I went to a dance competition this weekend in Woodbridge, Virginia that was hosted by Starpower Talent and I was shocked at the sheer volume of talent and creativity that was displayed there, and was shocked at the number of these young girls and boys (mainly girls) who are already unbelievably advanced in what they are doing. My daughter just turned 8 last month, but she is already dancing at a level that surprises me, but she has her work cut out for her if she is going to continue to compete in dance. This was very humbling to me because in high school, as good as I was on trumpet, comparitively, I was nowhere near where these kids are as dancers. Many of them are already dancing on a professional level and their ability to learn and perform new routines is unbelievable. My daughter performed a solo and three ensemble numbers (Two of which took first in their division. YAY! ) but that is a pretty light load. Some of the girls in our small troupe were doing multiple solos in multiple categories, plus duets, trios, and other ensembles. I think that two of our girls, Sammy and Jesse, did 10+ numbers and took it all in stride. I think the most I ever did for a music contest was 8 different entries to include trumpet and vocal since I was also a singer in high school, and THAT seemed overwhelming at the time. (By the way, Sammy is the 10 year old daughter of our instructor, and Jesse is her 14 year old niece.) One of the things that just floored me was watching Jessica perform one of her solo numbers. I knew Jesse was good, because she always either wins or places very highly at these things, but up until this weekend I had never seen her perform any of her solo numbers. I was astonished at how this 14 year old, normally goofy girl suddenly transformed into a picture of perfection on the competition dance floor. (She placed high, but she didn't win this one, which surprised me, although you should have seen the competition at this contest.) Is this sort of thing happening nation wide, or is this just in my area where the competition and expectations are high? One thing that I do know is that it put into sharp relief what I am doing with the trumpet. The dedication and effort that these kids must put into what they are doing is probably far greater than anything I have done to date with the horn, and that knowledge is very humbling. Back to the practice room.