I was invited to a show by a coworker of mine, a flamenco dance show. When asked, I quickly turned it down. I thought to myself, not my thing. But in reality, it is my thing. I enjoy going to shows or just going out in general. But what usually ends up happening is I respond yes to an event in the moment and as the event approaches I hate myself for saying yes to the invite. I don’t know why, but it happens almost all the time. Days prior to the event I spend time thinking about why I said yes. Then, I begin conjuring up all sorts of excuses to get out of going to the event. You know the standard ideas such as I got a flat, the repair person is coming, I don’t feel well, my toilet broke, a family matter came up, and on and on. This time I decided to change things up and say NO immediately to help spare myself the future dread.
I saw my coworker in the hall and she mentioned that the show was only two days away and she still had one ticket left. So naturally I said I would go and of course Monday rolled around I was like damn why did I say yes at the last minute and how can I get out of this. Be as it may, I actually ended up going to the show cause I felt bad AND I enjoyed it except for the kids performances.
The Kid Performers
There were two groups of kid dancers, the older ones between the ages of 8 and 12, and a younger group from 5 to 7 years of age. As the kids danced their way through the performance, a co-worker seated next me expressed how adorable she thought the kids were. But when I looked out onto the stage all I saw was a bunch of disorganized kids trying to keep uup with their leader, the instructor, who was off to the side. Kids were turning in wrong directions, or could not follow the steps, and were looking to each other as to what to do and all the while the audience was screaming “Bravo!” “Bravo! Ellena!” All the while I was thinking, are these people blind or what? Did they see something I did not? What wonderful things did they see? I kept thinking this is terrible and what in the heck made them think to put these unsynchronized kiddos on stage?! As one group of kids finished the next flamencoed their way in. It did not matter the age, the performance did not improve. Terrible, disorganized, chaos on stage and yet again the audience howling and praising how wonderful they were.
These people need glasses.
At the end of the show, we awaited our co-worker to come out to offer our congratulations on her performance. Which by the way was merited, unlike the kiddos. While waiting my other co-worker once again commented on how she thought the children’s performance was sooo wonderful and adorable. And that’s when I said, “ OMG they were terrible and there was nothing cute about it.” “It was awful.” Immediately all eyes were on me and my co-workers began saying things like “OMG! How can you say that?” “That’s so mean.” “That’s a cold hearted thing to say.” I looked at them in bewilderment. “Really?” I replied. “Sorry but no.” I said flatly. I then proceeded to explain my thinking, but yet again I was met with “that’s so mean.” “ You are so cold.”
Umm..ok. I shut my mouth.
Get some glasses folks.
For the record, I absolutely disagree with them. First of all, why is it wrong to say the kids’ performance was terrible? Is because they are kids. And just because they are kids, are we supposed to appreciate, applaud and tolerate their horrible performances? I think not. The ticket I purchased was not free nor was the performance for families only. It was a public event. There are expectations and requirements if you are going to perform on stage with a public audience, I’m sorry. Disorganized kids jumping around a stage like if it were a gym class gone wild does not even begin to meet the minimum requirements.
Second of all, we are not doing these or any children any favors by allowing them to think that their horrendous performance was acceptable standard. One can support children in their endeavours and encourage them for their effort but also let them know they still need to develop skills and talent when needed. If you applaud, howl, and shout wonders at terrible performances then there is no need to think improvement and work is still needed. And as instructors, we should not subject the public to these performances because not everyone will think they are adorable, especially no familial paying audience members.
In the end, I made my cold hearted comments when the kids were mentioned and I did not attempt to explain my thinking as no one was interested in hearing it.
I wonder why?