Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dance Mom.

When I found out that Elliott was going to be, well -- an Elliott, I had a moment of feeling like I might miss out on certain things I had hoped to pass on to my children, especially dance.

I started dancing at 7 at a pre-professional studio. It gave me an excellent foundation for technique, but we didn't like a lot about it. The attitude of the director was sort of last last straw, and when I was 9, we switched to Wevodau Dance Center, where I stayed until I graduated high school. I loved it, especially competitions and recitals. I made great friends and learned a lot. The main reason I got cast in a lot of early musicals was because I could dance. I came back for summer dance classes, but I didn't have the opportunity to return until this year. Wevodau's welcomes its alumni back with open arms, while most schools don't have any opportunities for adult dancers. I'm now an assistant teacher and I take a few hours of class a week.

I also decided to see if Elliott would like dance. He takes a class just for three year olds, with some ballet, tap, acro, and jazz. It's very cute. He likes his tap shoes, but he won't wear them in class (I think he's afraid of falling down). He keeps his shoes in my drawer (all the teachers get drawers in the break room so we don't have to schlep our shoes every day), and he likes getting a pretzel afterwards. However, it took until just this past week to have a class with no tears. If he's not with me, he is almost always with a grandparent or Jason. So, this was a new situation. The first week he cried at the end because he didn't want to go home, but then during weeks two and three, he cried during class. Last week, I subbed in his class, so he was less tearful, but still cried a little. I was beginning to think this wasn't for him.

This week, we had a busy morning and he didn't get a nap. I even considered not taking him, because it all seemed like a recipe for disaster. We arrived at the studio, he got his socks on with no hesitation, and we waited outside the room. I dropped him off, gave him a kiss, and he ran to his place in the front of the classroom. No fuss, no muss. At pick-up, I got a glowing report from his teachers about how enthusiastic he was. Since Wednesday, he has been showing off all his dance moves, not just the acro stuff. I'm hoping it sticks because it makes him happy right now. It's also fun that we have an activity we do sort of together. In June (if we both make it), we'll perform in the recital. Our studio has a special recital just for the pre-school kids, so it's short, sweet, and before afternoon naps. I'll be in all three shows that day, but I'll have to find a way to watch E from the sidelines. Apparently, the number of dances I'm in puts me in the on-stage dressing room, so that shouldn't be a problem.

And if he finds that dance isn't for him? Great! There are so many activities for him to do out there. I want to give him the opportunity to try stuff out, and dance works for us right now.

- M.