Sunday, May 24, 2009

Maybe not her thing?

So, Lily-Grace has been taking dance classes this year. There was a free "camp" last summer where prospective students could try it out and see if they liked it. She went and loved it! I asked repeatedly, "Did you like it? Do you want to go back? Do you want to keep doing this every week?" Every question was answered with an enthusiastic, "YES!" But, of course, I need to remember that she is 4, and all rules are subject to change at any time with no advance notice. It is her prerogative.
So, after signing her up and paying for the whole year in advance because I saved money that way, it took her about 1 month to decide she didn't really want to do this anymore. I'm thinking of all the money I already paid, and make her keep going. I'm thinking, wow, I paid over $500 for the privilege of cajoling, threatening and bribing my child to go have fun at dance class? I feel so happy and proud.
The thing is, this child loves to dance. She is constantly in a leotard and tutu and dancing for all she's worth. I think that is the problem - she already knows how to dance. She doesn't need anyone else telling her how to do it!
So this past weekend was the dance recital. She got all dressed up in her costume that she's been dying to wear ever since we got it back in January, but it has had to stay locked up in my closet out of her reach. And we had extra practices and extra bribes and threats. And finally the big day arrived, and we all excitedly went and waited through the whole eternity of dances, and she was finally the second to last dance.
They all prance out on stage looking so cute and small. And Lily-Grace promptly marches over to the little girl next to her, and I can tell by the way that she is pointing and putting her hands on her hips that she is telling this other little girl that she is in the wrong place or something. The other little girl finally shoos her away and Lily-Grace heads back to her place. I am just glad that I don't know the other little girl's parents. You might assume from the way that she was bossing the other girl around that she would know what she was doing. The music starts and Lily-Grace pretty much just stands there, occasionally doing her own moves and pretty much oblivious to the whole dance. Wow! That was money well spent! And during the finale, she came out and was dancing and having a good 'ol time, and I think I finally understood. For her, at this age, dancing is not about 1st and 2nd position and how to point your toes. It's about twirling and jumping and spinning around and enjoying the music. There wasn't one single twirl in her recital dance! How insulting! So, Lily-Grace had to put in her own twirls - every self-respecting dance should have a twirl, after all! And then we went and picked her up backstage and gave her flowers, I guess because we are celebrating that she is done!
So, she has worn her dance recital outfit non-stop for the past 4 days. She asks me repeatedly, "So, I am done with dance class? I don't have to go back?" Needless to say, we didn't sign up for next year! She has loved that costume though, and I'm wondering if it was worth all those classes for her to get that outfit? I think next year we may skip the classes and just get the outfit - we'll both be happier, and so will my wallet!

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