Saturday, 3 March 2012

Putting on a performance

The term 'ballet mum' can conjure up images of an unbearably pushy parent. I hope I am not she. For me 'ballet mum' is not just about giving our girls the opportunity to get involved in ballet if they want to - which they do. Phew! - it is also a reflection of the fact I am still doing ballet myself.

In fact, it has been a real tonic for me recovering from major surgery: building up fitness, getting out of the house, feeling the satisfaction of nailing a double pirouette, feeling alive.

When I announced I was doing a year of fundraising (www.justgiving.com/year-of-fundraising) in support of Macmillan Cancer Support, the principal of the dance school (and teacher to P and myself), said to let her know if there was anything the school could get involved in as they'd be happy to support my efforts.

She didn't need to say it twice! My original thought had been a day of open workshops with people paying to come and try something different - opening it up to the public. However, it was soon clear that Miss R would prefer a fundraising show. She is keen on giving students more performing opportunities.

It is not proving easy. Finding a date has been tough and a suitable venue equally so. The venue where her ballet show usually takes place is booked up a long way in advance and another venue we went to see is gorgeous but just not suitable for the number of dancers we'd want to include. We went to see a relatively new, imaginatively named venue yesterday: The Venue. It is in a school but extremely well-equipped and has ample space for a dance production with several performers.

The drawback is the price, but the capacity is good. Could it work? If we sell 300 tickets at a tenner each per show it could just about make some money for Macmillan. But how much and how risky would it be?

We keep going from trying to keep it modest and low-stress to a big all-singing, all-dancing (forget the the all-singing) affair. How about making it for the older students only? Perhaps Grade 2 up and not in the pricey venue but somewhere more low key.

Hang on a minute, that would mean darling daughter number two would be left out as she is only in the nursery class. But we can't possibly put on a show without giving her a chance to be in it.

Oops! I seem to have reverted to type. Ballet mum of the most tedious order.

Anyway, we have a plan. Enquire about availability of The Venue for the weekend after October half term. Give ourselves a bit more time to plan and prepare. It will fall outside of my original year target for fundraising but is likely to be far more successful. One way or another, the show must go on!


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