I attended the school’s variety show yesterday. I LOVE school concerts. I love the earnestness, the nervousness, the vulnerability. It makes me cry when the school band plays a song together. It’s an amazing accomplishment really to be playing a song on different instruments mostly together and pretty much at the same time. It’s easy to forget how hard that is.
Singing, dancing, and making music together is really humanity at its best; connected to each other, working together, finding our creative selves and creative others. It’s a beautiful thing.
Beyond that beauty though, I have to admit I also take a somewhat subversive joy in looking for the following types at the school concerts:
Beat-Behind Kid: This is the kid that does everything correctly, just a beat behind everybody else.
Sideways Looking kid: A sub-set of the Beat-Behind kid. This kid is never really sure they know what’s next and so is always keeps her neighbour in her peripheral vision to copy whatever that neighbour is doing. I may have a child in this category.
By-Halves Kid: If a full extension of the arm is required. This kid does a half extension. If a full step to the right is required, this kid does a half. Their faces tell a tortured tale of how they would rather eat their all-black shirt, no lettering, than have to be on that stage for one more second.
Doubling-Up Kid: In opposition to the By-Halves kid, this one DOUBLES all the choreography. An arm extension gets a jump for extra height. A step to the right is the equivalent of a long jump. If they’ve been instructed to smile, they will look hyterically insane. They may even add some choreography if they think the teacher hasn’t been thorough enough. It’s 50/50 whether you will get this kid off the stage. In the right circumstances, this kid can become the…
Dance-Step Cop: She (always a she) walks the dance line beat. She not only knows the number better than the teacher leading it, she is going to make sure that everyone within a ten foot radius is toeing the line and demonstrating an appropriate level of decorum. She, for reasons better left undiscussed, is my personal favourite.
Holy-Cow These Lights are Bright Kid: When the curtain opens and the lights hit this kid, he stands in shocked silence, his eyes the proverbial saucers. Some will hold their hands in front of their eyes. The danger of this kid is that he starts to believe since he can’t see anyone, no one can see him. My son falls into this category.
Is my Mom Out There?: Sticks head through curtain to check for loved ones. Abandons the number to give a shout-out to parents, grand-parents, baby brother, neighbour down the road. Gives some red-carpet poses for Dad’s camera while supposed to be heading for the song’s big finish.
The I’m Itchy Kid: Between moves this kid has to scratch his nose or scalp repeatedly with gusto, may even check his fingernails for whatever he found, then feels uncomfortable in his wool dress pants and has to do some adjusting. This kid is blissfully unaware that his antics will humiliate him for many years to come at Thanksgiving Day family dinner.
The Hockey Team — I love the grade one class presentation because none of them have any front teeth. They look like a dress photo for a miniature hockey team. Go Canucks!
And the bane of the teacher’s existence…Never Paid Attention at Any Rehearsals Kid. This one looks perpetually surprised that he has found himself on the stage. Who are these people? What am I doing here? What is this song? Why am I wearing a funny hat?
The parents of course fall into one category, the I’ll Have to Look at the Video Recording to See if I Enjoyed the Concert Parent. Gosh, we spend so much time recording our experiences that I’m not sure we let ourselves have the experience anymore.
I however didn’t even bring the camera. I applauded and clapped along. Giggled at the cuteness of the kindergarteners and generally embarassed my offspring with my beaming. I guess that makes me The Embarassing Parent. A role that goes beyond the school concert I fear.
So, tell me if I’ve missed any types. Do you love or loathe the school concert?