Sunday, December 3, 2017

On Point

Today I took my kids to see the Nutcracker.  I remember seeing it almost yearly and almost yearly making a silent promise to myself that next year, I'd somehow try out.  I didn't because 1) I'd forget,  and 2) The studio which put on the production was the competitor to the dance school I attended and 3) I wasn't so much a ballerina as someone in love with performing. 

Watching the performance, I wondered what my kids thought and looked admist the perfect dancers for the ones who persisted on sheer determination.  The kid just slightly off, but giving it everything, that's the dancer for me. 

The girls knew some of the vocabulary from a movie about dancing they've taken to recently, Leap!   One asked, "Is that a grand jette?"  "Nope. Just Jette." "Is that a piroette?"  "Yes."  "How many did she do?" "Seven."  "Is that a lot?"  "Yes."  Whispered discussion about theatre ettiquitte earned me another five minutes of asking "Why?" 

I'd love for one of my girls to love dancing like I'd loved it, to want to do it even when it isn't for a performance, to love recitals.  So far, six girls, no ballerinas. 

At intermission, we perused the gift tables. Anna wanted a rhinestone tiara.  Regina wanted a sword with a scabbard or a snowglobe. (We got the snowglobe), and Rita wanted a souvenier coffee cup (though I suspect for the chocolate inside).   I looked wistfully at the toe shoe ornaments.  No one in my crew would want such a thing.

After the show, the dancers took questions and introduced themselves.  Most began dancing at four.  None danced fewer than seven years by the time they reached twelve.  The girls loved the show for the most part, they liked the costumes and the experience. 

When we got back in the car, I overheard the girls saying how grateful they were, they didn't have to do something every day.   "Yeah, like the villian's daughter in Leap! where her mom makes her dance all the time." They can't ballance on point, but they have ballanced lives I thought.   "Thanks for taking us Mom!"  "This was awesome!" "Thanks for going out with us." They enjoyed it for enjoying it, and for no other reason, and that was sufficient. 

In truth, it was the reason I got the tickets, to give them a memory.  In dance, to do a turn, you must fix your eyes and return to the spot, and not forget in mid spin where you want to go.  In parenting, the issue remains the same, stay focused, and you'll stay on point.

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