Last week was my eldest daughter’s ballet concert. Now, she has been doing ballet since she was five- nay- she has been dancing since she was two, and it consisted of her flailing her arms and running around the community centre gym. My youngest daughter also dances (she started out with ballet but quickly turned to hip hop) so I claim the moniker of expert here. I have been to many many dance shows.
This last one was exceptional only in the appalling lack of etiquette of the audience. Now, I don’t know if it was because I was rushing to the concert on the tail end of an intense sixth day of work, or if I didn’t stop to fill up the all important flask with tolerance juice (aka whiskey), but I had some intense need to tell everybody off.
I didn’t of course. My family would have been embarrassed at the emergence of my inner shrew. Oh and the woman behind me looked seven feet tall and like she could crush me under one of her intensely scary platform shoes. Her hair alone was a deadly weapon.
But I am sure as heck pie going to write about it.
1. DON’T USE THE FREAKIN’ FLASH: I know. I get it. You want to make sure to get that great picture of your darling child on stage looking adorable in their tutu. But have you never been to a live show before? Do you not know that you don’t flash the dancers? It is distracting and blinding to them people. Especially when the dancer is 3 years old and is searching the audience for her parents and could very likely start running toward it.
2. DON’T RUN UP IN FRONT THE MOMENT YOUR CHILD GOES ON STAGE AND BLOCK THE VIEW OF EVERYBODY BEHIND YOU. Nothing else to say about that. This should be obvious you inconsiderate, rude, proud parents.
3. TURN YOUR FUCKING CELLPHONES OFF.
Excuse the bad language but I always teach my girls that when used in context it could be very powerful. And this is one of those moments- when is it ever okay to have your phone on during a show? During anything when you file into an auditorium, theater, whatever and the lights go down and somebody presents something to you? During the whole presentation I saw the lighted screens of people’s phones- texting each other, even the brazen echo of ringtones throughout the hall.
4. IF YOUR PHONE RINGS DON’T ANSWER IT.
Honestly. At this point in my rant, I am getting exhausted by the obviousness of these tips. But it has to be said, especially to the fashionable gargantuan sitting behind me. Twice her phone rang during the presentation, and twice did she hold lengthy conversations with the person at the other end. Even during her own daughter’s presentation.
5. LEAVE YOUR BIG HAIR AT HOME
Thank god the woman above was sitting behind me and not in front me- it would have been a wall of hairspray and fashionable bare shoulders instead of my daughter’s efforts that I was witnessing. But as a short person who perennially has issues seeing anything in theatres and concerts, it would be very helpful for you ladies to sport a nice down do for those days.
IN a nutshell: stay in your seats, turn of your flash and ringtone, keep your phone in your pocket and let your hair down.
The rest of the world thanks you.