Friday, February 7, 2014

Dance Aunt: Review of a Meet and Greet with Dance Moms Cast Members Chloe and Christie

I have two sons. My sister has two girls. She gets to experience the thrill of 3 hour baseball games through me and I get to go to dance recitals.
Christie and Daughter Chloe
Throughout the past summer, every time I was with my 12 year-old niece Amber, I would hear about Dance Moms. I wouldn’t just hear about the people on the show or how great it was but the geographic location of the girls in the show as well. Thank you Twitter. For instance, we went to see the Radio City Christmas Show in November. Did you know that two of the dancers were in  NYC the day before?  Very important information for a tween Dance Mom fan whose eyes were the on the lookout for them amidst the hundreds of people on the sidewalks of NYC perchance they hadn’t left yet.

So when I asked my niece what she wanted for Christmas, she politely and very neatly wrote down for me on the paper that I handed her the name of  the website where I could go to purchase tickets for a Meet and Greet for the dancers on the show. Then she listed all the people she would like to see. It took up most of the space on the piece of paper.

Luckily some of the cast was in the area, over the border in New York, and I was able to purchase tickets and surprise her on Christmas that we would be going to see Christie and Chloe. I asked her if she like those girls and how good they were. Having never seen Dance Moms, (but having watched many a Little League World Series), she politely told me that Christie was the mom. Then she went on to explain who the best dancers were and who got solos and all this other stuff that I know not what she spoke..

My niece could not contain her excitement. I think she barely slept, between Christmas when I told her and the weekend following it that they were scheduled to be at the hotel in Westchester, NY. Amber was bright-eyed and bushytailed, dance bun in tact, when she was dropped off at my doorstep at 8am that Sunday morning.

My husband drove us, and he ended up sitting in the lobby of the hotel outside with all the Dance Dads - I don’t know, is that what you call them?

Amber and I were greeted by the event planner when we checked in, who noted to Amber that she had an awesome aunt for bringing her. J

Then we went into the main meeting room, which was arranged theater-style, with a podium upfront and glass windows on the wall behind. It overlooked a very green winter scene. There was seating for about 400, I would say, and Amber and I took a seat in the fifth row, which was the row behind the VIP section. Our view was excellent.

I did not know what to expect, as I think this kind of Meet and Greet is a new phenomena and I had never been to a meet and greet for dancers in a reality show before. It was a great idea for the fans, especially compared to waiting on a line for some mall appearance. (I had several frantic texts to me a week earlier when my same niece was online to see Bethany and they told her all the wristbands had been given out). This kind of organized event makes the fans happy and makes money for the cast as well. I was thinking though, how great it would have been to have something like this when I was young. What I would have paid to have been in the same room with Marcia Brady.

There was one guy and one dad in the room. Everyone else was  a 4-14 year old girl with a phone in her hand. I think all the seats were filled, and it was a Sunday morning the weekend before New Year’s.

A hush came over the crowd when it was announced the Christie would be coming in. She talked for a little while and explained how the session would work and what behavior was expected of the crowd. She also added how her daughter did not want to wear what she had suggested, so she would be coming in jeans. Nice way to relate to the crowd, there Mom.

The look of anticipation on the girls when she announced that Chloe would be coming in was precious. I have never seen such a group of more-well behaved girls, tweens and teens.

Perky and fresh-looking in her sweater and jeans, Chloe talked for a while. Then she opened the floor to questions. She made sure she went all around the room, and when she seemed to favor one area, her mom told her to go to the other side.

The questions ranged from the simple to the complex (see article for lots and lots of facts on Chloe). Chloe gave excellent answers to all of them. When she did not know the answer she looked at her mom, and sometimes while she was answering other I could see mom giving her the yay or nay on what she was saying. One of the attendees asked her to do a turn and she obliged, I thought that was great.

I have to say that this Meet and Greet was a lot of work for this young girl. For someone who may or may not have had professional media training or any acting classes, she knew her answers and was pelted with questions, answering all of them cordially, for almost an hour.

Amber takes a photo of Chloe as she walks around the room
We had sat on the end chairs (always a good thing to do) and my niece was estatic that she got to ask Chloe a question and also get a picture with her. Not that Christi did nor possibly could have taken a photo with everyone in the room, but the selfies were flying as the girls angled to get themselves and Chloe in the frame as she passed by them.

I think that there was nothing else left to ask when the session was over,
and all of the girls got their fill for the time being. I now know all about the life of Chloe.

Now, there was a VIP session that happened after, which was a little more expensive, but the regular $40 admission got my niece all that she had  dreamed for. I heard the VIP’s got personal photos with her.

On the way out, we bought a a bunch of raffle tickets for a basket of DM signed items and other stuff. There were also other DM signature items available for purchase.

On the way home, my husband mentioned how he had seen them leave the meeting room.
My niece, still in a dance mom trance, asked if they were talking to anyone..

He replied, “Well, they were walking out, and people were saying hello to them.” He continued, “One person said ‘Merry Christmas to them’ Amber, and guess what I heard her say?”, he said.

“What?” asked Amber?

She said “What are they wishing me a Merry Christmas for. Christmas is over”.

As poor little Amber did not want to believe what he just said, I realized what a good job Lifetime had done on casting.

If you have the money, a Meet and Greet with Chloe and Christie will satisfy all of your little fan’s cravings.

Note: I spent New Year’s Day binge-watching the show.            This post written by Suzanne Ordas Curry