I can vividly remember being a few weeks away from my due date, driving home from a trip to the grocery store. As I rounded the corner into our neighborhood I watched as a little toddler ran out her front door, dressed in ballet shoes and a pink leotard and tutu. I watched as her dad loaded her up in the car and my heart swelled. Oh how great it is to have a little girl. I rushed home to tell my husband all about it. His response of course was she's not even born yet Katie. And what if she doesn't even like ballet! It also didn't help that I had an addiction to the show Dance Mom's. Every time it was on my husband watched, shocked as Abby screamed at her little dancers. And his mouth dropped open when he saw those little girls prance around onstage in sometimes very inappropriate clothing. I was told in no such terms that if I ever allowed my daughter to be talked to that way or to parade around onstage in clothes that didn't fit he would go up there and pull her off. But I'm getting off topic
You see my dreams of having a little ballerina are because I was a little ballerina. My parents enrolled me in dance when I was 3. I can still remember my first recital and dancing to Mickey Mouses' Birthday Party. I danced until I was 18 years old. Although I always envisioned being a Ballerina, I had flat feet and a more athletic body type. I excelled at jazz and lyrical and loved it. Once I joined the dance team in high school dance at my studio went on the back burner and it is still something I regret to this day. But I never regret my years of dancing. It kept me grounded, provided me with structure, allowed me to be myself and express myself and taught me so much more.
So at Boo at the Zoo when I found two ballet studios that would take Gianna at the age of 2 I couldn't believe it. I set about to researching the best studio, ignoring the fact that both were over an hour away from our house and I signed her up.
The studio I chose allowed Gianna to try out a class before officially registering her for classes. The week before I went out and bought her her first pair of ballet shoes, pink tights, a pink skirt and a leotard. And of course a pink dance bag to go along with it. The day of I tried to snap some pictures of her but as usual trying to get a picture of a toddler is impossible. Still she looked pretty cute for her first day of ballet class
We got to her class a little early. Gianna could her the music playing and she was so excited. She kept trying to peek through the curtain and when the teacher put on a song from The Little Mermaid Gianna was jumping around with excitement.
The class we were watching only had 2 girls in it. The class Gianna attended had 10 girls in it. And the moms parked themselves in front of the curtain, peeked in constantly and due to that the girls kept running in and out of the classroom. In my head I kept telling myself that the class is for 2 year old's and I shouldn't take it so seriously but I couldn't help it. And the dance mom in me took over. I knew that while I wanted dance to be fun for her and something she enjoyed I also didn't want the class to be treated like a play date. I know she is only 2 but when I signed her up for Mom and Me Gymnastics it was a disaster. She performed when the instructor gave her instructions but the majority of the class was a free for all, with the parents leading and kids running around everywhere. Gianna did not do well in that environment. She got so irriated and frustrated with me which led to me being frustrated. We would end the class with her having a tantrum in front of everyone. We lasted 3 classes out of the 10 I paid for.I did not want a repeat of that. I knew that Gianna would be better off in a smaller class without the distractions, since obviously she is easily distractions.
So when the class was over and I talked to the instructor we both agreed to sign her up for the smaller class. We went back last week and it was a much better environment for her. She loved it, had a blast with the two girls in her class and the instructor is beyond amazing. She is so patient with them and makes it fun. Technically it is not a ballet class but a creative movements class. There is a lot or ribbon twirling and dancing to princess music. Exactly what Gianna loves and needs. Loosely structured fun. I loved watching how excited she got to go to her dance class and the beam on her face when her teacher gave her a sticker at the end was priceless. I hope as we continues on with dance she loves it as I once did. Yet if she decides that she doesn't I will be ok with that too.
When we come back from Wi and Gianna resumes dance in Jan they start learning their recital piece. Squee! I can't wait to watch her at her first recital. I know it will be hysterical watching 2 year olds try to remember what they were taught. It will be so cute!
So here is to Gianna's career as a little ballerina