Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dance Class

A week ago Tuesday Mom and I were present for some epic cuteness; we got to watch Alyce during one of her dance classes.  That day was Parent's Observation day at dance class.  Up to this point and in the future Alyce's dance teacher keeps the kids and parents separated during dance class.  I didn't quite understand why she did this until being present for one of Alyce's dance classes this summer.  In that class it was pretty obvious that while Mom or I were within eye site of Alyce she would be extremely distracted.  Alyce's dance class has about 10 girls in it so imagine 10 distracted 3 - 5 year olds and the image of someone trying to herd cats comes to mind.

This week we were brought into the class to see what we've been paying for and to fill up the memory cards of all of those in attendance.  By the time I arrived the girls were at the end of the room waiting to start warming up.    I snuck in a little wave to Alyce and she waved back.  Also, I heard her tell one of the other girls "that's my daddy".

After a few stretching exercising the teacher went through a couple of routines that the girls had been working on.  The teacher would stand in front of the girls doing the routine and the girls would mimic her actions.  Pretty similar to an exercise class. The teacher also had lots of verbal instructions with directions like tap your left or right foot X number of times.  However, most kids don't know their right from their left so there is lots of bumping going on.  Alyce has made lots of progress since her summer dance class.  She wasn't the best dancer in the class, but definitely not the worst.  What impressed me most was her focus.  There were a few times where it wavered but for the most part she stayed on task.  The girls try to do the ballet moves very slowly and expressively seemed to be difficult for them.  Perhaps they are so used to gross motor skills that moving slowly requires a lot of concentration.

After the routines the girls did some ballet runs across the room.  Asking kids to walk on their tippy toes when they are used to heel toe yields mixed results.  Alyce did pretty good even though we weren't really sure she was going to stop running at the end of the room.

Following the ballet section of class Alyce donned her tap shoes.  In an instant the girls go from cute butterflies to bulls in a china shop.  I don't know what happened, maybe just the noisy shoes but every girls steps became over exaggerated, clumsy, and loud.  As their motor skills flew out the window so did their attention span.  Alyce even fell victim loss of attention as she started walking around on her heels.  Which is no easy task but not what she was supposed to be doing at the time.

As evidence that the fathers of today play an active role in their kids lives; when class was over all the guys got up, picked up their daughters, and gave them big hugs.  Most of them, myself included pulled ourselves away from work to be there and I'm glad I did as I would have regretted missing such a display of dancing prowess.

There was one heart wrenching moment of class.  One girl, most likely the youngest couldn't handle all the people in the room, or their attention, and burst into tears as the class started.  She just stood there with her hands over her eyes, red faced, and tears streaming down her cheeks.  The teacher in the class tried to console her as much as time would allow, but the mother just sat there rather than picking up her daughter and helping put her back together again.  Mom and I think that this girl just turned 3 and isn't capable of calming herself down thus needing her mom's help. It was pretty heart wrenching to watch as I would have picked Alyce up at the first tear.

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