My Final Curtain Call
Growing up in a house with three girls undoubtedly has its ups and downs. We steal clothes and we argue. We team-up against my parents to get what we want for dinner instead of what they have planned. We make each other laugh and sometimes make each other cry. Above all though, my sisters are my best friends. Recently, I completed my 17th and final dance recital weekend - a weekend I realized would have to happen, but never really imagined. Out of all the routines, however, nothing was more special than dancing in a trio alongside my two sisters. In preparation for the annual Turn It Out Dance Academy recital, dancers practice routines for the majority of the year. Choreography is taught typically between August and October and performed at various competitions and outings between February and the June recital. Our family trio, however, was choreographed in May leaving us just three weeks to perfect the routine before the big performance. That’s an easy task for veteran dancers to the competition scene like my 13-year-old sister, Kamryn, and me, but Karringtyn, who recently completed first grade, struggled to remember the dance and her technique. To make up for the lack of studio rehearsals, Kamryn and I, who had performed duets in years prior, took matters into our own hands by turning our living room into a practice facility each evening.
The day before our recital, Karringtyn could not have been more excited for our sisters performance. The day of the actual show was a different story; nerves seemed to have gotten the best of her 7-year-old self as she hysterically cried and became sick before taking the stage just at the morning rehearsal. At that point I believed she had no chance of walking on stage for the actual show. Thankfully, I was wrong. Karringtyn completed our rehearsal flawlessly, boosting all three of our confidences. While Kamryn and I each made a minor mistake in rehearsal, Karringtyn remembered each step and turn as if she had known the routine for months. As we watched the acts before our routine in the actual show that evening, I could watch the nerves come over Karringtyn again. Before we walked on stage I asked if she really wanted to do the dance or if she was too nervous to which she answered, “Yes, Kayley. We have to do this for you and Mom. This is our last dance together.” The lights dimmed, we hit our beginning pose and the tears started rolling down my face. Our song, “Sisters are Doing It” spoke for itself as the dance was flawless. Kamryn executed every turn, and Karringtyn remembered her steps. I could not have been more proud of both of them for pulling off what seemed impossible. As we hit our ending pose, all three of us then cried and embraced one another in a hug on stage. We hustled off the stage as the next act was ready, but our hug continued. Out of the dozens of routines, venues and performances, that was my only opportunity to dance alongside my sisters. From my first recital to Karringtyn’s last (assuming she dances until her senior year), my parents will attend 29 years of shows. It seems pretty crazy that in 29 years, we were only to share the stage once, but the moment was unforgettable. In the audience I know my parents and grandparents could not have been more proud of all three of us for working together and sharing the stage. I’d like to think even my dad shed a tear as he watched us together for the first and last time. Living and dancing with two sisters is definitely eventful. There’s always an explanation for a missing shirt or headband, and there is always something for us to do. As I look back on my senior year and life in general, I am glad that we have moments like my final recital to share. I could not be more thankful for dance to be an activity we each love and my dance teachers for giving us the opportunity to be together on stage. Now I leave the stage to them and hope they continue the legacy of the Miller sisters in recitals to come.