Disclaimer: I find all Parties in the following post to be perfectly likable, agreeable people. This post reflects my opinion on the given issue, and should not be construed into any negative opinion of anyone.
My lack of posting lately is not for lack of content. Between competition prep, finding a new and sane mom to talk to, and the gathering forces of Winter Show approaching, I have lots to think about.
But it's touchy. People are at odds with each other and I am loathe to take sides. Coaches are complaining that they are being accused of favoritism, parents are complaining that the rehearsal schedule is being switched around, and kids are being kids.
In the Costume Room, there is a particular heated debate going on over the nature of Winter Show, and how that affects the costuming of the skaters.
Last year, I noted that most of the soloist costumes were the same, which made sense to me. The ones that didn't have a similar costume to the soloist in the same role the previous night, I figured that there was not a costume of that type in her size, so the costumers were making do.
I was only half right.
Costumer A comes to me and says that Moms and Daughters are being overly picky about the costumes being assigned to them. Costumer A says that "This is the role, and this is the dress for that role."
Costumer B says, "If you don't like the dress, feel free to choose something else. We want you to have a good show experience here!"
I stand with Costumer A, and here's why:
Spring Show and Exhibition are a series of fun skating numbers strung together. In a show of this kind, sure, feel free to wear whatever looks good on you. That's fine. You're not telling a larger story, you're not performing with others, you're just you. Please, by all means, look as good as you can.
Winter Show, however, is telling a story. Specific characters are supposed to do specific things and look a specific way to further the story. Remember the "performer" bit, where everything you do adds to or detracts from the Performance? Yeah, that applies to what you're wearing, too. If you're a Housemaid, then maybe you aren't supposed to be cute and frilly. You're cleaning the stupid house. Only women in Pledge commercials look cute and frilly while housecleaning. Real people look a bit dowdy. Now, of course a "dowdy" outfit at a skating rink will be all black sequins with silver trim, so take that with a grain of salt. If our ingenue showed up one night in heavy purple eyeshadow, false eyelashes, overdone rouge and fire engine lipstick, (because she thought she looked good in it,) that would be completely inappropriate for the "Young Child" role she was playing.
But Moms and Daughters are coming back with their assigned Winter Show outfits, complaining that they don't like them and would like to choose something else. This has Costumer A in fits, Costumer B scurrying to the racks to find something "suitable," and my fellow Skating Mom and I in hysterics. (She's new, too, and also a Theatre Person.)
We will be patiently explaining to Moms and Daughters that this is the outfit for the role. You wear it or don't. And when we say "don't," that means you can forfeit your solo to one of the dozens of eager little girls who would be happy to have it (and the dress.) They're right outside, I can go get one of them now.
In a Real World situation, a skater in a professional ice show is going to have no say at all in what she wears. ("You're in the giant Nemo head," sparked some rather lively laughter.) An actor in a play has very little say about what they will be wearing. I don't know about competitive skaters, but I would imagine the same holds true for them: They may get some say, but the final decision rests with someone else. (Any Pro Skater stopping by, please fill us in!)
Kids, this is all part of being a Professional. A Professional doesn't waste time whining about their costumes. They put them on, play their part, and years down the road they will laugh with their friends, "You wouldn't beleeeeive the crazy thing I wore for that show!"
But what do you think, Readers? Do you think an Ice Show that tells a story like a play should allow the skaters to dress themselves? Or should we keep wardrobe in the hands of those who are seeing the larger picture and not just individuals? Take the poll in the sidebar!