For example, "the highest scoring junior lyrical solo goes to..." That's not first place, as the show would have you think. It means that she scored highest in lyrical. Maybe the kid next to her scored highest in jazz. That's not an overall category. Not that this matters, but I catch it. I also catch when they say girl A beat girl B, but they're in different age groups. I also notice when they read the scores off at awards that they're good, but they're platinum scores, either.
Anyway...I know that a lot of it is editing. And it's scripted, but there's no way our studio would ever be on a t.v. show like that. Sure, people at our studio get mad at each other. Occasionally people snap at each other. When you spend as much time as we all do together, it will happen - just like any family. But I've never witnessed anything even remotely close to the screaming and verbal abuse that I see on T.V.
But because that show puts such a negative spin on the competitive dance world, I want to write about the wonderful things I've seen at ours.
- We arrange carpools. (I don't get to participate this year, but it's still awesome.)
- No one ever goes hungry, even if their mom forgot to pack them a lunch on a 12 hour workshop day.
- When someone has a family crisis (death in family, accident, illness, etc.) our dance family is there for each other - posts, hugs, flowers, whatever they need. For example, when Emily was in the hospital after being diagnosed with diabetes, several parents called or sent texts and offered help, meals, rides to dance for Sydney - anything we needed.
- If someone has a flat tire, they'll help you change your tire. And if your tire can't be changed, they'll wait patiently with you for the tow truck guy to replace your tire. (Or...they'll take you to their car right before the Pacers game to get you jumper cables because you have the worse luck ever.)
- We recently had a wedding in our dance family and everyone that could attend, did.
- One of our moms had a baby about a year ago. We had a shower for her and many dance moms attended and wished her well.
- When I broke my ankle, three families offered to take Sydney to nationals for me.
- If someone is having trouble with hair or make up, someone is always happy to help.
- When kids perform with their school teams, other parents (and coaches) go and watch them and cheer them on.
I could list examples of the kindness and compassion I've seen from this family of ours for pages and pages. And I know that we've been with the same people for over ten years - but I know that this is closer to the norm than what is depicted on that show. When I say I love those kids there (and I've written about them before), I really mean it. Their parents too. I don't get that feeling between those people on T.V. I know, we wouldn't get very high ratings by sitting in a lobby talking about blue crayons and oddly placed rhinestones. Most of us are there because our kids love to be there - and gaining a new family out of it is just a bonus.