|This is not my happy face|
I was rehearsing the buffoons for Nutcracker. The choreography has a section with cartwheels in it. The dancers weren't required to do cartwheels in the audition so I needed to get a handle on who could do what.
I talked about how some dancers are really proud of their cartwheels and how some are really nervous about them but we are all on Team Buffoon and we cheer for everyone's best effort. I then threatened to tell on them to their mothers if I heard anyone making another dancer feel bad about their acrobatic prowess. (I didn't phrase it quite like that.)
[Side note: I am very aware of how it feels to lose a part because you can't cartwheel. It has totally happened to me. I was so relieved when I outgrew those roles. Then I decided that I was tired of feeling like I couldn't do something, so I took a gymnastics class solely to learn how to cartwheel. In college. I was twenty-two.]
So I sent cast B into the hall to peruse dance magazines because I knew that this would take a little while, that kids get chatty, and that chattiness in rehearsal makes me cranky. Then I had cast A cartwheel for me two people at a time. (First just one cartwheel, then four in a row.)
I'm glad I had them go two at a time; I could clearly see each dancer and (I hope) there was less pressure than doing a solo.
But that's where my best intentions went awry. One dancer wasn't confident with her single cartwheel and began to cry when I asked her to do four. You guys--I feel so bad! I made a child cry!! That is the opposite of what I'm about. (I'm even friends with the founder of BACA--he's gonna kill me.)
Anyway, I had the sweet little girl come sit next to me and I told about how I was way old when I finally learned to cartwheel, gave her a hug, and went on. I know the show must go on, but it was hard.
A little later I told all the girls how proud I was of them for trying something a little scary and giving it their very best effort. And I had a good talk with the little girl's mom already, which I think is important. I mean, I'd want the teacher to talk with me if it had been my daughter.
But still. I could have gone a long time without ever making a kid cry.