Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dance in her heart

A couple months ago, Daniel and I signed Zoe up for her first dance class. We thought it would be good for her to have a fun activity for the summer that would allow her to make new friends and take advantage of her love of performing. We were also hoping that a dance class might teach her to follow directions a little bit better and instill as much discipline and focus as possible for a 2 year old. We didn't have huge expectations - humble ones, actually. I figured at worst, there's nothing cuter than a kid in a tutu, prancing around to music... and multiply that by infinity when it's your kid.

So we prepared her. We talked about how she was going to get to take a dance class. We read her a book about ballerinas. We got her a couple leotards with tutu's, tap shoes, ballet shoes, and a special "monkey ballerina" dance bag. She was excited. We were excited.

After weeks of hyping up the dance class, I got butterflies this morning as we got Zoe ready. Would she be afraid? Would she cry? Would she make friends? Would she run around like a maniac and ignore any and all directions? As she pranced around in her little outfit, I told myself: Maybe, maybe, probably and definitely. I was 50% correct.

Here's a breakdown of the class, for the grandparents especially:

Daniel, Zoe and I got to the studio a few minutes early and parked in a very special parking spot.

Princess Parking

When we got inside, she sat quietly next to her Daddy observing all the other little 2 and 3 year olds.

Watching the other kids

After a bit she stood up, grabbed my hand and walked me across the room to a crowded spot. She wanted to be in the center of things, but she didn't want me far either. She smiled at the little kids around her but played shy for a bit. Just as she was inching towards a little boy and letting go of my hand, the teachers came out and read out loud who would be in which class and then they invited the parents to watch the first lesson in the classroom - for the remaining classes we'll have to sit in the waiting room and watch on the televisions.

Zoe loved the sound of her tap shoes on the floor. She danced all around and laughed and had a great time by herself while other little girls clung to their parents and cried because they were nervous. Not our girl! Soon after this pic was taken, Miss Jennifer told Zoe she had "dancing in her heart."

Tap Tap!

The teacher asked the girls to sit down and Zoe listened!

1st Dance Class

But then, when it was time to get up and dance, Zoe wouldn't budge. This photo was taken right about when Miss Jennifer told Zoe should couldn't dance on her bottom, but my kid tried proving her wrong.

This....

Then it was time for ballet shoes. Zoe didn't want to take her tap shoes off, but she got over that quickly and really let lose. I can tell already, my girl is going to be a bit of a class clown.

Class Clown

She got really comfortable:

Getting Comfortable

And made a new friend.

Making Friends

But kept us in her sights frequently.

Looking for Daddy

She did some tumbling.

Tumbling

And when class was finished, she waited patiently - sort of - for a special ballerina stamp on her hand. And look! Already she has learned to stand in line... on her tippy toes!

Waiting in line for a stamp on her hand

All in all, her first class was a success. Daniel and I were delighted to see her enjoying herself so much and we were relieved that she was not at all afraid. There was a brief moment when she pushed her shoulder up to her ear waiting for her teacher to look at her, but that was the only sign of insecurity and it was fleeting. I think this is going to be a great experience for her and I'm especially looking forward to her recital in August.

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