This was Sam's weekend with Saturday given over (the entire day from 9 am to 10 pm) to his dance recital and Sunday to his Royal Academy of Music Piano exam. About the latter, there is little or nothing to relate, so the bulk of this post shall refer to the former.
Sam was in five dances on Saturday--tap, hip-hop, ballet, acro, and jazz. (Doesn't this begin to sound like the set-up for a logic problem?) In each case, as the only boy his age in the troupe, he was noticeable and something of a centerpiece.
The theme of the recital was "A Trip to New York" and this first tap dance was called "Tourists." It was danced to a song that sounded vintage 1920s or 1930s but could have been of more recent day. The entire troupe acquitted themselves very nicely given the rehearsals and the classes we had seen. In fact, more than very nicely, they were all pretty much in synch and the dance went off without a hitch. He has also passed the age at which he spends a lot of his time looking off-stage expecting prompts and help from the teachers.
The second dance was our least favorite dance-class of the year and the one I keep threatening to withdraw him from. Unfortunately, it is also his favorite. The Hip-Hop dance was titled "Double Decker Bus" and was danced to some piece called "Double Dutch Bus." He was the busdriver and I have to admit, as a performance, the piece looked far better than it did in rehearsals and practices and he did a really fine job (I suppose). It's really hard to evaluate whether one is doing a good job in hip-hop because much of it looks like a barely controlled seizure to me. However, the audience appeared engaged, and that, I suppose, is one sign. Even among parents ardently interested in their own children's performance, it is difficult to get much of a reaction to the performances of others' children--and this received a warm welcome.
The third dance was his ballet and it was really spectacular for me to see. Titled "Little Italy," it was danced to a vaguely classical sounding Tarantella. After a balletic version of a folk dance, Sam had a short solo consisting of a run around the half-circle of girls, four "air-splits" (or whatever the move is called, where the dancer jumps straight up with legs outstretched) and two tournes-en-leve--a simple jump and spin. What was really neat about the whole thing was that Sam managed to keep toes pointed and good form throughout the dance. Throughout this year of dance, he had been afflicted with a severe case of spaghetti arms, but there was no sign of it during the recital.
The acro piece was done in rainbow colored Tina-Turner wigs and danced to The Chipmunk's version of "Funky Town." Sam is still coming into his own on acro, but I was astounded by all of the moved I saw, including a set of one handed cartwheel two girls did while holding hands. I can't imagine the coordination that takes.
The final dance was Jazz. Performed to "Jailhouse Rock," I was once again astounded by two things--pointed toes and "jazz hands." Jazz hands, for those who don't know the terminology are hands shown with fingers widely splayed. Sam's spaghetti arms also tended to afflict his Jazz hands, but he managed them quite capably.
Overall, the performance showed to me something that I seem to see time and again. For an audience, Sam can do amazing things. The audience energizes him and really brings out the very best in his performance. While practicing and running through the routines, not so much. But wow, give him an audience and he'll have them eating out of his hands.
As soon as I transfer them, I'll try to have some picture for you all.