A Word on Dance Recitals

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Can we talk about dance recitals for a moment? Not in a politically-correct and kind way, but in a blunt, honest, hard-truth kind of way? I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but some things need to be said. I just attended my first, and very possibly last, dance recital for my four-year-old niece. Let me say upfront that she was great – I have to say that as her Uncle, and as someone who loves her dearly. She executed her dances well – all two that were in the early part of the program – and finished in relative unison in the finale. It was the intervening couple of hours that had me questioning my sanity, and the very existence of humanity.

First of all, two and a half hours is a long time for any production – but I’ve been told that this is relatively short for this sort of thing. All I can say to that is that if I have to sit through a recital longer than this, I’m taking a hostage or calling in a bomb threat. Either way, there will be people thanking me for it.

Second, there’s a rule against leaving once the kids you are there to see are finished, right? I’m certain that this is a rule, or at least polite protocol. I’m also guessing that this is why every single person, no matter how briefly or how early they appear in the program, is in the final number. As Madonna once remarked, “That’s one of life’s little fuck-overs.”

By the time we reached the Justin Bieber medley, my patience was tried, my brain was fried, but I still hadn’t died. FaceBook friends had told me to pray for death at the start but I didn’t listen. Now it was too late, and no one was going to smite me.

And yet… and yet… watching my little niece doing her toe taps and singing the final song of the evening, I was almost moved to forgive all that came before. Almost.

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