While sorting through pictures and talking to one of my dance friends, Annika, I think I have come to at least a partial conclusion as to why I seem to have this mindset about my dancing ability.
When I danced as a kid, my parents always came.
They’d sit through the recital, they’d bring flowers, they’d take pictures.
I felt like I was a wonderful dancers, until my friends would tell me where I messed up or I watched the recital video for myself and saw they were right.
Now I’m an adult, and I do recitals, and this year I’ve found myself in a studio that also does two major productions.
And at first, when I was at my old studio, I did recital, and holiday showcase in the winter, and I would hope my parents would come. It was important to me. I wanted them to be there and tell me how great I was and how proud they were of me. And they came. And they complained about how rough parking was and how it made them get there late and get bad seats. And my sister gave me flowers which I really appreciated but felt bad about. And then mom made a comment after recital, “How long does this dance thing last?” And I realized she didn’t meant this season, but how long was I going to dance. And I told her until my feet fall off.
So the next year, I didn’t press them to come. I made it an option and let them decide if they wanted to come. There was one of the holiday showcases where mom told me she wasn’t going to come. And that dad probably wouldn’t want to. So I asked him, and he scoffed at me for thinking he wouldn’t want to come and that if I was dancing, he would be there. So mom went with him. And then for recital, Dad couldn’t come because he was working on a little house he’s building in the backyard for me, so I understood why he couldn’t be there. And mom had to work. And my sister wasn’t there. I don’t think they came, at least. If they did, I don’t remember. And it was my last recital with that studio, and a dance I was really proud of.
I had to figure out in myself why I dance. I had to dance for me. To learn that this isn’t about anyone else and their approval, but because I love it.
And, boy do I love it.
This year was a little easier since two of the shows were productions. My sister was excited to see The Nutcracker–my first dance ever en pointe–and The Wizard of Oz proved to be interesting. I told Dad if he had to pick one to go to out of Oz and recital to pick recital because I’m really proud of this dance. Not that I wasn’t proud of Oz, but recital is en pointe, and that’s more of a challenge for me.
Mom and my sister came to Oz, they all went to Nutcracker, and Mom and Dad are coming to recital and maybe my sister.
I understand that they may not really care about ballet. Definitely not as much as I do. I understand that recital’s can be really drawn out, especially if you only know one person in one 3 minute dance. (Mom made a comment once about “maybe if you were in more than one” which really bummed me out when a girl dropped from the advanced class and instead of putting me in they just reblocked it. I just wasn’t good enough.)
I understand that I am an adult. That this is something that is solely on me–they don’t have to drive me anywhere, they don’t pay for anything with it, they have nothing invested.
But I guess something in me subconsciously stuck with that mindset.
I’m not good enough to be in the extra dance.
Maybe next year.
Studio closes, there is no next year to prove to myself that I am.
I can’t do anything in the V’s en pointe. I’m not good enough.
Maybe if I were better then my parents would want to come see me.
And I didn’t realize all of this until I was talking to Annika. And I told her my parents were coming. And my brain thought about how her mom goes to see every single one of her shows, even if it’s the same dances. Because she loves to watch her dance. And I thought of Ms. Jane and how she never gets tired of watching Elizabeth dance. But I’m not good enough for my Mom to want to watch me dance. And last night she said if I would have danced the V’s, which performed last night, as well as the IV’s, which is tonight, she would have only came to one, even though they’re different dances. And my mind connected that to I’m just not good enough.
And it clicked.
Now, I don’t blame my parents for this. I truly understand. Especially during such busy times of year.
And I’ve had friends come out and support me, and I know I’m well loved.
And I guess I never realized how settled this was in my heart.
What will I do with this information?
I don’t know.
I guess it’s kind of like when a musician or an actress is starting out, and not everyone takes them seriously. And then when they stick with it and bust out on the scene and all of a sudden they’re a big name, that’s when everyone wants to claim that they know them.
When I am “good enough” for them, will I feel less indifferent to their attendance?
What matters most to me are the people who are here for me, now, during the process.
Those are the people who are the true gems.
The ones who believe in me before my breakthrough.
I’m hopeful to get to take more classes and improve. I’m hopeful to get to take those private lessons with Ms. Lori or maybe Mrs. Abby. I’m hopeful.
My Mom always listens to my stories after rehearsals or class. That’s something.