Since my 3 older kids had also attended this kindergarten, I was well aware of the months of arduous preparation that goes into this event. Training takes place on a daily basis and school schedules are adjusted accordingly. Parents (myself excluded) and teachers conjure up the loveliest little costumes which obviously depend on the theme of the concert for that particular year.
This year was no exception. Although we were treated to tidbits of their performance when Aisha was in the mood, we really had no clue as to what to expect. I was actually quite anxious about how she would react when walking out onto the stage in front of an unexpectedly crowded auditorium. I tried to prepare her for this at the older kids' talent show a few weeks ago by turning her around to face the crowd (since we were sitting close to the front) and telling her that that was what she could expect to see at her own concert.
But I needn't have worried. As the kids confidently strode onto the stage, most of them had the self-assuredness of stage performers who had been wowing audiences for years. While we waited for Aisha (who was to enter second last in her class) to walk in, we held our breaths in nervous anticipation of her tears - but our little star delighted us with a broad smile and by enthusiastically waving at us (we were sitting right in front so she could see us clearly).
Eventually my mother had to tell me to stop waving at her as she seemed to have forgotten where she was and was waving at her family excitedly instead of participating in the performance.
As is customary at the school, the first part of the show focused on the Islamic performances, with children reciting a duah (supplication) followed by a qasida
Although we had a plain burqa which she could have worn and despite the fact that people often laugh at this frilly one which, admittedly, makes her look like Little Bo Peep - for me, the fact that it is so comical actually makes it cute (for someone her age only - you won't necessarily see me strutting about in Canal Walk looking like a maiden in search of her lost sheep).
The theme for this year's concert was "Around the world in 5 whirlwind visits". Each of the 5 classes represented a different country.
Aisha's class represented Spain. We were told to drop them backstage with them wearing their black T shirt and black pumps under their Islamic wear. So imagine our surprise when they emerged looking like this.
Of course, everything did not go strictly according to plan, especially in the case of the Level One performers - many of whom were about 1 year old and some of whom started to cry (as I too would at the sight of a hundred people staring at me) - but despite this, the children's wonderful efforts evoked so much pride and joy from excited families.
Level One (baby class) representing South Africa
Level 3s (Aisha's class) representing Spain
Level 4s representing Mexico
Level 5s representing China
|The kids doing the most impressive dragon dance|
Aisha seemed to lose interest in her performance about halfway through and decided to casually look around, examining the awesome props until we made eye contact with her and signalled her to participate in the performance.
I was amazed at how these tiny people were able to remember their dance steps and their lines and how confidently they performed in front of this excited shrieking crowd, which was made up of incredibly proud mommies and daddies; family and friends. I was so impressed at what those fabulous teachers had managed to accomplish with these little performers, some of whom could be quite temperamental, I'm sure.
Once again the staff and children of this kindergarten managed to pull off a successful show, creating memories upon which we will look back fondly and proudly again and again, (as we would have done with our older kids had our pictures and videos of their concerts not been deleted/ lost due to camera theft).
|Aisha with her teachers and some of her classmates|