Tuesday, February 17, 2015

West Coast

 Last weekend, Issa and I headed to Greenville, SC for West Coast Dance Explosion! Issa took six hours of classes every day, and this girl rocked it. I remember being at the conference last year, and every two minutes Issa would look over at me wide-eyed and panicky. She struggled to keep up with choreography, and she was so, so scared to make a mistake. It was hard.

This year, she never looked over. She wasn't flawless, but she was all in. She danced her little heart out. Saturday started with hip hop, and she channeled some serious hip hop energy:
 The highlight of the day, though, was when she got an Excellence in Class award for ballet. The teacher recognized her effort, technique, and posture:
 My proudest moment of the day had little to do with dance. During class, another girl from another company cut her finger. Issa rushed back to get our first aid kit and went with the girl to patch it up. By the time I caught up, they already had it washed and all I had to do was put the bandaid on. Issa didn't wait for someone else to step in or to see if someone from the girl's company would step in. It never occurred to her, and I was so proud.

Saturday afternoon was spent doing homework and eating before we supported her team during the competition. Our dancer hit the wall, though, and was snuggled in bed shortly after dinner.

Sunday morning she was up bright and early and ready to dance:
This is where my heart broke. Sunday was also Scholars' Weekend on campus, which meant I had to be there to interview next year's Fellows. Which meant I had to leave Issa. I offered to walk her to class, but she wanted to say goodbye at the Company circle and go to class with her friends. As I watched her walk away, never once looking back, I cracked. It's moments like that when I feel the most like we are parenting well--the moments when she is confident and independent and ready to venture off. But oh how they hurt my heart a little. She spent the day with one of her teammates and her family, and she had a blast, and because I have the best village on the planet, I got updates all day...including this gem:
Issa was a finalist for a convention scholarship! This is based on one 45 minute audition class. I can't even tell you how much growth this represents. In the past year, Issa has really learned how to learn choreography. She went from really struggling to being able to watch and do. Most importantly, she lost the fear of failure at convention. She goes all out.
I also got the group photo:
Issa had a fabulous weekend. She learned a lot, and she was so proud of how far she has come. This weekend she competes her solo for the first time, and our whole family will be there to cheer her on!

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