I knew something was going to go wrong was when I dropped Bug off at her dance recital and her name wasn’t on the sign-in sheet. It’s kind of a big dance company and things get a little unorganized at times so right away I was worried. Did we show up for the wrong show? Was her dance not part of the program? Is it just a typo or do we not exist?
Then I saw her teacher and she led Bug off to the back stage area where all the other dancers were. Everything seemed okay. I just wrote Bug’s name in at the bottom of the sign-in sheet along with about five other parents who also couldn’t find their kids’ names. I was a little ticked but these things happen. I’m the queen of typos myself so I really can’t judge.
As the lights dimmed and I read over the program my heart sank. Bug’s name wasn’t on the program either. She had two dances and one dance was completely left off. The other dance was listed but no Bug. I sat there for a while seething. Should I just let it go? Would Bug be sad when the MC read off everyone else’s name and not her’s? Toby pays a lot of money for Bug to be in this program. The costumes are outrageously expensive. Bug’s been practicing her dance for months! Are we just a number to be forgotten? I was getting mad.
Of course I don’t want to be one of those parents who complain about everything so I sat there for quite a while trying to keep my temper in check. Toby was there too and he agreed with me that I should do something. There was a lot of time between dances (due to costume changes) so I went off to see if I could find someone who could tell the MC to add Bug’s name back in.
Of course this wouldn’t be a very good story if that worked out. You know it didn’t. The ushers were completely helpless and anybody who could call the shots was already backstage. One usher said I could talk to the manager on Monday which did me no good. The show was going on right then and after the recital Bug is taking a break from dance, possibly even quitting. Couldn’t they do anything? Bug’s dance was coming up quickly. The ushers just shook their heads. One of them even got a little defensive with me which was weird because I wasn’t being rude about it. You’d think they’d want to apologize at the very least.
I didn’t want to disrupt the backstage process. They have a show to put on and obviously they were already having difficulties since there were such long breaks between dances. I know better than to mess with that so I went back to my seat and sat through another dance but my unhappiness wouldn’t go away. It was bee in my bonnet at this point. How dare they slight my child like that? the mama bear in me grumbled.
I decided to try and talk to the MC myself. He was situated at the top of the theatre in a room with a window. I climbed the stairs to the back and tried to open the door. It was locked. I knocked. I waited. I knocked again. The MC was chattering away trying to kill time between dances. He didn’t hear me or maybe he did and couldn’t take the time to answer. I don’t know. I went back down to my seat defeated.
What could I do?
Finally Bug came on stage with all her fellow dancers and they read out the names one by one. I waited. When the last name was read I yelled out as loud as I could “AND BUG!!!!” Except of course I used her real name which is quite melodic since it has three syllables. I had the biggest voice ever and it rocked around the theatre. I could feel everyone turning in their seat to look at me in the dark. A few other parents whistled and clapped.
Shouting like that was actually quite shocking if you know me in real life because usually I have a very quiet mouse voice that nobody can hear. But I guess even a mouse can roar when her baby is getting overlooked.
Bug looked up and I could see a smile from ear to ear. I was worried I embarrassed her but when I asked her about it afterwards she said no. It made her proud—which makes me proud. So who cares about the stupid program and the stupid dance company, both Bug and I left with smiles on our faces.
Her dance was really cute. Her teacher choreographed it really well and combined her dance with another class of older kids. It’s a musical theatre class so it was so neat to see them snapping their fingers and running around with their arms outstretched, doing big Vegas style kicks. It was really cute. Maybe cutting their music off abruptly at the end wasn’t so smooth but that’s not the dancer’s or the teacher’s fault. That’s sort of normal.
I’d like to say that’s the end of the story but of course not, pffft. I got home and wrote a passive agressive email to the management because apparently I wasn’t quite over it. I tried to make it really nice though. I know putting on a show with hundreds of kids is stressful. Lots of things go wrong. It’s show business! Really, all I wanted them to do was apologize. I just want to leave with good feelings about the company. But I guess they don’t understand that. Maybe they are sick of parents in general. I’m sure they are actually.
Her teacher did call me though to apologize even though it wasn’t her fault and there wasn’t anything she could do. And guess what? She’s quitting! Not over the program errors, that would be silly, but apparently management doesn’t get a lot of other things either—which doesn’t really surprise me at all. She’s already got another job which also doesn’t surprise me. She’s really good. Bug’s taken two classes with her and loved her.
So, moral of the story? Don’t mess with my kid. I’ll roar at you.
Good for you mama bear. I would have done the same. I am quite and meek until you mess with my kid. At least the teacher apologized. Bug looked lovely!
I don’t blame you one bit for being mad. I would be too! My nieces have their recital this weekend and I better see their names on the program!
Good for you! And for Bug that she has you backing her up. It is really disappointing that they they overlooked something like that. Maybe another dance studio/group could be looked at after Bug’s break. Maybe you could following the teacher?
Bug wants to take a break and try soccer but if she ever wants to dance again I will most definitely follow her teacher. She is awesome!
Good for you! I’m rather quiet, too- so I was thrilled to read this.
Leaving a child’s name off of a program is pretty bad- it might be one of the very few times they have been onstage and yes, it is important to the parents and children. You did the right thing.
Hit them where it hurts, with your checkbook. I know so many people (myself included) that have great memories and experiences dancing in for-profit and non-profit studios. However, if a client who is committed to driving, paying for the costumes, classes, and all other necessary dance doodads, and management does not maintain their documentation what they are providing is poor customer service. Little actions can make a bigger impact, it’s unfortunate you guys got some of the blow back.
I hope Bug had fun, and she enjoys soccer, good on you for speaking up.
Good grief, it is SO ANNOYING when people can’t own up to their mistakes and just apologize. Ugh.
At least Bug has already decided to move on, so you don’t have the issue of her wanting to keep doing dance at this studio while you really want to stop giving them your money.
So proud of you B!!!!!! We had a similar story here with lots if drama, we are changing schools for next year. They really shouldn’t say all the dancers names for that reason alone, missing someone, especially a small someone hurts.
Wow, you did great. Having read this, I will probably be better equipped to respond the first time something like it happens to my cub.
Perfect time to take a break from dance. Also, I think soccer is a great game to know how to play. It’s ubiquitous. I never learned it well as a child but I have had fun playing it with people from various countries.
I am SO PROUD of you for that roar. I think Bug was too. Way to go Mama Bear…WAY TO GO!
Bug is a beauty!
Oh, that’s awesome that the teacher called to apologize! Class act.
I wish I’d been there to hear that yell. :-)
Good for you. Our dance school is also terribly organized, another mom with kids at another school said theirs is too and we should create a company that manages administration for dance schools. Good idea, yes?? I guess dancers aren’t into the details of ordinary lives trying to pull the pieces together for their kids.
Good for you Brenda. And glad to hear Bug will not be going back!
Way to go Mama Bear! :) Wish things would’ve ended better, but kids like to try different things so I hope she enjoys the soccer.