I’m convinced that my little ballerina twirls more than she walks. Addie twirls and spins, spins and twirls, all about the house…and the grocery store, and through the mall, and probably even at school, given the opportunity. I wish I could see what she sees in her mind as she dances; is she on a big stage in front of lots of people, or in an empty studio? Is she wearing a big, fluffy tutu, or her standard leotard and tights? I should ask her to write it out for me (as she is quite the writer, too!).
When asked that million dollar question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, she often says that she wants to be a ballet teacher. She has a true love of the arts, and she is so fortunate to have a fantastic art program at her school, and she started her fifth year of dance studies this fall. Five years! She was just three years old when she started dance classes, and she has loved every minute of it. Last year, she began talking about auditioning for her dance studio’s company…at just six years old. She still as a couple years of learning and dancing to do before she can audition, and she knows this, but I love that she has a vision of being part of that program.
Last month, my mom took us to see a performance of The Nutcracker. As always, BalletMet Columbus put on a beautiful show, and although it wasn’t Addie’s first trip to the iconic holiday production, she was instantly captivated and swept into the magic and beauty of the show. The best part, for me, was watching Addie as the dancer portraying the Sugar Plum Fairy stepped forward for her curtain call; she almost came out of her seat, applauding so hard, and her eyes were huge and sparkly. Maybe she imagined herself on that stage someday?
I can see that her ballet studies are also building Addie’s confidence. One of my proudest moments as a “dance mom” (although it is one of my life missions to NEVER be a true “dance mom”…you know, one of those pushy stage moms…it’s just not my thing) was watching Addie leave the dance studio a couple of months ago, then stop short and turn to go back in to talk to a classmate. The other girl didn’t look familiar, but I figured that they either went to school together, or had formed a new friendship after just a few weeks of class. When I asked Ad about it, she simply replied “She’s new to our class. I wanted to let her know that she did a good job today so she would feel welcome.”
It’s funny how our kids can teach us things without meaning to, isn’t it?
My hope for Addie is that she can continue to dance, and enjoy her classes, for as long as it remains meaningful to her. She has already abandoned other activities (like soccer), in favor of ballet, as she knows that she doesn’t have room in her schedule for everything. I will continue to encourage her, enjoy watching her practice and perform, and wonder how she envisions herself as she twirls through the living room.
My guess? On stage, in front of a large audience, wearing a sparkly purple tutu.