April 30, 2010

Can You Do The Can-Can?

Welcome to my trip down memory lane, where I am posting one SCD picture and story from days gone by as a countdown to the 20th Annual Recital!!

"The Can-Can"
Oh, the Can-Can! I just loved this dance. 
Now to be perfectly honest, I am sure that I loved this dance because I was in the center the entire time. What can I say? I like the spotlight! And, I was not in the center because I was awesome or something... it was a costume issue. Nevertheless, I got to be center and that made me (the showoff that I am) love this routine. But really, who wouldn't love the Can-Can? So full of energy and life!
I remember that this is when I fell in love with Smiley. I had already been in love with Baby Kate since the day she was born! They were so precious and so good for their age!!  
This picture was taken backstage at Starlight Dance Competition. We were BIG TIME at Starlight, let me tell you! I mean, we had already won the big prize there before!  If I remember correctly some of the older girls in this routine had been to prom the night before. Wow... troupers!! I was just in 7th grade so that clearly was not an issue for me. Couldn't tell you what this routine won or anything else about it. I have no memory of performing it at LADF or anywhere else. I, for some reason, have a very vivid image of us doing it at Six Flags the following fall. Maybe it is because we got to be INSIDE the Batman Theater that year!

You ladies remember Jazz Boots? Whew! No wonder recital was still 3 hours when there were half as many routines... lacing those bad boys up was a nightmare! 


April 29, 2010

Let Me See You Shake Your Tail Feather!

As many of you Dancing Readers know, this year marks the 20th Anniversary of my mother's dance studio. So, as a countdown to the recital on May 7 & 8 (please everyone come down and see it!) I am posting one pic plus story a day,  from the past!
Now, if you know My Mother and I mean, KNOW my mother,  then you are aware that she is a bit of an overachiever and real go-getter! These are NOT bad qualities... just qualities of someone who may be a tad bit crazy.
The studio had only been open about 2 years when The Crazy Lady took us down to Six Flags to perform. We just took a few routines and the first year we danced outside of the Batman Theater (outside not IN the theater) on the cement and in the hot Texas heat. We didn't care! We were pretty sure that this made us rock stars. (Oh the naive youth! ) 
Most of the routines we took were from the previous year and didn't need too much rehearsal but Rock-A-Doodle was a new routine. (I am not sure why I wasn't in this one because all my friends were) It was a pretty cute routine with mixed ages. This routine may also mark the beginning of Miss Shannon's crazy costume designs. See those cute little feathers on the girls booties? Well those suckers ripped right off and became hand props! (This was not going to be the last time she made us dance with our costume!) If I didn't know better I would think my mother was high... but no, she is just naturally this way! I LOVE HER!!

April 28, 2010


As many of you Dancing Readers know, this year marks the 20th Anniversary of my mother's dance studio. So, as a countdown to the recital on May 7 & 8 (please everyone come down and see it!) I am posting a pic plus story, a day, from the past!
 I feel so bad that I do not have a pic of the entire group. I know there is one at the studio but I live 2,000 miles away so this will have to do!
 The year was 1997 and there were 72 dancers in this routine!! Let me say that one more time 72 dancers in this routine!! (Seriously, my mother is psychotic.) All 72 of us wore these lovely white crushed velvet unitards. It must have just looked like it was snowing to the audience! The older girls had pink in their ears and rhinestone chokers collars and the younger girls had blue in their ears with big bows on their collars.  And don't think for a minute that my enormous boobs looked good in this get up!  When I get to Oklahoma I promise to update this post with a new group pic! 
If you look closely in the back right hand side of the photo you can see one of our props. Yup, that's right. Big 'ol bouncy balls. (Again, my mother is psychotic.) Did she give her high school students these bouncy balls, NO! that would be too easy... she gave them to the younger kids!! Oh, the torture of these rehearsals!! We spent hours upon hours at the Plainview Gymnasium rehearsing so that we could all have room to move! 
Sure, if you follow dance competition, you are thinking to yourself that people put their entire company onstage together all the time. Yes, they do! However, they usher in and out each age group and then they dance maybe eight sets of eight together at the end. Not my crazy Mother!! We were all dancing onstage the entire 4 freakin minutes all 72 dancers!! (All together now, my mother is psychotic!) 
Oddly, this routine brings back some of my very fondest dance memories. The four girls in the picture were my group that started the whole routine. And I am not sure why but Kari just had the hardest time pretending to be a cat waking up. She always looked like she was getting a flea off her ear or something. Erin, Caroline and I would get the giggles at this and it was all over! As much as I have always complained about the big number rehearsal! I have nothing but fond memories of this crazy psychotic episode of my mothers work. 
*Oh, and this also happened to be the year that we moved recital from The Goddard Center to the Washington Theater. We had outgrown the stage and needed room for all those furry little friends!!

