Friday, January 15, 2010

Dance, Dance. . . The Lady Takes Ballet

Waiting for Class to Begin

Friday was the Lady's first day of ballet. We have been prepping for this class for a few weeks now. The Lady has a wide array of ballet paraphernalia, including at least three tutus and plenty of matching tights. We have practiced "dance moves" in the living room. These aren't the typical formal ballet moves, but the Lady's own interpretive ideas of movement. I think that if she shows up on any future episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance" she will fit right in with Mia Michaels and the contemporary crowd.

I too have been preparing myself for this class for a number of different reasons and with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. As you know from reading this blog, I am anything but comfortable in new situations. I really had no information about the class, except starting time and place. Would this be a mommy and me class? Could I bring the Little Lady? Did the Lady have to wear certain clothes in certain colors? (In the $340 ballet class I flirted with signing her up for--the girls had to wear pink tights and pink leotards--only!)

Luckily, this was a city run recreational program that took place in the gym of a Lutheran Church and cost less than half of that! And luckily the Lady is more open to new experiences. I was worried that she would cling to me or stand off to the side, I was worried that she would be bossy and argumentative, I was worried that my little girl who has been dancing and dancing all over the house for months now wouldn't even like the class.

Who knew you could have this much anxiety at a 2-year-olds ballet class?

Anyway, we walked in and I was glad to see that almost all the little ballerinas were dressed up in some sort of ballet-themed ensemble. There were girls in sneakers and slippers, leotards and t-shirts and every single one of them has some sort of tutu on--even the girl wearing jeans was wearing a tutu over it. The little girl who was wearing her green goggles was also in full ballet mode. (And I thought I had it tough with some of the Lady's fashion statements.)

I was also relieved to see a few other moms who had infant carriers in tow and in one case an older sibling. My anxiety lessened even more, when I saw some moms with their coffee cups in hand. I had left mine in the car, not knowing the coffee cup/ballet class etiquette, but will certainly not be doing that this week.

The ballet teacher introduced herself, but apologized because she had taken a tumble on the ice a few days earlier and wouldn't be able to do as much as she usually did with the kids. I am not sure if this is the reason that the parents were as involved in the class, but regardless certain parental intervention was needed, just to corral the kids into place.

We started the class by sitting in a circle in the middle of the gym. One little girl would run around the outside of the circle with a fake flower in her hand and then pass it off to the next girl until each girl had a chance and the circle was complete.

My heart started pounding, I prepped the Lady for her run, but was unsure if she would get up and do it. I was hoping I didn't have to fight with her, cajole her, or make any apologies for her behavior. When that felt flower got handed to her, the Lady ran. I teared up. I mean, I don't know if it is still the post-preggo hormones--they are surely still raging at 5 mos. postpartum right? But when I saw her determined run around that circle I couldn't have been prouder of her. How did she get so big and more importantly could this be the start of a lifetime love of dance that would leave her with a dancers body (sans eating disorder) and actual gracefulness? A uncoordinated, rhythm lacking mother can dream.

So the class progressed as many of you might have imagined. Organized chaos, where at some points the Lady was doing each move she was shown and at others she would be standing there asking me if she could go on the stage. (Did I mention she is a bit of a drama queen?)

When the girls had to skip, march and sashay down the gym and back, the Lady ran, and ran fast. (I am thinking of signing her up for Toddler Track-do they have that? I should start my own Toddler Track club--you pay me a small fee and I will watch your kids just all out run.)

When they had to step and swerve through the mini cones on the floor, the Lady bent down and straightened out each cone that was pushed astray. When we tried first position, she asked about going on the stage again. Second position, though she did pretty well with the arm movements to boot and only asked about going on the stage a few more times before the class ended.

The Little Lady, had a doctors appointment to ultrasound her hips for the second time for pretty much no reason (really, she still has laxity in her hips, have you seen this kid put her entire foot in her mouth? Sometimes her toes are wrinkled like she was in the bath for too long because she has been sucking on her foot for fifteen minutes!) Anyway, my husband took her to the appointment and was able to show up for the last ten minutes of class. The Lady was excited to see him, but more importantly she was excited to show him how she ran, back and forth in the gym.

The Lady with the Scarves

I am looking forward to this week and hoping that I can be more on the sideline watching, sipping my coffee and minding the Little Lady (while she naps, of course) than in the middle of the action. I am thinking of bringing the video camera though. Not only so we can see the Lady run, but so I can show you the girl in the green goggles and all those adorable 2-year-old ballerinas with their tutus on ready to dance.

1 comment:

  1. A Toddler Track Club sounds like a solid idea. Young Skywalker channels his inner Eamon Coghlan every waking hour of the day. Its time we put that energy to good use. On a side note, i hate anyone named Eamon.