Thursday, March 12, 2009

2009 Natchez Pilgrimage Pageant: Part 1

Cari: on the right
I am titling this Part 1 because I hope to go to a few more performances over the next 4 weeks. When you're daughter does this four nights a week over a four week period, you can't make them all. Today I was still beaming with pride that Randy and I had last night over our daughter's performance.

Cari and I were discussing the last time that she performed ballet before an audience was the last Mini-National level pageant that she competed in the summer of '99 in Shreveport, La. A little background to those of you who didn't know us back then: We, I mean she, had competed in pageants since she was 8 months old, off and on. This particular year we decided to lay off pageants for a while..okay I decided...maybe she had input. She was still five when we made the decision.

So rather than competing in pageants, we competed in dance. [edited to add: I think competition can be very healthy for children.] Her dance school started back competing that year! So we decided to tried a new kind competition. She was supposed to do a little tap dance with another girl and two boys, but for some reason this dance did not work out. So Cari being the youngest performer in the group that was committed to performing, her teacher choreographed her a solo. I think...I would have dig out the papers to make sure, but I think her dance was called Tiny Ballerina. She competed in three different competitions in dance as a solo and in also at each competition she also competed in a very large group dance. This included all the children that were competing. I don't know exactly what the wins were on the group dance, but I know they did well. In her Tiny Ballerina solo, she won two first place awards and a third place. The third place had many kids in her age group. I was pleased with the third.

In the collage that I posted yesterday, you see five different costumes. After the competition, they finished getting ready for recital. At recital, Cari performed five different times. I still remember our first recital that I discovered then that the seniors get to perform a solo. So then I started looking forward to Cari performing her solo when she was a senior. So it was quite exciting that we didn't have to wait until she was a senior, she performed her group dances with her class and she performed the large group dance for competition. SHE ALSO PERFORMED A SOLO AT SIX YEARS OLD!

For many reasons, I was so glad that Cari was allowed to perform that solo at Debra Franco's School of Dance recital in Vicksburg, MS. Because less than a year later we moved to Concordia Parish and Cari has not had dance with Ms. Debra again.

I don't want to go into details because I am finding that I am already being too wordy...much more than I intended to be when I started the post. But this fall, after everything...I mean somethings, went back to normal after Hurricane Gustav, Cari began ballet classes again. This time at Natchez Ballet Academy. I really don't think her teacher thought Cari would be that great. Cari nor I didn't really know what to think...Okay...I felt like she would be good. Ms. Debra always said that Cari was a natural ballerina, but I just know how she is...if she wants to be good at something "you can bet your last dollar" that she will be. THAT'S MY CARI!
So who would believe that it had been 10 years before this child (young woman) had performed ballet before an audience? Apparently not any one who saw this performance last night! And even her dad and I, who knew this, could not believe our eyes.

Cari: on the right

Okay...I confess I am not very professional at this kind of I did black and white images of the ones w/'s okay, huh? since this isn't my professional blog?
Cari: right (back)
By the way, Cari is actually just an understudy. She only been on point shoes since November!

She is actually committed to this dance...Can Can!
Cari: in the middle (front row)

I don't know how many of you who view this actually read the text or just look at the images. When I view blogs it all depends on my mood and the time that I have at the moment. If it looks really interesting and I just don't have time, I come back later to read the story behind the images. But just for your information: That pageant that she did her solo in August 1999. She won overall supreme age 3-6...accumulative score of many different competitions including photogenic (by mom, the photographer) and talent (her ballet solo). I was very nervous because girls that we had known for years in our age group had been getting very serious about pageants were taking voice lessons and such for talent (so I had heard through the grapevine...if that was today it would be facebook or someone's blog, huh?), we spent that time in dance competition. I was concerned that our judges wouldn't recognize her ballet as "real" talent. Since the pageant was in August, several children did recital type dances, but I (and our friends) could tell that Cari's dance was much more than a recital dance. and by the way...SO DID THE JUDGES! SHE WON TALENT!
And to those of you who don't know much about pageants and think that's it all superficial...well some of it really is, but it is a serious competition that a lot can be learned out of it, but at the same time I think if you stay in it too long, around "some" of those people too long, you get sucked right into it too. It's sort of like gambling, but with some "crazy" moms. Maybe I was one of them, but I don't think I let me myself go that far. As I often tell some people...I was like Jon Benet's mom, but w/o money. And in the pageant money can keep you a little more grounded/humble however you want to word it.
Okay, I did not intend to post so much info...but there I go again. I did, however, want to do something with these images right away. So often my stuff gets put on the back burner for so long that it really is old news.

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