April 27, 2010

We won what?

As many of you Dancing Readers know, this year marks the 20th Anniversary of my mother's dance studio. So, as a countdown to the recital on May 7 & 8 (please everyone come down and see it!) I am posting a pic plus story from the past!

"The One"
So, way back in April 1992 we were a little green to the whole competition thing. I'm not going to lie, things are a bit hazy as I remember them. I cannot for the life of me tell you what our other routines were this year. I think they were Thriller and Willimania but I could be wrong. (Note: I only list 3 routines because that is all we had!) What I do know is this, for the two years prior to this we had worked all year on our one or two routines and then taken them to one, yes just one, competition. The one competition that we normally sat through awards without ever hearing our names. Oh, the heartbreak! None of this, every kid gets a trophy stuff... we were tough!
So, back to April 1992, things changed!! They changed BIG! Here we are at our first competition. Competition NOT convention. We did a ballet routine of all things and got first place. Then we got First Place Overall!! What? Huh? Mom asked if they give it to everyone! We did it and we didn't even know it! We beat the pants off everyone else there without a clue!! This would soon become an SCD tradition but this was the first time it happened! We were the first SCD kids to do it!

Now for the "Shannon Moment":  We are all very lucky to be in costume in this pic because well, Miss Shannon... that is some outfit and hairdo you are sporting!!

So ladies, anyone feel like adding to this memorable time in SCD History?

April 26, 2010

Let the Countdown Begin!

As many of you Dancing Readers know, this year marks the 20th Anniversary of my mother's dance studio. So, as a countdown to the recital on May 7 & 8 (please everyone come down and see it!) I am posting a pic plus story from the past!

So.... "C'mon shake your body baby do that Conga!"
The dance season was 1995-1996. This group was essentially what would be today's "SCD Elite Company" but back then was just another routine in the Company. 
This was the first year that I, as a student of my mothers,  remember thinking that we were really looking good. Yes, yes I know that the year before we had a banner year! But this was the first time I could physically SEE how the dancers were changing. We began the routine with a turn sequence that included more than half the group! For all you SYTYCD fans, this was new to us! It was new to most competitive dancers for that matter. Our little girls in blue were pretty fabulous for their age and we felt like a real team. Not the poor little small town studio without a clue that we had been not so many years before. I cannot remember one award this routine received but I can remember this... I felt like I was a part of something special when I was with these girls and these moments have shaped my life.

Now for those of you just waiting for your first "Shannon Moment"
Please raise your hand (or leave me some sort of fun comment) if you remember this:  "C'mon Chicky Baby do the Conga" vs. "C'mon shake your body baby do that Conga". I know you remember, Annie does! Please comment if you read and you remember. I cannot wait to see how many Shannon stories and jokes this week collects for me! 

Love you girls! You are always in my heart, at every audition and every show. Honestly, these are the moments that make my career easier. 

Mommy, Daddy, Enron & the Flu

My Daddy FINALLY came to visit me!! 

 I say that he finally came to visit as if he has never been here before. This is not the case... it is just that my baby brother lives in Hawaii and for some reason Dad would rather visit there. I mean, really?! I am the good kid! Visit me!! (I also travel all the time, so I can see how its hard to plan a trip to see me)

Well, last weekend Mom and Dad came to visit me! Yippee!! I was extremely excited!!

They arrived on Friday and my Mimi's cousin Teddy came down to say hello as well. The first thing we did was head over to the Grand Central Oyster Bar where I proceeded to down my weight in oysters. They gave us some of the biggest oysters I have ever seen! Loved it!! Then it was off to PJ Clarks for some burgers. We stayed up way too late on Friday night and laughed way too much. I just adore my family!!

Saturday was supposed to be the day that we showed my day how beautiful NYC in the spring can be. It was pretty good but didn't really work out weather wise for all our plans. We ate some brunch at a diner and then headed the park. Teddy and I made sure to do some Gene Kelly while annoying Brian and then we all sat outside for a quick drink at The Boathouse. (it was just far too cold to hang out much longer) Teddy then had to head back upstate so we were left to entertain ourselves. Mom, Dad and I walked about Madison Ave doing a little shopping and then parted ways to get ready for dinner. 

