Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Little Dancers

first day of ballet


Both children are now taking dance classes down at the studio in town that prides itself on being serious and doing classical ballet well. They both like their classes - in fact, after I had to drag Carbon in for his first class this afternoon, he emerged from the studio saying "that was fun", "I want to do it again", and "I want to go see the Nutcracker when they perform it". OK then.

This new extracurricular is in some ways more familiar and easier for me than our forays into team sports. With the team sports, I had no skills to offer, and no past history to draw upon. I never did team sports, at any age. I cannot throw or catch a ball - my efforts make them all laugh at just how bad I am.

But dance, especially ballet, was my life when I was young. I was so dedicated, such a dreamer full of hopes of being a prima ballerina, and it was such a heart break for me. As a disappointed dancer, I don't want to live out my dreams through my children. On the other hand, I don't want to be so bitter that I don't let them have the experience and the joy for themselves.

So I need to remember - as I do so often as a parent, teacher, or any other time I'm with children and youth - this is not about me. I will try to see what they need, want, and are experiencing, without letting my own experiences jump to the forefront. Yes, I draw on them - they make me who I am today. But when I am working with someone else, it's time for me to just shut up and listen.

If they want to dance, we will help them dance.

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