After months of watching you spin around in circles every chance you got, I decided to enroll you in dance classes. I was worried because you tend to get shy around new people. You are not the child that runs up to new kids and yells LET’S PLAY! Instead, you test the waters, feel your way, and sometimes ask to go back home. But not this time… Dancing Dumplin emerged!
I scheduled a trial class at a local cultural arts and dance center. I picked the school because it starts children at two years old and goes all the way up to adult hood. I like the idea that at certain milestones various styles of dance can be implemented. This center even offers instrument and voice lessons when you are older. But let’s be clear, I am not a stage Mom. No way. I do my best to pick things I think you will enjoy. Initially I wanted you to take soccer lessons because you were always kicking the ball outside screaming GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL. Unfortunately, the scheduling of soccer in our area is inconvenient for me. Dance it was. I promised myself that if you did not like it, I would not force you to continue. Some parents suggested I make you go regardless but I’m not comfortable with that yet. Why torture you so early?
Anhoo, we arrived at the school on the trial day. You wouldn’t tell anyone your name. You wouldn’t even say hello. I got worried. You made me stand in dance class with you and you just watched until ballet class was over. I thought to myself, “Well this was a waste of time.” As the students started to change shoes from ballet to tap, the dance teacher said, “Have a good weekend ladies! Anyone who would like to stay for tap, please change your shoes and line up against the wall!” You looked at me and said, “Mommy I want to stay.”
Looooonnnngggg exhale. I asked if I could wait in the hall with the other parents and you said “Ok Mommy but don’t leave me.” I stepped outside and watched you on the monitor. You followed the directions, pranced around, tapped away, and had a blast. When class was finally over, you ran out of the classroom into my arms.
“Mommy can we come back next time???!!!” Victory!!! I have found an activity that you enjoy. We’ve been going to dance class every Saturday since October and you still love it. I’ve signed you up for the dance recital this summer and you’ve started to learn your dance routine. You love dance. You love singing while you dance and you love performing.
You know what else I’m super happy about? I now have proof that all of the books I bought featuring Black Ballerinas wasn’t in vain! The teacher said stand on your tippy toes and you said Relevé! Thank you Up on My Tippy Toes!
When the teacher started to teach the class the routine for the show this summer, you said, “Mommy I have a recital like Princess Cupcake Jones!”
You love the idea of becoming a ballerina like the beautiful illustrations in Dancing in the Wings.
I know for sure that representation matters and affects how you see yourself. These days, you see yourself as a dancer. I’m sure your vision for yourself will change as you grow. For now, I’m going to enjoy every minute of this. Yay for Dancing Dumpin!