Four years ago I dragged Kylah to a new musical theatre school despite her loud, anguished protests that she was happy at her current one. The musical theatre school she had been at was certainly comfortable for her, but it cost me a small fortune and I could not see any progress in her abilities. Typically I’m not “one of those” mums, however, I don’t like flushing money down the toilet (despite what Ben thinks) and that’s essentially what was happening.
At the time I was the worst and cruelest mum in the world for taking her away from her beloved school and forcing her in to one where she would be taught properly so I was trying to sell the move to her any way I could. “Look!!” I exclaimed on our first visit there. “This school takes it’s students to America!!! Maybe YOU could go!!”. At the time I was flat out getting her in the door of the new dance school so I was fairly confident that I would not need to follow through on this promise.
Over time Kylah settled in nicely to The Theatre Factory (highly recommend it) and really thrived there. Her dancing and singing improved immensely and they identified and fostered her talents. Jazzy, Isabelle and even Rohan quickly signed up to get in on the action and at one stage I had all 4 children attending 6 days a week.
Even though it was great for Rohan’s confidence he thankfully realised that he was better suited to footy than ballet as he is as graceful as a bull in a china shop.
So here we are, 4 years after I first promised that they could go to America for a dance tour and for once I’m following through on my promise. This is quite surprising for my children as I am prone to making grand declarations such as “I will pay whoever finds my hairbrush ONE MILLION dollars” with no intention of paying anyone anything.
It’s been a loooong road to get here. There were so many bake sales, raffles, high tea’s, fashion parades, rehearsals, tears and tantrums (mostly from me). I’ve had to work like a galley slave to save up for the trip and have ferried kids to and from dancing /footy / singing/ etc all whilst overseeing their Distance Education and working 2 jobs and up to 55 hours a week.
I have been so busy that I haven’t planned or researched a single thing to do. Actually, despite spending a good decade being obsessed with American TV, I know surprisingly little about America itself. Here is what I know about the country I am currently flying over:
* I can name their former and current president with more confidence than I can name Australia’s current prime minister.
*. I know they have 52 states and could probably name about 10 of them, although I suspect that some of the states I think I could name are actually cities.
* I know NY is both a state AND a city. I’m pretty sure the city is it’s own little island and is very crowded.
*. I know that there is a park in NYC called Central Park and it’s where lots of rapes and murders happen (I love true crime podcasts and crime shows). It’s also where nanny’s take the kids they are payed to care for so there must be a safe section and a section where all the rapes and murders happen (will have to find out where these are before I venture there).
* I know that Christopher Columbus stumbled across America approx 500 years ago while looking for a passage to Asia. I think American’s hail him as the discoverer of America despite it having already been discovered by native Americans millenia ago. Very similar to how Australians claim Captain Cook discovered Australia completely ignoring the fact that the indigenous Australians achieved a much more impressive voyage 60000 years or so prior.
*. I know that America had a similar start to Australia, in that it proved to be an excellent dumping grounds for Britains’ hankie thieves and misfits, but that they turfed the mother country quite quickly leaving Britain with no choice but to find another country (Australia) to send all their unwanted human stock.
* I’m aware that American’s don’t like vegemite, call lollies “candy” and a good proportion of them love their guns. They eat weird combinations of things like bacon with maple syrup and call soft drink “pop”.
* They produce the best TV shows in the world and have the worlds most notorious and sickening serial killers (which inspire the storyline’s of these fabulous true crime tv shows).
* I know that a good proportion of shops and takeaways we have in Australia were founded in the USA and that despite the abysmal exchange rate, clothes and things are much cheaper here than down under.
That’s about it. I don’t know much else. I kind of imagine it’s pretty similar to Australia as we seem to lap up their culture with great enthusiasm.
Today we are flying to NYC for a week of dance workshops on Broadway. Kylah is also having singing lessons with top vocal coaches on Broadway so that is exciting. The kids have two free days in NYC and I have lots of free days as I’m not required at the dance workshops (thank goodness!!). I have not planned a single thing. I don’t know who/what Rockerfeller centre is or any other famous landmark that I’ve heard other dance mums talk about. I know there is a Statue of Liberty somewhere (perhaps NYC???) but if it’s anything like the Eiffel Tower then I’m not keen to go. Queues of tourists don’t excite me much and my 3 female offspring have an aversion to crowds and noise. Should be a ton of fun staying in Times Square!!
Luckily my mum is accompanying me on this trip as I don’t think I’d manage on my own. My mum used to own a dance school so is right at home amongst all the dramas. I on the other hand am the worlds worst dance mum. I couldn’t give a rats arse if their hair is neat or if their make-up looks good. I really try to care but I just can’t get myself to muster any enthusiasm for such things. I hate drama and high stress situations and these crop up quite frequently when there are a group of performers aiming for perfection. My mum is perfect in these situations and will stitch sequins to a costume 30 seconds before a show like it is the easiest thing she has ever done.
My plan for tomorrow is to wing it. Kylah has vocal coaching in the afternoon and Isabelle and Jazzy want to go to the American Girl shop for afternoon tea. So mum will take one while I take the others. I really want to wander around NYC and find local places and people.
Anyway I’m going to sign off now and put everyone out of their misery. I am well aware that this is not my best writing but didn’t want to get behind on the first day. I am so tired even though I slept solidly from Bris to LAX. My brain is not working properly.
Thanks for reading!!