How My Daughter Earned a Spot On The Cubettes Dance Team at Mount Carmel
As any New Orleans mom knows, helping your middle schooler choose a high school can be very stressful and overwhelming. In our case, choosing a high school was the easy part because my daughter, Lauryn, always had her eyes set on Mount Carmel Academy. The acceptance letter came along with numerous emails including the much-anticipated dance team tryouts information. We celebrated as one goal was reached but then we were quickly onto the next as we prepared for Cubettes tryouts.
The level of talent on high school dance teams has steadily increased over the years so I immediately headed into mom panic zone. Coming from a non-competitive dance studio trying out for a competitive dance team, how would she compare? Her middle school dance team was also non-competitive, so the thought readily crossed my mind on how she would be ready to tryout amongst girls coming from larger dance teams that were used to this competitive lifestyle.
In the weeks leading up to tryouts, she worked at home and between dance classes on polishing technique and learning skills that she might need. Within her dance studio family, experienced high school dance team dancers mentored her with tips on what to expect at tryouts. It’s one thing to hear it from your mom or dance teacher but hearing it from someone near your age seemed to come across a bit more relatable. She learned kick sequences, practiced pirouettes, and brushed up on toe touches but preparation time eventually ran out.
With leotard, tights, performance make-up and a high ponytail, it was finally time to head to the tryout clinic. Waiting to pick her up was nerve wracking but nothing could have prepared me for the child I picked up. Her spirit was absolutely broken! “Mom, I don’t know the dance. Everyone is so good. When it was time to record the dance, my phone wouldn’t video and now there’s no way I can learn it before tryouts.” After a similar incident happened at her first middle school dance team tryout, I couldn’t sit back and watch this happen to her yet again. She knew no one at tryouts from her dance studio or middle school; how would we get a copy of this dance? She was so defeated and not wanting to face anyone to take my phone back into the gym for a copy of the video. Mom panic set in even more knowing how hard she had been working and not wanting her to give up on her goal. At that exact time, a fellow dancer was walking from the gym to a nearby parked car, and she delightfully sent us a copy of the dance.
Taking a bit of time to compose herself, Lauryn was able to show me that she indeed did know the dance. Earlier she had simply shutdown once she thought her chances to improve were over by not having the practice video. Immediately her dance studio family and I started to rebuild her confidence and got to work on preparing her for tryout day. I reassured her that she knew those dancers with competition dance experience were going to be there but that didn’t mean she wasn’t capable of making the team. While her goal was just making the team, those experienced dancers were probably nervous for other reasons.
Tryout day was here! At this point all my mama heart wanted was for her to not be alone throughout the experience. She nervously exited the car and started to walk towards the gym at the same time a fellow dancer walked past, and I could see her say, “Hi, I’m Sophia, what’s your name?” It was in that moment that I knew my prayers were answered.
Pick up was much different this time. Her confidence level was high, she made friends, and she was happy with her performance. She literally left it all on the dance floor when she decided to throw an extra trick in her improv section during call backs. Who was this girl? Certainly, it couldn’t be the same defeated girl from two days prior. It seemed like forever waiting on the results of tryouts, but the email finally arrived, and SHE MADE IT! She earned her spot on the MCA Cubettes Dance Team. Cue the proud happy tears and shock!
Focusing on the mental obstacles ended up being more trying than the physical but with a support system of family and friends it made all the difference in her performance. Physically, she was prepared to head into this experience, but the mental took a toll none of us were ready to handle. Fellow moms, as you prepare for these big high school tryouts, auditions, etc. make sure you’re also taking care of their mind, body, and spirit to help them achieve their goals!
Kayla resides in Metairie with her husband, Chad, and daughter, Lauryn. As a local business owner of Monogram Express, NOLA Pixie Dust & La Petite Palace, her entrepreneurial spirit keeps her busy between shuffling her daughter to and from dance. You can find her creating crafts, working on her garden, going for cruises in their boat, or glamping in her vintage camper in her free time. An avid Disney enthusiast, her family loves to take trips to the most magical place on earth to recharge their magic.