Thursday, September 25, 2008

Unintentional Ballet Mom

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.

13 comments:

  1. No matter how strong the tomboy streak - all girls love to twirl. I think it's genetic.

    I agree with you that there is nothing wimpy about men that dance professionally. They are incredibly strong. But there is no way that my husband would ever go for the idea of my boys taking ballet. Of course the idea of my stocky three year old in a leotard is pretty hilarious - and would make for some great blackmail pictures...

    Love the picture of the girls at the door. So sweet.

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  2. That sounds exactly like my daughters' school--be prepared for receital. it is very intense ;)

    My son loves dance and even though I want to put him in ballet, the husband is against it so we are doing kindermusik and soon a Dallas Musical theater class.

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  3. Maybe ballet could be the cure to my son's war like nature! I would do it if we weren't so overscheduled right now. Ezra would probably refuse though, never mind it being a husband issue. K

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  4. I don't think there's anything wrong with putting a boy in dance class. This is one of my pet peeves with society thinking if we put boys into "girly" activities that their sexual orientation will change. There are so many great male dancers out there: Justin Timberlake, Mikhail Baryshnikov, celebrity dancers on dancing with the stars (even though I don't watch that show). I love it when guys have moves rather than doing the typical "white guy's dance." LOL!!

    Anyway, I think it's great Sj is doing ballet. What a great self-esteem builder. Looking forward to hearing more about it.

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  5. I love ballet. I did it for a while when I was a 9 years old. My younger sister also did ballet, and was part of the Nutcracker for 2 years--so exciting to watch! You need to take the girls to the Nutcracker this Christmas.

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  6. Miss Peach loves to twirl...I just wish we hadn't had a bad experience with her first dance class:(

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  7. I love that picture! There's just something about little girls and ballet . . . or, so I imagine. I have a little ninja in training!

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  8. Love the picture!

    I was a tomboy that took dance classes. I believe my parents were trying to teach me balance which I still don't have to this day!

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  9. So cute. My girls go to a formal ballet school too and they love it. I have finally mastered the ballet bun after a year of practice.

    They have started to teach their little brother first position, second position and so on and he loves it. There is actually one little boy in their class.

    I can't say my husband would feel the same way, but if my son wants to take dance, I'm all for it.

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  10. This post makes my eyes well up and my ovaries ache. Ugh.
    I always wanted to take ballet growing up but we didn't really have the money for it. If I ever have a girl (or boy-although Todd might have a heart attack) that wants to take ballet I will be thrilled.

    That pic is just PRICELESS!

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  11. GREAT picture. I regret quitting dance. I'm so excited that you've found such a great place for your girls to go. I hope they get to reach those dancing dreams, if those are the ones they want to go for. Beautiful post.

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  12. Oh, so, so sweet. This is officially one of my all time favorite pictures. You should see if the company wishes to purchase it for their studio. I know I'd hang it.

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  13. That picture is to die for adorable! So cute.

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