I may have just yoked her up. I see a short exchange and then Ms. Ericka stands and announces in my direction that “Morgan is upset because no one took her picture.” Are you serous? She just interrupted the entire performance at the top of the class because no one took her picture? Now, I have to tell you that all of her guests had camera phones out and on, but apparently we neglected to have her POSE for a picture.

Speechless, I pick up the “real” camera, point it in her direction and hit the button until a flash appears. At that moment, she smiles, joins the rest of her class and puts on one heck of a show. As we exit the classroom Ms. Ericka says “that’s a true sign of a diva, she can’t perform until someone takes her picture.” My husband and I just look at each other and laugh and for the next several minutes we are trying to figure out which one of us to blame for this attitude.

Without a clear culprit, we just chalk it up to Morgan being Morgan. And despite my personal opinions about this over the top Diva moment, I am mighty glad I had a camera with a flash ready to take her picture.