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The Night Before Competition
A DanceMom.com Original Tale

'Twas the night before Competition, when all through the house
Not a creature was worried – not even my spouse.
The rhinestones were glued to each costume with care,
And certain to blind every judge with their glare.

Our dancer was nestled all snug in her bed,
While visions of Platinum danced in her head.
And dad in his t-shirt, and me in my sweats,
Were just kicking back with a beer and some chips.

When up in the bedroom there arose such a clatter,
I fell off the couch and yelled, “What the hell is the matter?”
Away to our girl’s room, I flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and caught a glimpse of… The Rash.

The red on the face of our girl let us know,
That this illness could threaten her spot in the show.
When what to my husband's mind should occur,
But the cash we’d invested to register her.

With a little calculation done frighteningly quick,
He said we’d waste hundreds, if she truly was sick.
More rapid than switchleaps, the treatment they came,
And I diagnosed quickly, and called them by name.

“Try Advil! Try Nyquil! Try a couple Aleve.
Put on Aloe, or Cortizone, or Benedryl Cream.”
From the medicine cabinet at the end of the hall,
I dispensed every treatment and said, “Use them all!”

With thermometer in hand, I demanded a chance,
To check for a fever, “Damn, I hope she can dance!”
We took our girl’s temp, and suspected the flu.
And I nearly passed out when it read 1-0-2.

And then in an instant, we lost sight of our girl,
Who ran into the bathroom, and started to hurl.
As she wiped back her tears she sobbed, “This isn’t fun.”
“Competition’s tomorrow, and I could have won.”

She’d have been dressed to kill, from her head to her foot,
And no one could have beat her. She’s really that good.
A bundle of talent, with a smile to delight,
Would have brought her top honors -- her God-given right.

Her jewels would have twinkled. Her Costume? Cranberry.
Same shade as her lipstick, as she'd shake to “Proud Mary.”
She was born for this dance, and could nail it cold.
Leaving judges to award nothing less than High Gold.

Her hairstyle – expensive, like the costume beneath,
And we’d mortgaged the house, just to straighten her teeth.
All in all you could say, we'd invested a ton,
It was like the stock market, but now she's Enron.

Alas full of meds, dancer lay back in bed.
To console our dear daughter, we stroked the child’s head.
We spoke not a word – too consumed with our fret.
Until dad broke the silence, “Why's her forehead so wet?”

I checked for myself, for I feared a cruel joke.
But found hope had returned, yes, her fever had broke.
We sprang from her room, and we danced down the hall.
With a good night of sleep, she’d compete after all.

We had rescued this weekend, for our daughter so dear,
More important: preserved hope for her Broadway career.
And we heard her exclaim at the next morning’s light.
"I'm ready to dance, mom.  Yep, I’m feelin' alright!"

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