Have we gone totally mad?
Bejewelled tiaras glitter, a group of lithe young tweens in head to toe black lycra slink past with tall silver torches in their hands. A lion walks past, a pair of brilliant flamingoes and a group of jittery teeny-tiny ballerinas, three in tears because they wanted to be at the front of the line.
Welcome to the end of year concert season.
It’s a brave new world I have entered this year with my preschooler starting ballet and my eight-year old son deciding he wants to be a famous actor (on YouTube of course) and joining drama classes.
I’ve learnt how to sweep a mop of tangled curls into a ballet bun, how to stitch those little elastic straps onto a pair of miniature leather ballet shoes and that if you don’t set an alarm to remind you to buy tickets for the end of season concert you will miss out.
End of year concerts are a far cry from when I was growing up, back then the local ballet school – a converted room above the garage of a frustrated prima ballerina’s suburban home – was transformed for one afternoon into a theatre by a large sheet strung from the ceiling as a backdrop.
Our mums stuck their heads in and watched us prance around in our stockings and leotards while our older brothers hung about the driveway throwing rocks and picking passionfruits off Miss Angelique’s vine.
There was no booking tickets online through a hard to navigate website that makes Ticketek look old fashioned. There was no assigned seats or endless days of dress rehearsals.
And there was no $200 outlay.
Now, as I have learnt the end of year concert is a big thing. It’s a carefully choreographed event with venues booked out years in advance. It has costume fittings and make up artists and with every child at the ballet or drama school participating its not a situation you can refuse.