Nowadays things have gone somewhat bananas in the preteen activity department. The choice is endless. Add to that a child who is enthusiastic to do anything she is offered and it could be a recipe for disaster. Or at the very least a recipe for never seeing your child. Tilly hasn't chosen anything too unusual so far, but she adamantly refuses to stop doing any of the things she does. Which means we may never know if she is a natural potter but you have to draw a line somewhere.
She currently goes to choir, yoga, gymnastics, Brownies and Razzamataz as well as playing guitar. Small people social calendars nowadays are barmy. I have informed her there are only 7 days in a week and she needs to fit in her homework and a bit of actual playing at some point but none of the above seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Her favourite activity without a doubt is Razzamataz on a Saturday. She is apparently going to keep going until she's old enough to teach at it. Alongside running a farm and a sweet shop of course.
There are a few theatre schools in Sheffield. There is one 50 yards from my house. I'm still not entirely sure why we didn't try it and plumped for a trial at Razzamataz based at Norton college instead. I don't think it can have been the pull of the Duncan Bannatyne connection. It was much more likely to be because Helen, the Principal, is so darn lovely and organised. And she'd have to be with the number of children who go through the Razz doors on a Saturday. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
So my eldest has been a Razz Junior for nearly two years, and my youngest a Razz mini for one. They do dance, drama and singing each week and get the chance to perform regularly at events and annually at the big show. We are full on committed in this family. Even Phoebe's party had to be a Razz one this year.
The children adore going and I think the whole thing is so happy and well run I can't see the need to ever go anywhere else. I mean ok on a bad day I can drive backwards and forwards to Norton four times but it's a small price to pay when they are so happy. And it does usually mean I get out of cleaning the rabbit hutches. Anyway, if you check the parenting small print, driving about for at least 16 years is non negotiable.
It was the big show, "For One Night Only" at the Octagon on Sunday and it's fair to say all the parents did their fair share of ferrying about. Backwards and forwards to rehearsals and then dropping the children off for the show itself.
Then it began. The chance to see what they get up to every week and of course to glow with parental pride.
There were two acts. The first full of juniors and minis singing their head off, dancing to pop songs and acting in short versions of musicals. Mine were in Hairspray and The Wizard of Oz, but others were in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and a brilliant version of Matilda. The girls got to watch the second half and were rapt watching the inters, seniors and even teachers doing their thing. Wicked was a big hit with my two. There were some stunning soloists in both acts but overall it was simply high energy inclusive happiness. With all the bouncing I never stopped to think about what the organisation of over 200 children must have been like. Phenomenal.
The kids loved it. We loved it. And yes at some points welled up.
It's three days later and we are still smiling. Watching your children grow in confidence and ability is amazing at any time. Watching them do it dressed as a munchkin and a sixties dancer and it's pretty close to perfection. (The kids were dressed up not me clearly).
So there you go. A recommendation for you, should you be considering theatre school classes for kids. They teach 4-18 year olds and you can look here to find out more.
This week my mini becomes a junior and to top all this positivity off that means that they both go to the same activity, at the same time for two and a half hours. I know, how amazing is that? I'm thinking coffee, shopping, a nap...the choices are endless.