Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dynamite Babe White

Marlie danced on a competitive dance team this year.  She tried out last August and made the Babe White team at Stacey's Dance studio.  We couldn't believe she made the White team! Her team was made up of 1st - 3rd graders and Marlie was probably the youngest.  Their teachers were Ms. Jordan, Ms. Ally and Ms. Emma!  The girls did 2 dances - a military and a novelty which was a pirate dance and Marlie was in heaven!
I wasn't near as nervous for team dances as I was for Marlie's solo.  The girls had fun and I think Marlie did great.  Our first competition was exciting and when I wasn't freaking out about having to do some sort of hair-do, I was behind the camera trying to capture the laughs and excitement of it all!
I think these are the videos from competition #3.  By this time Marlie was really putting on a show and I was proud of how amazingly confident she was out there.  She did say that she got a little nervous but mostly just had fun!  

The girls went to 4 competitions. 3 were in Houston and the last one was Nationals in Ft. Worth.  The girls had a blast at Nationals and the Moms did too.  Friday night the girls performed their novelty around 8:30pm which is 30 minutes past Marlie's bedtime!
Strutter colors are purple and green so of course Dad wore his purple shirt and he even bought green kicks to go with it!  I know you all aren't surprised considering Doug's love for shoes!  Marlie was also very excited that my cousin Mallory and her husband Duy were able to come watch too. And they brought her beautiful flowers!
We got to sleep in a little.  Marlie's solo was around noon and their military was a few hours after that.  So it was nice that we weren't rushed.  Since Mallory was there we finally got a pic with all the girls and their Mommas! I tell you this dance thing is a total team effort.  The girls do the dancing but getting them ready can be a bit stressful and it's so nice how everyone jumps in to help each other!
They placed 2nd with their military and 3rd with their novelty and they were super excited about it! They got 2 big trophies at the awards ceremony which was at about 11pm!  I guess I must have given up on lugging my camera around by then but man I wish I had a pic of them with those trophies!

We ended the year with a really fun banquet where the girls got trophies and awards.  Marlie's awards were Best Technique (WOW! thank you Clara) and Most Dependable (Huh?).  My sweet Marlie is definitely not dependable but Ms. Clara explained it was because she could be counted on to know the dance and and to be solid at competitions.  This made much more sense than what I was thinking!
Marlie we had so much fun watching you this year and I loved watching you have the time of your life with so many new friends.  Even Matt got really good at judging other teams and commenting on your performance.  We were ALL so proud!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Tiny Dancer

Boy am I wishing I would have kept up these happenings along the way! So much to catch up on so I'll do my best! Let's dedicate this post to Marlie's Solo dance and I'll catch up with her team dances in the next post. 

Marlie danced competitively this year and did a solo with the help of Ms. Clara.  Clara is a sophomore in high school and has danced forever!  She is so good and Marlie was lucky to have her to choreograph her routine and help her learn so many new skills.  She was so patient and sweet to Marlie.  Marlie ended up being her shadow at all the competitions! 

So our first experience with this new world was a competition for girls performing their solos (or trios, duets, ensembles) for the first time.  When I walked in the school and saw these little girls with lots of makeup and skimpy costumes I totally freaked out.  I wanted to walk right out.  Plus, I was so nervous for Marlie all day that I couldn't eat.  I didn't know if she would totally freak out, or forget her dance or fall on her hiney!  But this little person got on that stage like it was no biggie. She had the most beautiful smile on her face (which we NEVER saw in practice) and she made it through her dance just fine!  I could not have been more proud and her Daddy, Matt and Clara felt the same!
As the weeks went on she continued to improve, doing better leaps and pointing toes and even adding harder skills like her double pirouette! Here is a video of her solo from one of the last competitions...she was totally freaked out at this competition because Clara was not there.  Plus it was freezing cold in the gym.  But she did great! I love the big hug she gets at the end from Ms. Stacey (the owner of the studio where Marlie dances...and who by the way is one of the most angelic people I've ever met) and then from her sweet friend Addy.
I thought Marlie scored really well at all the competitions.  Most of the time she was competing against 2nd and 3rd graders but the one competition where she was competing against other first graders, she placed!!  We couldn't believe it and we were so proud of her.  And I was so certain that she wouldn't that I had no idea when they would announce the winners.  We just happened to be walking into the gym right when they called her name. We were a bit confused but I told Marlie "run up there I think they called your name." All the other little girls ran across the floor looking all cute with ginormous bows in their hair.  Marlie was so tired and a mess with her pants falling down and her shoe coming apart.  Now that I think about it, it was hilarious!  We were all so proud that we had to take lots of pictures! 
What Marlie loved most were all the people that came to watch her do her solo.  Her friends Katie and Lyla came...
 Ms. Ally got to see her at her first competition and Marlie just loves Ms. Ally because she gives great hugs!
 Even the Carnathan clan and all 3 boys came to cheer Marlie on.  She was in heaven!
 Gram, Papa Howie and Tim literally drove up just to watch her and drove back to SA.  In the video above you can hear Tim cheer for Marlie and I think that's SO very cute!
And maybe the sweetest of all was at Nationals.  Marlie freaked out about 15 minutes before she was about to go on.  The venue was small but it was something about it being "Nationals" that freaked her out.  She wouldn't listen to me or Clara (which she got in big trouble after all was said and done).  She finally came into the ballroom where they were performing and when her teammates saw her crying they cheered like CRAZY! And I know you're not surprised that it made me cry.  She got out there and did good.  Not her best but given the state she was in 3 minutes prior it went really well. 
She got lots of hugs after and then she was fine.  I hope these girls are all on a team together again next year! What sweet little lades!!
Marlie for your first year, you did amazing.  I can't believe how being out there in front of so many people just came natural to you.  Every time it looked like you were having a blast.  Your dance skills have improved so much and you have won over lots of hearts.  I can't wait to see you dance again next year.  You're my Tiny Dancer!  Clara thank you for being so wonderful, kind and patient and always having a smile on your face!