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New adventures with my tiny dancer

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 11:51 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 12:25 p.m. CST

In my daughter’s life, I know there are going to be a lot of firsts. She has already had plenty to document. Her first smile, laugh, crawl and walk are just a few. Last Thursday, she had a big first in my eyes — her first dance class.

From the age of 3 until I graduated high school, I participated in dance. I was on the competition team, drill team at school and I also did color guard. Dance was a huge part of my life for many, many years, and I hoped that someday I would have a daughter who could share my love.

After my oldest was born, I was almost counting down the days until she was old enough to start dance. Every year since she was born, we attended the state drill team competition in December at Wells Fargo Arena. The older she got, the more she has enjoyed it, and I hoped it would help nurture her love of dance.

Finally, after three long years (a little sarcasm here) she is old enough to attend dance class. After moving back to Monroe, I knew she would attend the same studio that I did, Steppin’ Out. As the day came closer, we went shopping for leotards, tights, tutus, leg warmers, and of course, shoes. She already has a lot of fun dancing at home, pointing her toes and jumping around, so I hoped a class wouldn’t be too much for her.

Dressed in her pink leotard and tights with a black tutu and bun on her head, the time had come to go to class. It was the busy transition time before classes, but she did great and had a ton of excitement in her eyes. We entered the studio and without hesitation walked out to the X of her choice. She was an old pro before the music had turned on, and I was beaming with pride at my little ballerina.

For her first year, she is taking ballet, tap and tumbling in an hour-long class. I have to admit that I can’t wait until her recital music is picked and her costume is chosen. It was always a really exciting time. 

The class started with the girls, about 16 in all, learning first position, hopping to second and dumping leaves over their heads. So they didn’t really dump leaves on their heads, but it was how they learned about going from their toes to their heads, then opening up their arms.

From there, they formed two lines and started skipping. I wasn’t really sure what her skills were, but I soon learned that skipping was a new concept. She may have only actually skipped once or twice the whole way across the floor, but it was cutest attempt I have ever seen. Next, she galloped, which she was pretty successful with, and then walked on her tip toes with her arms over her head, looking just like a mini ballerina.

Tumbling was quite the experience from start to finish. We have talked about somersaults at home and tried them, but in comparison to some of the older kids in her class, she was a novice. She did have a lot of fun being a wheelbarrow and walking on her hands with a partner holding her feet and just jumping on the mats in general.

In most situations, she has always been fairly outgoing and not very likely to be attached to my leg. Although this was a first-time experience of taking a class, she had a smile on her face the whole time and was ready to learn. She didn’t even need her mommy there, but she did flash me some excited smiles and proud faces throughout the class.

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