^^^ Disclaimer: My irises are nowhere near that bright blue...shout out to you, Amaro filter. ^^^
This year dance auditions were different. Even though they only happened four days ago, the difference began at the start of summer. As we wrapped up last year's competition season (in July at Nationals), several thoughts went through my head...none of which, mind you, I shared with Tyler Bree. They went something like this:
-Wow, this first year of Tyler Bree on team was a whole new world to me. It's a lot of money, a lot of time, etc...is this going to be her "thing"??? If it isn't, there isn't much time left in her schedule to explore her other talents/skills.
-Auditions are only a month and half away. What if Tyler Bree thinks this is all for fun and doesn't work hard to improve for next year? What if my uber-competitive streak didn't get passed onto her? (the jury is still out.)
-How hard do I push her? I didn't push much last year, but heck, if we're going to be shelling out this much money and time, we need to be "all in" and some pushing/motivating/encouraging needs to take place. But she's only (almost) nine years old.
-As long as she says she loves it and wants to audition, then I'm totally behind her. I'm love watching her dance...
but what if, what if, what if....you get the picture.
So this summer I've pushed some. Not much...just reminders to practice and stretch...and some remarks here and there about setting a goal for making team and what dedication and hard work look like at her level/age, you know...trying to be a good parent and stuff (which was met with luke-warm response at best, flat out refusal to practice at worst). She also took several private lessons to help with some of her technique, as well as watched youtube how-to's on specific skills. I was skeptical how it would be come audition week...would she dig in her heels at the first hint of my "get your booty in gear" pep talk?
Cut to last Thursday night when she and about 50-something other little girls learned the three dances with which they were to audition on Saturday. Under two days to attempt to master three dances...no small feat. Pressure was on...mainly just on me. And when I say pressure, I really mean worry.
All day Friday I started, restarted, and started again her music as she practiced each dance over and over in our vacant upstairs playroom. I knew then I was walking a fine line. I had to find the balance of encouragement and motivation, while actively critiquing her dancing. Not only did I wish NOT to put unnecessary pressure on Tyler Bree (both because of her age and her sensitive personality), but I wanted her to have fun AND know that we were proud of her hard work no matter the outcome.
Key word: HARD WORK. That's all I was asking from her.
And let me tell you what. To my surprise, this girl delivered.
Not one time did she complain or tell me she was "done"...even though I could see the fatigue in her eyes. I truly did not know if she had it in her (it pains me a bit to say that, but I'm being truthful), which made the day of auditions even sweeter.