The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 18, 2013

Mike Pound: Daylong dance competition requires comfortable seat

By Mike Pound
news@joplinglobe.com

— After about two hours, I knew something had to be done.

The feeling that something had to be done didn’t come all at once. Instead, it slowly came to me — much like the feeling that something is wrong occurs to a lobster sitting in a big pot of water that at first was cool and comfortable but now seems just a tad warm.

Not that I’m comparing myself to a lobster or that I’m comparing the dance team competition that I was attending to being slowly boiled to death. I’m just making an analogy.

We got to the dance team competition at 8 a.m. Saturday. The competition was at Missouri State University in Springfield and featured high school dance teams from across the state, including the Carthage team that our 15-year-old daughter is on.

What I have learned, after years of sitting through daylong competitions, is that it is imperative to find a comfortable place to sit that allows you to both watch and ignore the competition. So, after spending two hours sitting with my wife and the other parents, I decided it was time to move.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy the company of my wife and the other parents; it was that I felt cramped. So I looked around for a more secluded spot. After a minute or two, I found what I wanted. It was the first row of seats in the section just above the section where I was sitting.

The section had everything I was looking for: empty seats so I could stretch out and a rail in front of the seats so I could put my feet up. If the section had been real estate, Donald Trump would have purchased it and slapped his name on it.

It was a nice section.

I told my wife that I would be back in a minute and walked up to my new home. In case you’re wondering, my wife is used to me saying “I’ll be back in a minute” at Emma’s competitions and then never seeing me again.

When I got to my new section, I took a minute to take it all in. It was perfect. I could see the competition, so I wouldn’t miss the Carthage team dancing yet I could ignore the other teams and read the book I brought with me. The book was “One Last Strike,” written by former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports writer Rich Hummel.

After 30 minutes or so, I got a text message from my wife. This was the message: “Are you going to take pictures?”

I got the impression that the message wasn’t really a question. Call it a hunch.

So I put my book down, walked back to where my wife was sitting and picked up the camera. When the Carthage dance team came on the floor, I took a bunch of pictures. When the dance was over, I put the camera down, said, “I’ll be back in a minute,” and went back to my section.

A few minutes later, Bill, who lives across the street from us and whose daughter Katie is on the dance team, walked over to my section.

“That’s a good idea,” Bill said, and he took a seat in the section. Later, Randy, whose daughter Kelsey is on the team, joined us, and so did Lowell, whose daughter Abbey is also on the team.

The four of us had a great time watching the Carthage dance team and ignoring the others.

If you ever find yourself in the student center on the MSU campus, try to find my section.

It should be easy to find. It has my name on it.



DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.