Dancing in the Sun

March 30, 2017

One thing that I’ve been exposed to at an early age is dancing. Back in elementary school, there were annual field demonstrations, one of those private school programs where the parents can get to see their kids perform by dancing complete with dance costumes and huge production numbers. I remember all the grades had their own performances every year. I can’t remember all of them except for I think two performances. We used to have that on the large field that our school had near our gym. Thankfully, my mother only has copies of one of those performances so there is only one set of photos here to embarrass myself with on this post.

Imagine this: an entire field of grade school kids in full costume dancing to whatever was the hip or entertaining song or dance of the year was. I remember thinking that our teachers were insane to have to teach all of us the same dance and have the patience to get us all to work together as we performed in unison in front of so many parents with their cameras in tow.

I can only imagine the tantrums that we raised as kids for being in the sun and dancing in those itchy and embarrassing dance costumes. I don’t think I had a photo of myself in these performances with a smile on my face. Our teachers were lucky we all managed to get through the performances without much drama!

dance costumes
I’m not sure about the song that we performed when we did this field demo where the girls were wearing ruffled skirts and had baskets of fruits on our heads but I’m assuming that this would have been Miami Sound Machine’s Conga since it was popular at the time.

That dress, even if one shoulder didn’t have a sleeve, was very hot and itchy. It was the fabric, I think. It was stiff so that the other shoulder’s sleeve would be standing up the way it did. The fluffy skirt had so many layers that it made it so hot to wear – to think that I even had shorts underneath that thing!

That basket, oh my goodness that basket! The fruits were, obviously, plastic and didn’t weigh as much as the real thing but they were still difficult to balance on top of your head so we literally had it tied onto our heads with a big ribbon resting on our chins to secure it. I felt like one of those comedic dead people with the heads tied together with that ribbon. The basket was uncomfortable too because my hair was stuck in it by the end of it all.

Aside from that performance, I remember another Hawaiian one where all the girls were wearing short sleeveless shirts and grass skirts made from rice sacks – I think this was during sixth grade. We had leis and everything…and yes, we were barefoot. I think for that performance the girls got the lucky end as far as costumes were concerned since the boys had to be shirtless for the performance.

I’m not sure if these field demonstrations still happen in my old school but I can only imagine the kind of performances that they would have today if they still did. I’m sure that the teachers and the students would take this whole performance thing to a higher level with all the things that technology could do for us these days.

Now that I’m older, I do get the appeal of watching your kids perform like that. I wish I did have kids so I can watch them in their school programs but I guess I’ll have to “borrow” my sisters kids and just watch them instead. Kids are so adorable to watch when they’re dancing and in costume.

It’s embarrassing as a kid, but as an adult it really is cute. Sadly, kids these days are unlucky since we now have social media and anyone and everyone can record and post their performances online –and It’s going to be on there forever (thank God our generation didn’t have that)!

I wonder…do they do these things in other schools as well? What exactly is the purpose of this anyway?

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