Monday, February 29, 2016

'Cause I'm Hollow - Dance Competition in Sprague

Oh my gosh do I ever love this dance! I can't wait to share the video of it with you. This past Saturday, we made our way to Sprague High School in Salem, and Brailey's team competed against several other middle school dance teams. Brailey and the tiny dancer she helps lift up at the beginning of the dance, Kaelyn, are so elegant! I start crying every time I watch them, for some reason. Kaelyn's mom said the same thing happens to her. They dance with their whole hearts, and I guess we can feel it, as their mothers. This is such a fun team to watch! They were much more "on" for this performance than the previous weekend. They are all so darling!
After their dance, while the judges compiled their score, their performance was replayed on the big screen, which was really cool. Watching it from a different angle was interesting, as well. It looks totally different, believe it or not!
At the end of Round 1, they had a "Drill Down" for all the middle schoolers. Brady loves this part and calls it the "Thrill Down." All the dancers line up and perform certain moves that the caller gives them. Brailey did well until the marching part - this confuses her. She is still learning the motions. I can't imagine doing it at all, so I am proud of her for doing it, period. She will get it figured out, I know that much. Isn't her face precious in these pictures?!
After the "Thrill Down," they gathered in their circles for the awards. They were looking at themselves on the big screen. So cute!
They won second place! Truthfully, I thought their routine was much more difficult and beautiful to watch than the other teams, but second is nothing to be ashamed of. And they do have room for improvement. Perhaps I am barn blind, afterall! I am excited to see this dance again. It goes by so quickly, I am always a little sad when it is over. Dancing is too much fun! And no doubt about it, happy girls are the prettiest girls.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dance Team Pictures - Pick Your Faves!

These pictures are SO SUPER CUTE! Brailey's dance team coach had them done, and the photographer is Scott Olmos. He took them all for FREE! Is that so sweet of him or what?! He does great work. They are all so cute, I can't decide which ones to have framed! What are your picks? Help me out by commenting on your faves. Fun, fun, FUN!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Play Ball, Dance, Play Ball

It was a busy weekend, but so super fun! We started out with basketball.
Britt has made some really good buddies on this team. They were watching something on one of the mother's phones. (After I was just bragging about how cool it was they didn't need a cell phone to entertain them - haha!)
Doing "high knees" for warm ups. I am impressed with Britt's - much higher than I realized he was doing. We all know these aren't easy, right?
Britt is almost always smiling at these games. I tried to capture as much as I could, but it is hard to watch everything through a camera lens. He loves it so much! Below, Brady got roped into running the clock, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?! Not that Brady is an old dog... But you know what I mean. Ha!
We missed Brailey's first dance, because we were doing a "good deed." We gave Britt's coach a ride home - he is a college student at Oregon and usually rides the bus. But we still got to see both dances, because she performed one of them twice, so that was lucky for us. And even better, her dear friend Nikki and her parents were there to see it. I am so, so bummed I didn't get a picture of Brailey and Nikki together, but I am grateful they got to see each other and share a hug. They miss each other like crazy! (And quick volleyball update for you - Nikki is on a fantastic and nice club volleyball team, this year! She is having a blast and doing really well. If you read my previous blog post, you know what a tough year last season was. Only three girls from that team are playing this year. That speaks volumes about the overall experience, doesn't it? Wow.) Anyway, it was really special of the Reeves family to come just to see Brailey dance, and it meant the world to her!
First, they did their Hip Hop routine. It was so super cute! I love their sparkly shoes! And their shirts. The entire outfit is darling!  A neat thing about dance competitions, is that the teams all sit together and watch one another. When a team comes and sits down, they all cheer for them. It is really nice to see this kind of sportsmanship! 
Brailey is still working on her facial expression for Hip Hop. She wasn't sure what to do, so she asked my boss, Ali Dee, who was a professional dancer for years. Ali suggested a smile or a smirk, which Brailey has been practicing. She was fairly serious during the performance. She's going to work on her smirk, she said, and get some more attitude in her hip hop. She takes dancing VERY seriously.
 She is the one with the long hair in the middle facing backwards, below.
And then, the competitive number. These dresses are so pretty! They danced to "Hollow" by Tori Kelly. This is a tough dance, and they need to sharpen it up a bit. They ended up second in the competition (there were only two middle school teams), so maybe that will inspire them all to work even harder. They looked amazing, in my opinion, but I am a bit prejudiced, I suppose.
Brailey was so elegant in this dance. She was born to dance!
Front and center!
At the end, they all sit in their teams and wait for the awards to be called out. Another neat thing about dance!  
Then, the next day, more basketball! I am terrible about getting good action shots of Britt. I want to watch him, and I can't see as well through my lens. I will try to get some more action shots next weekend. They had two really good, close games. The first one went into overtime! The weren't able to get the W's, but they are improving every game, and Britt is figuring things out. Unfortunately, we have some really intense parents on our team. We also have some very nice parents. But there are a few who are way over the top in their level of seriousness. These little guys are just babies, They are sixth graders, people! Give them a break, seriously, and take a chill pill. One particular parent was irritated with Britt because he got a rebound and then accidentally traveled. Unfortunately, he was sitting right next to me. Big Mama (that would be me) let him know, nicely, of course, that this is Britt's first year playing, and he is actually a swimmer. That shut him up for the rest of the game, at least.
I love how much fun Britt has with this team. There are some super sweet boys and he has made some great friends. I think it takes a lot of courage to start something new, especially when you know you are starting later than everyone else and you are behind. Britt has such a fun personality, he is Mr. Popular on the team. At one practice, he was so happy, because they learned a new play, and the coach said, "What should we call this one?" And two of his friends said, "Let's name it after Britt, because he's the heart and soul of our team!" It meant a lot to Britt. And as far as having fun and being a good teammate, I think he does bring a lot of heart and soul to his team. And he is learning more every game he plays. He's making some great decisions. And at this age, it is all about making good decisions, even if the execution of the decision doesn't work out perfectly. Eventually, things will start working. If only I could educate some of the parents who get so wrapped up in these games. These poor kids have way too many coaches - I wish the ones in the stands would shut up. But that's sports and egos for you, isn't it? I'm thankful I have mellowed in my old age, and I thank volleyball for the experience. I am looking forward to next weekend when we do it all again!

January - A Whirlwind of Legends

Well, as promised, here is my first of the "monthly" blog posts. We'll see how they feel, right? This one seems enormous! An...