For years now, Charis has wanted to take ballet lessons. We've postponed it again and again, for lots of reasons, but this fall worked out to be (I thought) a good time to plunk down the cash and let her learn. I am not personally a ballet-type of person; I took ONE gymnastics lesson as a child and was traumatized because they wanted me to take of my tennis shoes. My husband and I have, at various times in our lives, played and coached basketball and volleyball, respectively. We're really team sports people around here. But like it or lump it, Charis has always been fascinated by ballet. She twirls, she waves her arms, she believes she's really doing it...so we figured it was maybe time for some formal instruction.
The teacher I chose is Cathy K., who sat next to me in choir for years. That first picture of Charis is from circle time at the beginning of class. The girls each got a little plastic place mat to sit on so their space would be defined; they used it not so much to sit on, but to hold up, bend into a tube, wear as a hat, or use as a blanket. That picture was taken during the 4.7 seconds Charis actually sat on the mat.
Soon thereafter, it was time to move. Or, as I like to call it, "It's All Downhill From Here." They marched in a circle and performed actions as instructed by the song they were listening to, and on their march, Charis discovered her favorite thing ever: a giant mirror. She has always loved mirrors--she stares into them, makes funny faces, smiles at herself, poses--and this mirror was bigger than any mirror she has ever seen.
Not that it became a problem or anything.
Nope. The mirror didn't distract her one bit.
Okay, maybe a little.
Charis is not a very sit-still-and-listen kind of kid; she's usually fidgety and distracted unless she's absolutely engaged. Multiply the fidgety distraction by about a thousand, and you have Charis In Front of A Giant Mirror During Ballet Class. In my estimation, it was a bit of a disaster.
For the first few weeks, despite the presence of the huge reflective surface that allows Charis to watch her favorite program, "The Charis Show," Charis said she didn't really like ballet class. I think she imagined ballet class to be a big room where they played music and she could twirl to her heart's content. We missed last week because we were traveling, but this week is Parents Viewing Week, where the parents get to sit in the class and watch. I am a little nervous, truth be told. We'll see if she likes it any better.
And if she doesn't, we'll just have her stand in front of the mirror and make faces. She'll like that.