Five weeks ago, just one day before little lady turned 3 she started ballet lessons. Her first lesson and the first time we had ever left her with a stranger she went in through the door alone, she looked like a lost lamb. Her daddy and I peered through the window nervously. She was joining in but still looked like we had abandoned her, left her alone with these dancing strangers who were asking her to do things that she had no understanding of like '1st position' or 'good toes, naughty toes'. Her first lesson tears were released in giant sobs all because they asked her to carry a pretend balloon across the room. The lesson did not end so badly though, I went in to comfort her and show her that ballet could be fun, no I did not put on a tutu and join in I just sat and supported her. The lesson ended with her sat beside me, as far away from the strange children and strange teachers as she possibly could get but she did join in, she did enjoy it. So next week we tried again.
Week 2 of ballet, driving up to to the dance studio made little lady decide she didn't want to do ballet school anymore she wanted to go to school instead, she cried on her first induction day to nursery just 2 days previous so why she wanted to return there instead I don't know. We asked if we could just go inside and look, she agreed and joined in with the lesson. Well I say joined in she sat next to her dad the whole time but she did take part and learnt new skills. She came away with no tears this time, if we have to sit in every lesson till she is comfortable we will.
Week 3 I could not attend as I was at Britmumslive in London so Daddy2five did this one alone. He told me she did play up a little when it came to the group activity because she was still glued to his side, not quite ready to join the circle of children. She also forgot Timothy(her stuffed Donkey), at the end of each lesson they dance with their teddies then place a loving kiss on their head before laying them gently down on the floor.
Week 4 she told us she was going to go in alone, she soon changed her mind at the studio door but we did have a break through. Half way through the lesson she joined the circle, I wanted to shout to every mum and dad in the room that she had joined the circle but they might have just thought I was totally bonkers and mud sticks, I am totally bonkers but they don't need to know that do they! This lesson she was also wearing her ballet outfit, she had her pink skirted leotard, her pink crossover cardigan her seamless ballet tights and the adorable tiny ballet shoes. She looked absolutely adorable, I wanted to squeeze her. She is getting more confident, she will now happily get up on her tip toes and walk her pretend balloon across the room to one of her teachers. One good thing about one of us having to go in the room with her means we know what she has been learning and can practice at home, my husband doing some funny ballet moves to encourage our daughter is an hilarious sight to witness, I love that he will do anything to make her feel more comfortable at ballet school.
Week 5 is now, right this second as I am writing this, she went through the door with Daddy but joined the circle. She did not immediately stick to his side. Again I wanted to tell everyone that she had indeed joined that circle, she is making friends with her teachers who are all really friendly. It is sad that she will only have one more lesson before breaking up for the summer, I hope in September she still feels comfortable. I am certain that over the holidays we will be sat on our rug doing 'good toes, naughty toes'.
I am so happy that we did encourage her, you can see she loves it, if the day comes when she no longer enjoys it then she can stop. At this moment in time she loves being a ballerina.