While watching the older kids dance last time, Ryan fell in love with the Russian dance. You know, this number:
"Can we dance The Nutcracker now?" he asks the air. By "Nutcracker dance" he means specifically the Russian dance. That the older kids will be performing. That he doesn't know he might not be performing.
The younger kids' group is supposed to perform the Chinese dance (but with much much less energetic choreography than this video):
I explained all this to the director, Miss Debbie. She said there's no time to change costumes between the Russian and Chinese dances, so doing both was not an option. Well, Ryan has made his preference clear, I noted. Can we switch things up?
Miss Debbie thought a moment. Then she cued up the Russian music and had Ryan and the one-on-one helpers line up in the front of the room. "Ryan, this is your audition," she announced; I'm sure Ryan had no idea what that meant.
The music started, and Ryan came to life. He danced with contagious exuberance. What he lacked in technique he more than made up for in enthusiasm. When the music ended he took a small bow and said "Thank you!" The other moms on the sidelines grinned.
Miss Debbie cocked an eyebrow at me. "Really?" she asked. "We'll have to think about this."
The other parents murmured, "She HAS to let him do it! He's so HAPPY!"
But the director is not yet convinced he can keep himself under control. Her concern, it seems, is that during this scene there are other people leaping and spinning all over the place, and that Ryan's energy might be challenging to contain. "He'll need someone on him," she told the mentors, meaning one of them would have to stay near him on stage, like they did last year. I said I didn't see that as a deal-breaker.
To be continued...