Last Saturday, when I went to collect Cholita from dance, her teacher met me at the door and with wringing hands asked if my daughter might perhaps be better suited to...... oh, I don't know, maybe a tumbling class..... rather than a structured ballet class.
Combined with Cholita's ho-hum appraisal of the whole experience, I decided she just wasn't ready. I'd tried to fan the flames too early, and now I'd snuffed out the fire for good. Then a few days later, while running errands, a neon sign flashed past. DANCE, it said. I flipped the car around and saw that it was a brand new dance studio. A banner with the words "Grand Opening" was strung across the building front. I asked Cholita if she wanted to try dance just one more time. She enthusiastically agreed. The owner saw us coming and met us at the door. With enthusiasm equal to Cholita's, she described her vision of a four year-old's ideal dance class. "Fun," she said. "Just lots of fun." Not an hour, which is what we'd experienced, just a half hour. Instead of staying on an assigned dot (or in Cholita's case, NOT staying on her assigned dot), this class encouraged lots of free movement. And the kicker, the piéce de résistance-- she told Cholita that she did not have to limit herself to a pink leotard. "Wear whatever you'd like," she gushed.
And so today Cholita started. Can you pick her out?
It's so hard to decide.
If you guessed the red velvet leotard and sequined tutu, you were right.
Cholita was a little shy at first, but the music, not classical piano like the first studio, but a mix of Disney Princess theme songs, lured her in.
The teacher showed her not only how to walk on her toes, but walk on her heels.
Cholita did it with style.
She made friends. She skipped.
She twirled. She spun.
And she ended with a flourish.
A sticker from the teacher and her joy was complete.
The fire burns on.