Michelle Hayes, owner of Dance Carousel, organized the night. She demanded a strong performance but was also flexible with the children. At one point, she let the kindergartners frog-march and giggle, as they so chose, as they came forward to tell the audience about their favorite toy.
Calle was among the goofiest and most daring on stage. She made a comic show of approaching the microphone, which was mistakenly hung at a crooked and low angle. She bent over and down and shouted into it with good-natured enthusiasm before breaking into laughter.
When she performed her dance, she was all passionate business. She kept an eye on her teacher for signals and as best as she could moved in unison with the other young dancers.
She waited with total concentration for the signal to grab a rainbow stick and twirl, or to raise hands to her face to mimic tears during a sad moment in a song, or to break into laughter.
She later emerged from the group on stage to be presented with two long-stemmed roses, which she accepted with energy before quickly returning to her spot next to Lilah Magee, her BFF (“best friend forever”).
Only once did she break from the group on her own.
The children were leaving the stage by climbing down wide stairs at its front.
Calle stood before the audience in her pink and blue costume and assessed the situation. She needed help to balance on the way down. She spotted a staircase with railing, stage right.
She made her way there, and exited her own way.
Meg Murphy can be reached at email@example.com.