Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Charlotte, the Ballerina Princess

For months Charlotte has been asking for ballet lessons. She is one of those children who skip/dances everywhere. It comes far more naturally to her than walking. Whenever she hears a beat she starts to shake her hips to the music. She can't help it.

Every morning I ask Charlotte what she dreamed about. Nearly every morning she gives me a sleepy grin and says "I was ballewina pwincess." Several times a week she wants to watch ballet themed movies on netflix and at least once a week she insists on wearing her ballet outfit all day. Leotard, tights, shoes, the whole nine yards.

This little girl has been dancing, talking about dancing, dreaming about dancing for months.

Yesterday, after I asked Charlotte about her ballerina princess dreams, I informed her that she was to have her first dance lesson later in the afternoon. She gasped, threw her hands to cheeks and said "Oh my goodness!" her new go-to excitement phrase.

Before I could even answer "yes!" she was down the hall in her room digging out her ballet outfit. It was nine in the morning; her lesson started at four, but that didn't matter, she was going to wear that outfit all day.

All day Charlotte followed me around asking "Is it time yet, is it time yet?" until finally it was time. We arrived to the ballet school, met her teacher and my girl giddily bounced on one foot, then the other while she waited for the other two students to line up. She stood next to her teacher and grinned at me while they began their first steps.

She admired herself in the mirror and added extra "Charlotte" flair to all the moves, undoubtedly to make them prettier in her eyes. She did everything her teacher asked of her and we smiled at her from the parents area. Slowly, though, her enthusiasm began to wane.

After about ten minutes of excited participation, Charlotte began to lose her bounce. Another minute and she stopped smiling, a few minutes more and her sashay lost it's sass. Twenty minutes into the class and it was clear my girl was not having fun. She looked at me with pitiful eyes and said "Momma, I'm shy!" as she bolted to where I was sitting.

I stared at her wide eyed and speechless. This was a side to my girl I have never seen. No one has! I am pretty sure anyone who reads this and knows Charlotte isn't going to believe me. I can't believe it myself.

She refused to participate, even though at one point it looked like it was killing her not to be dancing. Halfway through the class we packed up her things and went to the car.

When Lily was her age she really didn't want to do ballet, but tried it anyway. We frequently had issues with her not participating and finally her school (a different one) suggested that she not return for the remainder of her session, or sign up for another one. She participated in one recital, which she screamed so loudly through that the school had to re-dub the recital recording for her class' number.

I can't help but fear that history is repeating itself.

Since this is so unlike Charlotte to be "shy" we will try again next week, but in the meantime Lily was so excited about the class that she is begging me to let her sign up tomorrow. Who knew that, at the end of the day, it would end up being Lily who wants to be our ballerina princess?

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