At the end of the dance season this year Samantha decided she was ready for a new adventure. She had mentioned about February that she was wanting to switch studios. For one thing, she was burned out on dancing four days a week, which, I can't really blame her. Secondly, there was a girl in her class she had been friends with but it had not recently turned out so great. And lastly, she was feeling like her team's dances were being watered down so that the mini's could compete in the same dances as her team. I took her request seriously and started to research different studios in town. I knew I needed somewhere that offered pointe as well as modern styles of dance. I also knew that I needed a studio that would accept little ones (if I move Sam, I move B - we are a one studio family!).
Over the course of her exhibitions, performances and competitions, I was watching the other local dance companies. I finally picked one that I knew offered all the styles of dances Sam wanted to participate in. I got in touch with the studio to find out what we would need to do to get registered there. I found out that this particular studio required auditions for the girls on their "company" (competitive team).
Here we are in June and 2 days into auditions. The first two days of auditions are technique classes. The third day is the actual audition. She has learned a ballet combo and a jazz combo. When I've asked her about what she thinks she told me, "LaShar's has NEVER done a dance that fast OR that slow! I love it! They are really pushing me and aren't just putting it to something at a medium pace that just anyone can do. This is going to be great and I'm going to learn a lot!" She has said that it's hard but she's ok with it. She's excited that they are pushing her and her abilities. She was excited that when the ballet teacher used French terms she actually KNEW what she meant!
I do not regret our 9 years at LaShars. Sam learned so much and made a lot of friends. She's learned and grown in a pace that was just right for her. I'm glad that she spent the last year at the Whittier Center learning classic ballet. She grew 100 fold in the ballet class. I actually think it was the ballet class that made her realize she was ready for something more than what she was getting at LaShars. She feels bad about leaving LaShars, I get that. But, she's excited to see what this new company has to offer!
We sat in a parent meeting last night at the end of her class. They'll be going to DisneyLand in February or March (yay...). They are required to do ONE CONVENTION a year. This is something new for us. It's going to be about $250 for the convention plus a costume, etc., so there is a new added cost I hadn't anticipated, but it's ok. Tuition for just one studio is cheaper than tuition at two studios so it sorta evens out. Her costume cost will be comparable to what we were paying as will her competition fees. As a member of the company team she'll be dancing 3 days a week (2 days 1.5 hrs ballet and 1 day 1.5 hrs company class). She also has the option of adding a hip hop and tap class if she wants it. They are required to do at least ONE BOOT CAMP during the summer. This boot camp is a week in June, a week in July and a week in August. She only has to go to one but since it's costing me $220 and it isn't an extra cost for her to do all 3 since she's in the company class, she'll be participating in all three boot camps! She can also pick up a hip hop class this summer if she's interested. There's a pre pointe class she can pick up in the fall that she's debating about. This would be separate from the 3 hrs of ballet a week she'll already be required to do. I suppose if she still wants to do pointe we'll be picking up the pre pointe class as well! She might still be dancing 4 days a week, but I'm fairly certain she's going to be happier at this new studio and that is what matters most. For when dance is no longer fun, that's when dance ends. She has said many, many times she wants to make dance a career. Therefore I figure we ought to give her as many opportunities as we can...and in case you were wondering, yes, she and I have discussed Julliard :) If only I had $30K per semester, I would give it to her. Oh the things we do for our children.
And, on a sidebar, in order to pay for all these new adventures, I've picked up a new part time job. I"ll be a part time (although I'm scheduled for 30 hrs next week) cashier at Ridleys (the grocery store here in Hyrum). It doesn't pay a whole lot, but it should cover our new dance adventure costs while preschool is out! So far I'm liking it and it's going well. I hope it stays that way!