I’m immersed in all things Dance this week. I enrolled my kids in dance about six years ago – not knowing if it was something that would stick. You know when they are in preschool and you dabble in bit of this and that – some they tolerate, some they hate and it becomes painful to even take them, some they are really, really bad at – but you pretend they are awesome, and some they just love.
When she was three, we signed Eloise us for soccer. She hated it. She hated every.single.second of it. If the ball was going that way, Eloise would go this way. For weeks she would run in the opposite direction of the ball – and thus the mob of children around the ball. I would ask her “Eloise, why don’t you go towards the ball?” and her quiet reply would be “But if I get the ball, then the other kids will chase me. I don’t want to be chased!” ‘We’ quit soccer.
We tried gymnastics and my kids decided that they had limited upper body strength and both asked to stop the madness of early Saturday morning classes, so we stopped.
I’ve tried to convince Eloise to try track – with her long legs and speed, I know she could be awesome. But again, even at 10 she voices her angst about people chasing her. I get it. Kind of.
So six years ago I walked down the steps into a dance studio to find out more.
I wasn’t a child of ‘lessons’ or ‘classes.’ My parents both worked full-time, we lived in a very small town, and honestly I’m not sure it ever occurred to any of us to pursue other..well pursuits. My brother did play Little League – because that’s what you do in a small Midwestern town as ball diamonds fit easily into cornfields, but dance studios were lacking. But my neighbor did teach me The Hustle. My childhood was filled with going to school and then just hanging out with friends or family and playing until dusk, swimming in the neighborhood pool, or sitting on top of the monkey bars during one of my brother’s baseball games.
Recitals, costumes, rehearsals, classes, and nude tights were foreign to me.
But within a month of their first dance classes, I knew this is where we would be spending a significant amount of time.
And now all three of my girls are dancing. Eloise and Esther love it and cannot wait to hit the stage for recital time. Astrid still seems a bit confused about why she is going out on stage…but I think that everyone still just comes to see the three year olds because what’s not cute about a little girl dressed up as Shirley Temple? Nobody can resist a little “Good Ship Lollipop!”
I’m proud of my kids and I’m glad they’ve found something that they love. I may never be able to understand what they are doing – I have no clue what a chasse is and seriously, I cannot pin a damn hat to their head or do a proper bun..or keep their tights clean. My god.
But I can sit backstage and give them lots of hugs and word of encouragement, and keep quiet in my little corner of the room as my biggest goal really is to never become THAT Dance Mom..and by not doing that, I think we’ve all accomplished quite a lot.
Now go break a leg, girls!