A Few Questions Raised by my Experience at a Dance Competition

The auditorium was divided into two performance halls. The music pounded; spotlights flashed in every direction; the door boasted a sign that advised the audience of the use of strobe lights. Every dancer there was doing his or her best. Toes pointed. Highest jumps. Big, big smiles. All day. For two days.

Toward what end, I wonder?

Many teams wear eye shadow guards, which press down on their eyelids and cause headaches after several hours of trying to keep their eyes wide open. The sparkle factor is out of control. Sequins on every square inch of torso; jewels glued to the faces; heavy makeup on the tiniest tykes; glittering pom-poms for team after team.

Dance comps must be a huge boon for the hairspray industry, as those hairdos were stiff as concrete, and all about that updo.

It must be exciting to be on a team. I think I would have gravitated to such a thing had they been around in my childhood, but I doubt my parents would have thought it a good idea, either from a financial or otherwise point of view.

What’s in store for these perfect little bodies that put themselves through such hard, hard practice and work and must be so energetic. Is there any downside to putting on SUCH a huge show? Do they feel letdown afterward? As they drive home, without the pounding bass, the flashing lights, the applause, the constant overstimulation, do they feel tired?

Is it just that I’m a practical, tired, old, introverted person? Or is there something out of balance in the excess that is dance competitions? Should we do it just because we can? Should we do more just because we haven’t expired from the exertions of the day? Is there still a higher fever pitch that these girls can whip themselves into for the next competition?

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