My daughter brought home a permission slip for the school talent show the other day. It was smooshed in with a lot of other random papers.
“You wanna be in a talent show?” I asked, entirely kidding, because this:
This is how I still think of her, though she’s mellowed out quite a bit in the last two years.
“Sure,” she says.
I scoff. “Seriously? What would you do?” And I know that sounds a little on the bitchy side but she caught me off guard. The girl has many talents – such as climbing our home’s decorative molding like a large, damaged spider – but I can think of none that would play well on a cafeteria stage.
“I can do ballet,” she says.
She has not had one single dance class in her brief life. She did see The Nutcracker this year. She also owns about thirty tutus. Does that count as formal training? “Ballet?”
“Sure. I’m great at ballet.” And then she twirls and hops and falls out of the kitchen. How does one fall out of a kitchen you ask? You don’t have a small child, I’d reckon.
Turns out the Madness isn’t the only one crazy enough to want to try ballet in front of an audience. She is now part of a small troupe of girls who will spin into each other like adorable bumper cars on stage. Here is their permission slip, which I had to fish out of the recycling when I realized she was serious. They didn’t give me enough room to get into the significance of the dance, metaphorically speaking, but you get the gist.
Anyway, the first tryout was last night and they were legitimately adorable. I wish I could share the video with you, but just picture five confused six years olds in tutus spinning and leaping in a paroxysm of “ballet.” Pretty much EXACTLY as I predicted it on the permission slip. It’s like I’ve done this before.
Oh My God I HAVE done this before.
I had a flashback to that time in middle school when my best friend convinced me to participate in an even more absurd dance attempt to “The Age of Aquarius” from the musical Hair. In 1991. No fewer than three other acts were breaking it down to Boyz II Men’s Motownphilly. I think we may have been the only two white girls in eighth grade at that school. No, no, there was one more. She was too smart to have anything to do with us. Plus, Whiskey threw her brother into a locker for making fun of me.
We practiced for days, getting the waving Kali arm opening just right before spinning away, our waist-length hair flying behind us as we went full hippie. I got to wear my mom’s patchwork suede miniskirt. There were literal flowers in our hair. FLOWERS.
Did I mention this was eighth grade?
You wanna talk #toomuchoverselfconfidence? They were just lucky we didn’t perform in the nude.
Afterwards, we were honestly surprised that every single person at the school, including faculty, wouldn’t stop flashing peace signs at us. For the rest of the year. As though that wasn’t an entirely predictable outcome of busting out “The Age of f’ing Aquarius” for a middle-school talent show in 1991.
I still have the album, by the way. Vinyl.
And I think my mom still has the video of the performance. Thank God no one has a VCR anymore.