We ate at Dad's favorite place in the world. Del Frisco's Steakhouse. I loved loved my tuna (yes, I had tuna) and tried the boys steaks which were also delicious. But I am always very excited about the warm bread that they bring to your table. Mmmmmmmmmm.....

After dinner we went to see my friend Jordan's new Broadway Play, Enron. Very intriguing show I must say. I really found it interesting. Stud Muffin was bored. I liked it! I also really like the whole corruption and it really happened thing though. After the show we met Jordan at Sardi's for a drink and some catching up. It was really nice to get to see her in the show and then see her talk to Dad about the real days at Enron. Pretty cool.We went home and were gearing up for one more full day with Mom and Dad. 

Then, at 3am, BAM! I got the stomach bug. I mean, I really got it. I decided that I would only tell Stud Muffin about it and then see how I felt just before we all left for the Yankee game the next morning. Well, while I am in the shower for the that morning, Mom calls and says she is not coming to the game because she has an upset stomach! Ugh! What?!! Well, that was my cue, Daddy never comes to visit NYC and I have a feeling the Yankee game was the part he most wanted to enjoy. So, I decided to suck it up and go to the game. Not such a bad idea, I had a good time and I am very happy that I went. In case you are new here at Dancing Through Life... I LOVE THE YANKEES! 

After the game we all gathered, Mom included, in our tiny 450 sq foot studio apartment for a little down time. I felt a bit queasy but not too bad. Mom was feeling better. So, off to dinner we went. To the Heidelberg mind you! Where I have been waiting to take my German father for a year!! I wanted to drink beer from a boot!! But no, I ordered plain soup with Spatzle and then after three bites promptly left Stud Muffin at dinner with my parents and ran back to the apartment sick as a dog. Without too much detail let me tell you that I didn't make it home before getting sick either. So very sad. 

So, while our time with Mom & Dad began so wonderfully it may have ended a little more abruptly than intended. It took me almost 4 days to get over whatever bug hit me and then I managed to give it to Stud Muffin. He is still recovering.

April 25, 2010

Easter Egg Roll!!

So as for the actual day of the Easter Egg Roll...

It was AMAZING!! I had the best time plus, I got a sunburn in April!

So the day began at about 8:00am as we headed over to the White House. We watched Glee perform, took photos with all the other celebs that were in attendance and then at 10:00 we took the stage. Shortly after our first performance the cast were ushered off to meet the Big Guy!! I did not get to meet him :( but I was there so that is okay.

After that we ate lunch. We dined in tents and it was one big crazy surreal moment to think that I was eating my box lunch in a tent with JK Rowling and Reese Witherspoon. I mean, Reese I actually got real words to come out of my mouth when speaking but JK Rowling... yup, I made a big ol fool of myself. "I...I...I... I just think Harry P..P...Potter is the B...Be...Best!" I suck! As if she doesn't know Harry is the best! I mean, come on, Whitney!

We did another show and then the day was done. I was just about to leave the White House and head over to the Visitor Center to purchase some souvenir eggs when they presented us with gift baskets!! I got 4 eggs!! Yipee!!

I had a great time! I am one super lucky girl!!

April 21, 2010

From Muno to Bo

Sunday April 4, 2010 was not only Easter but a day that I will never forget!

I was upset about the fact that I was going to miss church on Sunday April 4 because of work. I had been on the road for a month and was ready to just be normal again. What was I thinking?! I mean, it wasn't just another day at another theater... it was the freakin' Easter Egg Roll at the White House! How could I be upset about missing church? Really!  
Not too worry friends, that all changed the minute I stepped foot into Washington DC. It was the most surreal day I have experienced yet.  Still not sure it actually happened. 
We were escorted by a staff member from our hotel to the White House. (it was just across the street but security is taken very seriously as you can imagine)  We had gone through screening prior to even arriving but we all had to be checked in again. And again, and again. My poor little pink purse got searched a million times. However, once we were in... it was very open and free! Well, except for the men wearing machine guns. 

 Once we finished playing around and taking pictures we headed over to sound check on the South Lawn. This is where my day just went from pretty freakin cool to fabulous. We sat on the South Lawn, with the cast of Glee, watching Sarah Bareilles do her sound check. It felt like our own little concert. It was awesome. 
Then after Sarah finished Bo, the President's dog, came running out onto the lawn and we all got to play with him. Quite possibly the softest animal I have ever pet. And so well mannered! 
Shortly after doggy fun, the cast of Glee took to the stage for their sound check. Seeing as though it is my favorite show on television, I was pretty happy about it. I would have liked to hear a bit more uptempo music (they sang a lot of ballads) and definitely missed Sue Sylvester.  I mean, even if she wasn't singing... couldn't we have had a "And that's how Sue sees it" moment? 
 Then it was our turn!! We took to the Official Easter Egg Roll stage for our sound check. Cast looked great and I was super happy about being there. From there it was off to dinner and bed as we were putting on a show at the White House the next day! 

