If you had ever visited my bedroom when I was a teenager, you would have thought I was a ballerina. Ballet posters adorned my walls, my closet doors, my bulletin board. I had teddy bears with tutus, pins with ballet slippers. I had seen every dance-themed movie, and secretly practiced the ballet moves behind the closed doors. I wanted with all my heart to be a ballerina, or at least some kind of dancer.
But I never took dance lessons.
To tell you the truth, I'm not sure if I ever even asked my parents if I could have dance lessons. I had piano lessons, voice lessons, a short and unfortunate period of time as a soccer player. But I never danced, even though I really wanted to. I suppose I didn't ask my parents because I figured they would say no. Maybe if I had really been insistent on it they might have considered it. It didn't ever cross my mind that I actually could be a dancer, only that I wanted to be one.
So, last Christmas when Jason's mom--who had been a ballerina for 20 years--said she'd help pay for Sydney to attend a dance class, I was giddy with excitement. Just like pursuing my own dance aspirations years ago, it had honestly never occurred to me to put Sydney in ballet at a dance studio because I always figured it would be too expensive. As it turns out, it really was too expensive for us, so I don't know if we can manage her going back in the fall. However, I don't regret the money we spent. And if there's any way we can have Sydney in ballet again in the fall--especially because she clearly enjoys it so much--then we'll do it.
Every Monday morning since last January, Sydney would put on her red leotard, her white tights, her white dance skirt, and her pink ballet slippers. She'd spend 45 minutes in Miss Erin's class with nine other 3-year-old girls, and they would twirl, and leap, and stretch, and demi-plie. They also diligently practiced their routine that they were to perform for the recital. I was a little apprehensive that Sydney would be too shy, or not be able to follow the directions, but my fears were unfounded and Sydney thrived in her class. She loves to dance.
Last Friday was the dress rehearsal, where I took most of these pictures and the video. Saturday was the recital, and it was a big production, much bigger and much more professional than I thought it would be. Sydney's dance school had rented the Historic Elsinore Theatre, and all the preschool classes were part of the matinee performance (the school-agers and adults performed during the evening production), as well as the advanced ballet class. Sydney's grandmas and grandpas and cousins came to watch Sydney the Beautiful Ballerina. She with her hair pulled back in a bun, make-up sparingly applied, costume properly fluffed, tights brand new for the occasion.
There is something magical about little girls in tutus, their sweet voices reminding each other where to stand on stage. The music played, the tulle swirled and swished, and the little pink slippers tripped across the stage. Sydney knew where to go and swayed when she was supposed to. As I watched her, I was surprised by the tears in my eyes. Who knows what more she'll do in the world of dancing, but for that moment she was a beautiful dancer, on an amazing stage, curtsying before an applauding audience. Even afterwards, as she held her flower bouquet in her arms, I looked at her and beamed. Not because I had a secret wish for Sydney to fulfill my dreams of becoming a dancer; I was just so very proud of what she accomplished. On her own two pink slipper-clad feet.
Bravo, my sweet.
Here's the video...Sydney is the one without her crown (she had her crown on for the performance, but we couldn't find it for the dress rehearsal):
(c) Creature Bug 2008. All rights reserved.