Tutus and tots are too cute for words
By Linda Albert | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
With two grandchildren and a third on the way, this mamaw decided it was time to buy a new camera. I’d been keeping my eye on one that’s a step above my former point-and-shoot in terms of color, zooming capability and additional functions, so when it went on sale shortly after I learned Puddin’ was on the way, I was sorely tempted. Daily Times photographer Daryl Sullivan’s urging was the final impetus, so I am now the proud owner of a spiffy Canon that can take vivid, detailed photos of wildflowers but is also powerful enough to literally shoot the moon with all its craters. I’m having a blast checking out all the different functions on this one that my little camera didn’t have.
Of course, the main reason I wanted the camera was to take photos of the grandchildren, Ellie, who is midway between 5 and 6 and now involved in T-ball and tap-dancing class, and Seth, who turned 3 in January. My first real opportunity to give the camera a good workout came a little over a week ago when Ellie made her dancing debut at the Clayton Center for the Arts. Armed with fresh batteries and an 8 gigabyte card (that’s a whole lot of photos, for my less digitally aware friends), I took my place with the rest of the family — 13 of us, including great-grandma and both sets of grandparents — and we settled in to wait for the two-minute appearance of our little star, the 18th act on the program.
My challenge was using a camera with which I’m not yet familiar, in low light and no flash, which wouldn’t have made a difference at that distance, anyway. I practiced on the earlier acts to get a feel for what the camera could do and discovered I could actually zoom right in on some of the faces and get some pretty decent shots. Mostly these were of the little ones since they didn’t move and jump and twirl as fast as the more experienced dancers.
Talk about an overload of cuteness — watching the wee dancers in their sweet little costumes was totally adorable although the phrase “herding cats” came to my mind more than once. I imagine their instructors felt much like they were herding cats more times than they could count, especially in getting the children onto and off of the stage at the appropriate times. This includes my granddaughter, who has inherited mine and her mother’s sense of direction. When her little friends exited stage left, Ellie went stage right. Apparently one of the instructors offstage started shooing her in the opposite direction, because she finally decided to turn around and run the other way. It didn’t seem to bother her, thank goodness.
One of my favorite moments was when students in one of the youngest groups were lined up in two rows, facing each other, holding their arms up, clasping hands and forming a bower. Now, I don’t know if I’m right or not, but it looked like the children were too close together for the dancers to pass through, causing a bit of a dilemma as to what they needed to do next. What I could see was a tangle of arms and legs and tutus until finally the waters — er, bodies — parted enough for the little ones to pass through. My favorite photo of the night that wasn’t of my granddaughter is of this group, all the children intent on getting that first dancer through the tunnel except for one little girl who has the biggest, cheesiest grin on her face, looking straight into the audience.
The entire program was a delight. All the dancers were wonderful, and I know their instructors and families are very proud of them. Congratulations to all the performers on a job well done!
Linda Albert is Sunday Life editor and a staff writer for The Daily Times. Her column runs every Sunday in the Life section. You may contact her at 981-1168 or (email@example.com)