Thursday, November 30, 2006

Parent day at the studio.

Little girls that exude dancer personalities, all feminine in their ballet splendor, and gracious in their ballet slipper toed movements, are so darned cute to watch.

This week amidst the brouhaha of mice and men (wink), it was parent viewing day at the dance studio, one of two special days held each dance year.

With our youngest daughter taking both ballet and tap dancing lessons, following in her older sisters' footsteps, she assured me I would love her new dancing studio this year, complete with barre practicing, mirrors on every wall and trophies all over the place to admire from former dancer performances earning the studio its incredible and well deserved reputation.

The goal for a dancer; beauty and poise.

With hot steamy latte in hand I had been sipping on rather quickly before slipping into the class, I dropped it into the garbage can near the doorway, moving in and taking a seat to the left after entering the dance studio. It was there I had prepared myself to sit for two performances of the varied dance disciplines back to back this day.

The first class was ballet, and studio uniform was mandatory, so no frilly pink skirts allowed on top of the black leotard and pink tights for the parent day.

It was most interesting to see the advancement in both style and dance this class has progressed in, moving towards their individual exams this year for the first time. The teacher made comment they were all ready for their first exams this February/07.

What a lovely group of little girls, all so sweet and fun loving, enjoying their parents there to observe them at work and play.

Beginning with their barre exercise work, they worked hard and showed us they have learned and progressed well in their technique work, taking their lesson seriously, even with the audience before them they weren’t accustomed to.

Serious faces were showing their concentrated efforts.

As each new French ballet definition has been given, the girls have had dictation to write them down with their corresponding meaning in a booklet they keep in their dance bags, and most of the girls could pronounce them when reviewing each step with the teacher during this class.

I love this photo because her reflection in the mirror is priceless.

After the barre work, the girls performed several dancing exercises, then their main dance thus far. I found the girls were all fairly good at keeping in time to the music, working well with the only exception being one tiny gal, who had her arms in many places but where they belonged, then I realized she was just shorter than the rest and having a good time in front of her parents, because when the diagonal corner to corner movement foot work was next, she could exhibit well and had perfect steps for each and every expectation.

Following the ballet class, I remained seated for the tap dancing being held right after in the same studio. Some of the same gals stayed for this class like our daughter, having both back to back such a time saver for the mothers. A couple of girls joined in from either another studio dance discipline or came only for this class. All of course were lovely little girls too, but I had to chuckle while watching them all open their dance bags and slip into their tap shoes.

Ready to shuffle ball change, and side sweep wild kicks.

Contrary to the ballet class, not one of the girls could stand still after they were on their feet, shuffling about making a lot of racket with their steel taps. Apparently they do this all the time, practicing their steps rhythmically and automatically as soon as the shoes are on. It reminds me of the books titled “The Red Dancing Shoes by Hans Christian Anderson”… (You simply MUST read this lovely little story HERE) where the shoes' self driven action moved around in full motion with feet taking the lead around the room. These young maidens are also likened to the song….”YOU got to move it, move it”.

As well, this type of dance obviously triggers motion, movement at high tapping speeds, noise beyond belief when not all are in sync with one another (believe me), and an all out raucous and rowdy surge of energy ensues, not like those graceful ballet moves when positioning the body to rise en pointe or having whispy and floating grand arabesque moves. These gals had ambition, agility and way too much energy beyond the first group of lovely ballerinas, not to say the ballerinas didn't, rather they were much more disciplined in their movements with these gals letting go, all smiling before the class when shoes were all on their feet, as if to say to the parents;

“Just you wait - THIS class if filled with wild merriment”.

Tap shoes make the feet wanna get up and move.

This dance class takes two years before the girls are well prepared to take examinations, so they won't be participating in any this year.

New children's book worth taking a look at.

The "Madame" of the studio is now retired after fifty years of dancing, but pops in upon occasion to view and assist where she is needed. Her grown and married daughter now runs the studio and has a young girl in this tap class. She was able to pop in near the end to watch her own daughter participating in this lesson, in between teaching her own scheduled dance classes.

After the main dance number had ended, she leaned over two chairs to ask me (again) if my daughter didn't have previous dancing experience. I told her the same thing, no, and shaking her head she replied that she thought our girl was incredibly gifted with the abiltity to keep the beat and stay on course with the dance number after only having danced such a short time. She told me she marveled at her natural movements because she had advanced so significantly in such a short time to learn the moves and all the dance steps. She also remarked on the great turnout of her feet for the ballet session ahead of this class, as she was watching in the studio door's window at the girls a few times when able. I just ended the wee chat by telling her the talent runs in the family with other daughters who were naturals at dancing too. *smile*

As well while there at the parent viewing day, our other daughter came along on the errands proceeding the classes, curled up and reading the new books she had just checked out from the library in the lobby.This teacher (we all really like her) nabbed her attention, requesting her to babysit her young son three hours this dance day while she taught her classes if at all possible. Apparently they live right around the corner from us, so close. Seeing her there, the teacher was thrilled to remember I had another daughter as she hasn't had a babysitter this year yet to assist her at home while her husband worked afternoon shifts. This thrilled and happy daughter was eager to share this news with me later on and obtain our approval to assist in the request.

You got to move it, move it, just like the song.

When the last tap class was ended, our little daughter removed her shoes, prepared her things and gathered her items back into her dance bag. With crimson cheeks and a glowing face, she hugged me hard telling me she was very happy to have her mommy there to share this dancing day with.

Hurry mom, my class is about to begin.

I can see she favors her activity of dancing very much, however she’s been missing the horse riding lessons when they stopped until later in the spring.

What a combination; ballet and horse riding!