Nia’s Rise to the Top and the Kelly Conflict (Holly’s Episode 33 Recap)
I personally disagree with the pyramid as an educational tool, however, seeing Nia's photo at the pinnacle of the pyramid made me happy. The pyramid arrangement has become a powerful visual for the girls and in some ways a motivator as well. Abby placing Nia at the top was recognition of Nia's strength and growth as a dancer. The entire room erupted in applause when they saw Nia at the top of the pyramid, because so often her prowess is overlooked. The girls are each other's biggest fans and recognize and appreciate each other's successes. Nia's hard work, skill, determination and passion are paying off and that helps the team as well as Nia individually. You can see in her performance the desire to excel. Nia exemplified her commitment to dance when she asked Abby what she could improve after competing. That earnest attitude and perseverance coupled with the application of constructive criticism contributed to Abby's decision to place Nia at the top of the pyramid. Nia earned that place.
In addition to Nia's pyramid placement, she also earned a solo. Several months have passed since Nia's last solo so I was excited and nervous. Although I was delighted with the opportunity, I worried. Nia was performing a tribute to Broadway Baby so I had mixed emotions. It was an honor for Nia to be selected to perform this tribute. Yet I worried that Abby would set the bar really high with unreasonable expectations. Rehearsals proved to be demanding with Abby seemingly threatening to cancel the solo but not. I just wanted Nia to do the tribute justice and dance beautifully since this was a special tribute to Abby's beloved companion. Of course, since it was a tribute there was added pressure. After seeing Nia’s moving performance, my concern was misplaced. Broadway Baby’s special place in ALDC is preserved!
Being invited to Kelly’s house was a nice opportunity to catch up and spend time together. I thought that Kelly’s point had been made and that she needed to bring the girls back to dance. The competition season was well underway and the team was not complete without her girls who needed to rehearse with the team. The more time spent away-the less time for preparation for Nationals! The girls work well as a cohesive team. Division is not good for any team!
All relationships are difficult so being friends is not always easy. Sometimes you may need to say something your friend does not want to hear and with which you know they won't agree. I think it is always important that you are honest with your friend and yourself. You should not feel forced to agree with someone because you are afraid of his or her response. You can have healthy discourse within friendships and friends should be able to respect differing opinions. I spoke to Kelly as a parent, educator and friend! Kelly may not have appreciated my comments but there is no need for me to feel that I have to be compartmentalized. I wanted Kelly to take a broader view when considering her options.
I am a mother and an educator too. This is part of my identity and shapes my opinions. I have many other roles that shape me and my experiences - wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, volunteer and I draw from all of these perspectives. No one label defines me. I could understand and support her voice as a mom; however, any school administrator would not condone an outburst like that in a school environment. I asked her if that would be appropriate behavior in her children's schools. Although I may not always condone Abby's behavior, I recognize that there is a time and a place in which to handle situations. Just because I am a mom I cannot leave my experience as an educator behind. For example, when Abby initially pulled Nia's solo I was upset. I tried to address the issue with as little conflict as possible. Abby already knew I was upset with her decision to pull Nia's solo. I thought Abby made an impulsive decision and I knew yelling would only make Abby defensive thereby jeopardizing Nia’s solo. My goal was to salvage Nia's solo. If I had to let Abby talk in circles to save face about pulling the solo, so be it. I was just happy we could resolve the conflict without arguing or tears.
I was happy to see Kelly take a step towards rejoining the team by taking her girls to the competition to support the team. Despite the mounting tension in the audience, I was happy to have all of them there. Competition day was stressful but rewarding. I was incredibly proud of Nia placing in the top 10 in the teen division. I was very pleased with the outcome, especially since it was seven months since her last solo on the competition team. Having her solo pulled then given back was initially upsetting but Nia put her game face on and did a spectacular job. I am looking forward to her next solo experience.
I want my daughter to succeed in life. Hopefully I am equipping her with the skills to achieve that success. In the dressing room I was shocked to hear Leslie say she would do anything to get her children ahead. I think parents should provide opportunities for their children when they can but there must be limits on what a parent is willing to do. There should be standards in place and your character should not be sacrificed or compromised on the quest for success and stardom. I firmly believe that this competition team provides great experiences for the girls to become better dancers, but it also provides life lessons too where they learn how to become good, responsible people. I always tell my children to know their worth. When I heard Leslie talk about doing whatever it takes to achieve success even if it means stepping on the backs of others I was surprised. Yes, I want my child to get ahead but I want her to accomplish it with dignity and respect for not only herself but others as well. The view from the pyramid’s penthouse is great but you don’t have to step on others to get there!
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