My niece joined the family on July 12th, 2010. This special young lady's mother is my younger sister, which in classic Chinese culture makes me her Jiu Jiu (舅舅) -- thus the title of this blog. Here I intend to semi-regularly post reflections, thoughts, stories, and assorted whathaveyous pertaining to our trip to China, adoption in general, and (mostly) watching my niece grow up. Since the web is a very public place, I will attempt to maintain my family's privacy while telling the story... but I invite you to follow the blog and come along for the adventure!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dancing Queen

Well, I guess it's official now: the Pipsqueak is talented!

I can say that because, after several public appearances over the past couple of years performing classic Chinese dances, she's finally appeared in an official talent show! Okay, it's not exactly the world's biggest production, but it was still officially a talent show -- more specifically, the 14th annual talent show at her elementary school.

The show was nearly a full two hours (with intermission) of dance and comedy acts ranging from "golly, those little kids are cute!" to "hey, that was actually pretty good!" There were actually three performances: one during the day on Friday for the school, then one each on Friday and Saturday evenings for general audiences. Friday night was pretty much out of the question for most of the family (although AJ took the day off to make sure she'd be there), but on Saturday night we were joined in the audience by our friends A&B and their kids (two of Miri's besties) as well as Uncle M, Aunt D and Cousin E.

The Pipsqueak appeared onstage with her Daisy troop (all 1st graders), dancing to Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" -- which explains why I have both the original and a karaoke version in iTunes on my laptop. I'll give you one guess who came skipping onstage instead of just running into place and who quickly twirled around three times during the performance any time everyone else just spun around twice -- but the onstage smile was as real and bright a smile as I've ever seen and most of us (minus the VA contingent, who had to get home) went out for a celebratory ice cream afterwards.

(For those of you wondering, I'm still trying to edit the video in a way that meets this blog's privacy rules -- but while doing so I have to admit noticing every. single. girl. going hilariously in a slightly different direction at a slightly different time during the routine.) (Dude, they're just first graders, give 'em a break!)

We all still remember how we had the Pipsqueak home only 48 hours before she started rocking back & forth to the music played by one of her toys (a few times to the point where she fell over), so movin' to the beat seems to really be something for her. Since then she's been in a couple of dance recitals at Kindercare, a couple of recitals at the dance studio she's taking classes at, performed a short ribbon dance at a public mall and during a CNY banquet last year, then performed a Chinese ribbon dance twice so far this year (a slightly longer version each time) in public venues with a 3rd, even longer, performance scheduled shortly; was in a dance class recital a couple of weeks back; will be in another studio recital at the end of this semester; and now has three performances with her Daisy troop under her belt.

Both AJ and Mom also told me that Miri has discovered "Dancing with the Stars" and now makes a point of having Mommy watch every episode with her. She even turned and gave Grandma a demonstration of how some of the dancers shake their tushies... although that particular demonstration was cut a little short when Grandma simply could not hold back her laughter.

Looking back at all those years of ballet, tap, jazz, and other dance classes the Pipsqueak's mommy took just for the pleasure of it all, I'm beginning to think Dad's idea of "genetics through osmosis" might be right!  AJ keeps saying she'll keep it up as long as Miri says she wants to... and in the meantime, my niece lights up like a light bulb every time she dances.

I think we may have a performer on our hands...!

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