Tiny dancer

The little girls came to tap dance and practice ballet in my center’s ballroom on Tuesday afternoon. I love Tuesday afternoon because just as my day is winding down, I hear the faint tapping of shoes and it puts a huge smile on my face. I usually go out there before they start at 4pm to see these little girls in their pink & black leotards, tutus & dance skirts, pink, white & crazy striped tights. I smile down on them from my office door and some of them wave, some of them smile, and a few run to hide behind their moms peeking out at me from the safety of their mother’s coats making sure I am still watching.

When I first started here I thought I loved this class because I at one time was what they are; a little dancer. I still remember my mother asking me if I wanted to take ballet or tap lessons and bouncing all over the room chanting “ballet, ballet, ballet” over and over again. I know now, but didn’t then, that my mother researched many of the local schools before settling on a more formal school that required specific leotard and shoe colors by level, that my hair be pulled back from my face without exception, and that seemed to be I guess a bit more legit than some of the others?

The girls are young, maybe 4 years old, and I have now realized that I watch and smile and hope that my own little girl will one day look at me and say “Mommy I want to be a ballerina.” I watch the mothers beaming a grin that uses their whole face as their little one gallops around a stuffed animal or leaps over a whole line of them in succession. My instructor did the same thing. We leaped over record albums laid on the ground that she told us were alligators (kind of a scary image now that I think of it!). Their methods don’t seem that different, how could they these girls are so young? Bar work, jete turns, and pirouettes are far off in their dancing future. As for the formality, well at least at this level this Department of Recreation class would be available to me at a 50% discount, so I think Town Rec dance would be just fine for starting out don’t you?

I always watch this one little girl who is so incredibly shy, but is the one that all the other girls follow. She is the one who always knows the next step, who knows which way to turn, points her toes with precision, and smiles only until she realizes you are watching of course.

As I stood there watching them this week, a coworker approached and began chatting me up and I was so distracted by the dancers that she turned to me and said, “you want another one don’t you?” I looked at her and said, “No, I think I just want one of those.”


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