So there she was, all of three years old our, Anna Banana, decked out in her yellow tutu and waiting for the music to begin. Her classmates were up there, too. All in a row looking utterly adorable. I sat next to her dad, our oldest, as he steadied his camera. “Go Banana,” he cheered quietly. And when the first notes sounded she bent over, grabbed her knees and bounced her yellow tutu in time to the music. My heart bounced, too. I only had eyes for Anna. “You go, sweetheart,” I whispered.
And she did.
Flash forward seven years. She’s made the competition dance team at the Isabelle School of Dance. Yesterday she was up on stage again, right in front, all dolled up. And when this music began she was beyond ready. Right in front – did I say that? Far left and lookin’ good.
The number was called The Listening Chair. Never heard of it, but it began with a series of complicated hand motions and Anna had them down cold. She was snappin’ her fingers and moving her arms in perfect time. She had attitude. She had joy. You could see it on her face and in the sassy swing of her ponytail. Her feet moved in motion with all the others on her team – maybe twenty dancers. They exited to wild applause – her family clapping the loudest. The team's second number, all in pink and black, was also awesome and even her big brother paid attention. A feat – let me tell you.
Her team claimed the Platinum Award for that first number. You go, sweetheart.
Kisses and hugs rained down on her at the stage door. Her grandparents (all four of us), mom and dad, brother, earlier her aunts and cousins. Our dancer had triumphed. Our dancer had shown us something. For all her hard work, for all her dedication, for all her “Grandma, wanna play dance school?” moments, in the end . . .
Hard work always pays off. Kudos, more kisses and here’s to next year, Anna.
We only have eyes for you.