Stay tuned for more on the actual day!!

April 9, 2010

Bootsy & The Fox

Welcome to the last post about my Spring Fling with the Gabba Gang.

Well, after Toronto we drove all night to Fort Wayne, IN. I slept on the bus, as I usually do, but this time no one woke me up! I knew that we didn't have load in until 10:00am and assume that we couldn't get into the hotel until after so I hadn't set an alarm. Well... I woke up at about 8:30 to nothing and no one. Everyone but my friend, Sonya, had gotten off the bus at 6:00am when we arrived and gone to their rooms. The bus wasn't parked at the hotel so we were a bit lost. Oh well. It was a fun little jog to the hotel so I could get in a shower.

Fort Wayne itself was really a good time. We had dinner at this little brewery downtown and Mossi came to play at their open mic night. Wish I had a pic of that! He came in wearing his obnoxiously bright orange DJ Lance Rock shirt. Couldn't miss the boy! And... he is crazy talented! Loved it.

After Fort Wayne, we went back to our crazy scheduling ways. We were off to Cincinnati over night to load in, 2 shows and load out. Whew! Cincinnati was a blast as far as the shows were concerned. Our Dancey Dance guest was Bootsy Collins! Can I say that again people?!! Bootsy Collins!  "We got the Funk!"

So, Bootsy, was Amazing! Super nice guy. Love when celebs are down to Earth. But I think the best part about Bootsy taking the stage with the Gabba Gang was that at one point I look around me and every crew member backstage is taking a picture of it. Just cool to see how many people where really in awe that he was on our stage. Loved it! And the audience in Cincinnati was awesome as well. Totally into the show and just super excited about every little thing.

Our next stop was St. Louis. Again, it was the drive all night and begin load in at 6:00am routine. (Not going to lie, this whole shower at a theater and sleep on the bus is not my favorite thing in the world.) The best part about St. Louis was the theater we were playing, The Fox. It is just legendary and I was super excited to be there. Every show that comes through and plays there signs the wall somewhere. I was walking around looking at all of them and found so many shows with my friends names on the wall. SO FUN! My favorite was finding my friends from Hairspray, Lindsay and Jordan. We made one as well... however, we only had a few short minutes to do it (as we were only there one day) at least it looks like a kid show!The Fox was a great place to close this leg of the tour, it was gorgeous and Lance's hometown. Couldn't be happier with the way this leg went!

April 8, 2010

Yooooo Gabba Gabba take Toronto...

Sorry for the delay, yet again, in posting but I just cannot seem to catch up on the daily activities here. Hot mess is what I am these days people!!

Anyhow, back to the Gabba recap. 

On March 15 - 17 we were in Toronto! The sun finally made an appearance for the Gabba Gang, the crew got to sleep somewhere other than the bus and the cast got a real day off! It is amazing how those three little things seemed to change the spirits of most. For the first time in a week or so, I went 24 hours without someone complaining to me! So happy. (I am patient, really patient, but I do not like whining!! ...and make that reason #300 to never be a mommy)

I had a great time in Toronto. I actually got to eat dinner with the cast one night. Found out some people eat the shrimp tails. Odd, I know. Got to go shopping... well, until I realized it was cheaper to shop in NYC and loved the local crew at the venue.

Now, customs was a different story. Going into Canada it only took about 30 minutes. On the way back into the states. Whew. Maybe it was just because it was 1am and I was sleeping but it felt like it took forever. These poor girls in front of us where getting grilled about going to Canada to drink and then coming back home. This man was getting the worlds longest lecture about his paperwork and talk about some serious egos in that room! Whoa! We go up to the counter and tell them we are with a kids show. They asked which one and then the customs officer proceeds to tell our director that he hates the show. Awesome. Then I got yelled at for having my hands in my pockets. Eventually we all got through and came back to the oh so friendly USA. 

Had a good time in Canada but word to the wise. AT&T may give you a global/internaional plan but that does not cover our neighbor to the North. Really? Why? So annoyed to not be able to text while I was gone! :( Oh well. I survived.

More to come soon Dancing Readers! More to come.


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