Sometimes I whole heartedly embrace being a mother of two girls, because at their current age society allows them to explore whatever it is they so desire. My oldest daughter has been through many phases from loving everything to do with trains and trucks to only wanting to wear dresses, not just any dresses either, but dresses that twirl. This summer she participated in T-Ball and was one among four girls on her team (I on the other hand was the only girl in the entire league). Sj loves things that are considered very dominantly boy, like Justice League Superheroes and rough housing tag with the boys in her class. But then she can turn on her feminine charm. Society doesn't give my friends with boys, the same carte blanche.
I have even suggested the Ballet School to a handful of my friends with boys, with reactions such as "You can't be serious". But I am, the male dancers at the Ballet School are amazing. I think I would encourage my son to embrace the art of dance as much as male dominated sports. But then again, I was given two girls, both of which love to dance.
This fall, we decided to allow Sj to try out ballet at a very formal and well known Ballet School. The reasoning behind my dance school of choice was ultimately the caliber of experience. There are plenty of dance school choices in the town we live in, but oddly enough many of them leave a bad "pageant over-done-makeup" feeling in my stomach. I am not a parent that wishes to hurry my daughters into the world of all things they'll discover soon enough during their teenage years.
With Sj's enrollment in Ballet School, I had no idea that I was the one undergoing the Ballet Mom initiation. The first week, I was taught the proper method for creating a bun in her hair, complete with a hair net to best contain the bun. The pre-teen ballet students that showed me the ropes were absolutely adorable, they demonstrated improperly formed buns, and gave me secret tips for the best bun which is one that replicates a cinnamon bun, flat and close to the head. The Ballet School is very welcoming, everyone is kind and friendly, not exactly what I anticipated. I am a bit disappointed to admit that I thought it would be stuffy and prissy, but I was wrong.
Every week now, we partake in ritual. Sj is trained in formal ballet technique. I lay out her clothes and dress her, embracing our new tradition. I feel so proud when I see Sj looking like a little ballerina, prepared to learn, prepared to embrace a new form of art. Every week when we enter the school, the school's professional dance company rehearses in the studio where she attends class. We sit outside, getting a glimpse of the dancers looking so beautiful and graceful, bonding and moving in magical ways.
This may sound really sappy, but I get a little welled up when I see Sj and the ballet students peering in the open door. I know they imagine themselves one day being a part of such a production. This week we had a chance to see Sj's teacher in rehearsal, to say there was a twinkle in Sj's eyes is an understatement. I watched her eyes follow every step and her brain create the dream for her future. This Ballet School is more special than I ever anticipated, I know the timing was just right to embrace the art of Ballet.
Here's a quick camera phone snap shot of the seed being planted or shall I say the dream being born, you decide.