I am writing in response to Sarah Mansheim’s “Friars Hill Traffic Report,” May 21, 2016. Usually I enjoy Ms Mansheim’s tongue-in-cheek humor, but the May 21 edition left me a bit confused since her article seemed to belittle the very dance company which she and her extended family have long supported.
Ms Mansheim noted that tickets for their up-coming recital sold out both evenings so quickly as to give undeserved rock star importance to the program. Ms Mansheim’s daughter is a veteran performer in this program. In reference to this, Ms Mansheim said,” … I live under no illusion that anyone other than myself, her father, and her grandparents have any desire to see this show.” Yes, actually, they do. Her daughter is talented and performs beautifully, a joy to watch.
Ms Mansheim asks, “Do we really think that our entire extended family – and two of our best friends – actually want to sit through a two hour dance recital?” Uh, my guess again is yes, most of the 800 people who waited in line for tickets want to see this recital. They are the ones who believe in the magical ability of live performance to transport its audience into unique, colorful places in time and space, fun places to be. These are the dancers who in the past five weeks have competed in two regionals held in Virginia. In each competition, they placed ahead of all others by winning the highest overall scores, and a total of 12 trophies.
In her closing, Ms Mansheim makes a reference to the relative importance of scoring tickets to a Beyonce show as compared to a local dance troupe. In my closing, I want to say to each and every dancer: on June 3rd and 4th, for a few minutes each evening: Rock it girl, you are Beyonce.
Dear Mr. Boone,
It seems that Ms. Cate Bennett and Valley Dance Studio have joined the esteemed ranks of those I have hurt in my column. Those ranks include my husband and my children, so she and her studio are in great company.
Valley Dance Studio is an integral part of my family and the entire community. We Mansheims devote many hours and dollars to the studio, and are very much looking forward to the recital, where I, like all the mothers in the audience, will surely shed tears of pride and gratitude as we watch our children perform and show the entire audience how hard they have worked this year.
If I have hurt you with my words, I apologize. If I have hurt Ms. Bennett, I am mortified.