We just got back from a full day of J's first dance competition of the season. She did 5 numbers: contemporary group, tap group, open group, musical theater solo, and vocal solo. The rankings were high bronze, silver, high silver, gold, and high gold. Her musical theater dance solo scored a gold. Her vocal solo scored a high gold and ranked 3rd solo overall in her level (which included all "middle-level" junior dance and vocal solos - levels are based on years of experience). All her group numbers won high gold (highest ranking given) and one won for best costume. It was an amazing day. I finally saw all the new numbers and was floored by just about all of them.
W hung out with 3 or 4 of his friends (all boys 6-9 years old) and we hardly knew he was there. K sat with her best dance friends and after the junior awards went over another friend's house til about 10pm. My mom drove in from Long Island to watch J's new solos and groups and was crying with me during the singing and while hearing the awards. J's vocal coach has done an amazing job with her. Everyone couldn't belive how much she's grown vocally. She's also grown physically - there's a 4" difference in her from this time last year, putting her at about 5'2" now. It's scary when your kid almost catches up to you in height! K and I are almost even now.
J's set and awards were done by 6:30pm. B went out and got us some dinner and we stayed and watched the older kids compete til about 11pm. J spent the evening with about 10 of her best friends. I love how she's so close with them all. Boys, girls, she considers them all equal best friends (since they were 7). These kids are so wonderful, so supportive, so encouraging, and such real friends, that I'm proud to know them and their families.
J's also been hinting more and more that she would like to go to a performing arts high school. There are a bunch here in NYC, but she knows which 2 she prefers. She'll audition next year and then we'll just see what happens. She realizes she may need to step up the academics to be considered and she's prepared to do that. I'll go along with whatever she chooses. I'm torn on the whole idea, but it's not really up to me. I'll do what I need to to get her where she wants to go. She has one year before the decision has to be made. It's so hard to let go.