Dec 11, 2009

Dress Rehearsal

Three things about a community ice show dress rehearsal-- photos, costumes, parents.

Photos: at our rink, 15 groups and as many as 60 individual pix in a 2 hour span WHILE the show is running. Trying to find a schedule that makes this work within the run of the show, so that everyone gets a picture and the show does not get delayed, I truly believe, is impossible. While the staff seems to run with the idea that dress rehearsal is to iron out the show, the parents believe it is for the purpose of getting photos. Unfortunately, the way it is set up, they are both right. Both things have to happen, but the goals are incompatible.

Fortunately it's only one night, and it makes the staff seem like geniuses at the subsequent performances, because without all the photo calls the chaos disappears.

Costumes. Never done. Break. Not where they're supposed to be. Don't fit. I just mouth my mantra: "This is what dress rehearsals are for"

Parents. Okay. I know it's parents reading this, and mostly I am squarely in the parents' court; I don't think skating parents get enough good consistent information on most things. But I'm going on the side of my adopted tribe on this one. Parents. Have. To. Let. Us. Do. Our. Jobs.

Always remember when dealing with service personnel like teachers and waiters that we don't want to yell at you. In fact, we can't. You're our customer and our livelihood and at the basest level of motivation we don't want to piss you off. At the highest level of motivation, we like you. Remember the mom whose coach only told her things that made the coach look good? This is kind of where we are all coming from. We want you to feel comfortable with our authority over your child.

This means that during the juggernaut that is an ice show, when parents confront a staff member they are more likely to get a platitude: "thanks, I'll make a note, but don't worry we have done this before." Most of the things that parents are concerned about we are already aware of, or it's an annual issue that we deal with. Or, we are dealing with it, or would be, if we didn't have to stop and explain it to you. You need to let us deal with it, rather than demanding on the spot explanations. Don't exacerbate the problem.

The best way I can put it is-- parents don't need to know what's going on, because the coaches do know what's going on. You don't need to know which widget the car mechanic turns, and you know better to demand an explanation while he's doing it. Well, in a funny way, your kids are our widgets, and we know how to turn them.

This goes for competitions, too. If we say something you don't understand, now is not the time to challenge it. Call me tomorrow. The show doesn't stop because you think we're doing it wrong. The wandering child doesn't get found because you are yelling at me. No Parents Allowed at the rink door means, parents allowed at the rink door.

There are reasons for this. Reasons which I will be happy to explain.



  1. Yikes! Sounds like you've got your work cut out for you. Good luck with the show!

  2. Matinee show went off like a dream. 2 down, 4 to go!