I put them in these super cute outfits, which you will soon see didn't last very long. Ellie was naked by the time we got to the Boardwalk in Shreveport. She said it "itched" her. She was referring to the monogram on front. And so... we had to pick out something else while we were shopping. Because I KNOW this stubborn kid of mine, she will never put it on again.
But you can bet, I will give it the ol' college try!
There was a library festival going on, so we strolled around there for a while, as we waited for the recital to begin.
This was the real reason we drove over to Shreveport. Melanie Massey Physical Therapy (MMPT) was the sole sponsor of the 9th annual Sweet and Sassy Dance Team's recital.
This basically meant that we funded the show... shirts, costumes, trophies, flowers.... etc. Beyond that, I can take no credit!
Wish I could though, because it was AWESOME!
See? New outfit on my eldest kid.
The crowd gathered.
You see, this was no ordinary recital! It was for kids who are in therapy for many different reasons. And as I have said many times, I like having my kids there to learn that kids of all abilities make good friends!
Gabbi Girl hung right here between my legs!
And then the show began. The theme this year was, "Louisiana. We are Family."
So the kiddos came out in a procession, tossing mardi gras beads.
This cute darling is one of triplets, two of whom do therapy at MMPT. This precious mom has her hands full! And always a big ol' smile on her face!
And this is Brianna. She came to me as a little bitty one. I think I started seeing her right around one year old. And here she is making me so proud as a big girl.
Some of these girls were just members of the dance troupe, but I didn't really know them. They may or may not take therapy from MMPT. I just know they were extremely inspiring on this fun day!
There were choreographed dances for just the big kids.
And I might add, I was quite impressed with their ability to memorize so many steps to so many dances and words to so many songs.
This is one of our students who messed up and told us she was a dance teacher in a rural area nearby. Hmmm....
guess what. Consider yourself recruited!
I just marvelled at the very close friendships that were formed, no doubt, through the many rehearsals and dance classes. Sweet relationships!
Ok, so this was the big girl group.
There was a little girl group too, as well as individual performances.
The little ones needed a little more help to get into position on stage.
Moms and dads stood in the wings, swollen with pride!
And then they swooped in to help their little darlings get back off the stage.
Miss Bri was one of the first to do an individual performance. She told jokes. She is something else! So funny! Anyone who knows her cute personality can appreciate her humor and choice to tell jokes.
By the way, that is mom, Jenny, on stage with her, and dad, Noah, watching out front!
Then came Elizabeth's solo. She used a little prop and did a fantastic job with her dance.
Mallory sang some seriously fast paced song with words that I don't think I could figure out, much less learn to sing myself. Very quick lyrics. Good job, Mallory!
And I LOVED her costume. Hot pink duct tape to the braces on her feet that matched her hot pink duct tape bracelets. Very creative!
Parents and grandparents were all in the audience, just beaming! And cameras flashed the whole time!
Miss Katherine had a couple of unique performances. She is an ol veteran to the recital, with this being her NINTH year in the group! She danced to Kung Fu fighter, and her dad showed up on stage at the end to present the piece of wood that she kicked RIGHT THROUGH!
And then came Riley's turn. Riley is all of 2 1/2 years old. She was scheduled to sing a song she sings in daycare every day. Mr. Ron and Miss Jenn accompanied her to the stage.
And, well, let's just say, Riley had other plans. Eventually, her mom, gmom and aunt were singing from the audience, while she just sat up there and grinned.
I call that being in total control, RileY!
Our emcee for the event was Sam. He did an unbelievable job! He plans to be a "minister of the gospel". Seriously, Sam is an inspiration. He was funny, witty, and provided a testimony of one with a grateful heart that made you happy to just know him!
He also provided info to the audience regarding his condition, cerebral palsy, and how that very thing has given him the opportunity to talk to others about Jesus and how they can know Him and go to Heaven. I am telling you... COOL dude!
I loved this routine. All the girls came out in LSU shirts and did a cheer... big kids combined with the little ones.
I liked how kids of all abilities were able to participate in this cheer.
ANd then came Mary Catherine's song. This is her mom and dad. Her mom, like all "stage moms" sat up front mimicking the movements as if she was willing the correct motions to her child.
But Mary Catherine didn't need any help at all! Not only did she perform a very heart touching rendition of Ariel's "part of that world", but she did it with all the theatrics of a seasoned little actress. It was touching.
Funny how several of the big kids' solos were to Justin Bieber songs. I'll tell you... if you ever think there is a "difference" between those with and without physical disabilies... well, let's just say.... they ALL love Justin Bieber. You get what I am saying!? Tweens are tweens are tweens! Please note the tee shirt below... yet another Justin shirt!
Ahhhh.... Katherine is back and she has her pet dog with her this time.
How dadgum ingenious to do dog tricks at this talent show!? I love it!
Mallory came back for an encore. And this time she stood to sing.
And then the grand finale....
The girls came out in costume to perform to Amazing Grace. It was beautiful!
It was a packed house, and everyone was touched by the girls' hard work and beautiful performance.
Lastly, came the award ceremony.
Each girl came across the front of the stage to get their mom a rose and themselves a crown and trophy.
or should I say, just stand up there and blubber like a baby! That is what I did. I just become so overcome with emotion in these types of situations. I couldn't even speak! I was so emotional!
The words that just kept coming to mind were "honored", "privileged" and "Humbled"! I tried to get those words out, but, welllll.... Mostly I just cried!
I also tried to convey my admiration to the parents who have been so dedicated to the therapies and braces, and wheelchairs, and then to the weekly dance rehearsals to make all of this come together. I feel that working with kids/ (adults too) with disabilities is my calling, so it is never hard for me to work with them. But to talk about it, publicly.... well, I am just humbled. That is all I can say!
I actually don't even know who had my camera during all of this, but apparently I am celebrating with Sam! He rocked!
And then came the long ride home! My girls were beat!
I am so glad they got to be there with me. It was the first time Ellie has had questions about braces and such. "Mom, why do they have that bobo?".
It opens dialogue for me to tell her about how kids learn to walk or to move in all different kinds of ways. I told her that the braces were to help those kids be strong to walk. She simply said, "Oh"!
Or, "Mom, why does that girl walk with that?". (walker)
"Because, Ellie, it gives her help with her balance so she can walk faster and be safe."
and that was that!