Saturday, October 25, 2008

When Dreams Come True...

When I was a little girl, I loved to dance. I took tap and ballet classes at the Parks & Rec. from the time I was about three. Not to toot my own horn, but the teachers always put me in the front row so the other girls could watch me. I have a talent for memorizing dance routines, I guess. :) So, yes I tooted my own horn. Sue me.

I took ballet with a very serious teacher until I was about 12. Then, I switched to tap for awhile. The last dance class I took at age 16 was tap. After that, I got into English (dressage) horseback-riding, and that took center stage (or center arena - whatev) for several years. During that same time, I was on the drill team at my high school. We were not a "military" style drill team, but a dance style. We had awesome choreography, and it kept me dancing for those four years.

A few years ago, The Princess was taking class at a local studio, and we both signed up for tap. The class had three different levels of tap students, and I was in the middle! Imagine, at 40 years old (and the oldest one in the class by about 20 years), and having not taken class since I was 16, I wasn't even the worst in the class! Unfortunately, the teacher was flaky, and he missed so many classes that we just quit.

The Princess has also taken dance since she was about 3 or 4 (can't remember which). She, too, started out at Parks & Rec. I remember she wouldn't dance at first. She just stood next to me with her little elbows digging into my leg, watching the other little girls carefully. She finally got up there to dance, and loved it.

When she was about 8, she took ballet with a wonderful teacher who lived just a few blocks from us, and taught from her converted back-house. The Princess did really well with that teacher, and stayed with her for about three years, until she got divorced and moved away. :(

The Princess decided to take a break from ballet. She started Jazz at another studio, and finally did start taking ballet again. The ballet teachers were a couple, he from Russian, she from Mexico, both of whom danced professionally. They really challenged The Princess, and she loved and hated it at the same time. Ballet is, after all, a discipline.

Then, she started taking class at yet a different studio. She was able to take Jazz, Tap, Musical Theater, Acting, Voice and Creative Writing. She really didn't want to take ballet, but then realized that ballet is the basis for all other dance, and decided it was time to start again. The girl obviously has a love of performance, and I saw her grow so much during this time. However, it came to the point where she wasn't being challenged enough, her favorite ballet teacher quit, and the studio wasn't offering more advanced classes. A few weeks ago, we moved on to yet another studio. This time, my mom and dad offered to pitch in most of her tuition, which was the only way The Princess could have attended. Grandparents ROCK!

I haven't mentioned that she has decided to try to dance professionally. It's a huge commitment, and she knows it's a tough business, but she has to try. That's how dreams are, I think...a little on the crazy side.

And so, one of her dreams came true today. She has wanted to dance "en pointe" for years. She's talked about it, dreamed about it, hoped for it, and despaired that it would never happen. There were no pointe classes at her last studio, so the option wasn't even available...until now.


She must have tried on four pairs before the best fit was found. The lady helping us said "They will not be comfortable." There is a specific fit you want, though. And, she was wearing padded toe covers, which are hardly any padding at all, if you ask me.

They have a mini-dance floor, so you can try out the shoes.

And up she goes!

It was fun watching all this. The lady at the dance store (whose name I didn't get, darn it) was very knowedgable, and wanted to be sure The Princess's first toe shoes were just right.

Ta da!!! She isn't shaped like your traditional ballerina, but she can dance like nobody's business.

Regarding the "costume" changes: this kid knows that Mama's gonna take pictures, so she wore the skirt, and changed into knit ballet shorts while we were there, for a more balletic look, I 'spose.

Truth be told, this is kind of a dream come true for me, too. I was weeks away from going en pointe when I was about 12, but I flaked out. I just knew it was going to hurt, and it just wasn't worth it to me. I really regret that decision. And frankly, my feet are ugly anyway, despite not going en pointe.

And so, when the Princess sat there having her pointe shoes fitted, then got up and actually raised up onto her toes, I got a little teary-eyed. She is so much more goal-oriented than I ever was, and it makes me really proud.

Blessings to you!

I have another post hot on the heels of this one, so check back soon.


Gombojav Tribe said...

Yea! I LOVED dancing when I was a teenager. I danced en pointe. Meg has two pairs of pointe shoes hanging in her room--my first pair and my last pair. What great memories!

Anonymous said...

So happy for her :) I don't think it's a crazy dream! I've seen how graceful she is!

Mrs. C said...

:] Might as well follow your dreams and see where they take you!!

Gombojav Tribe said...

I tagged you in a meme! Come check it out!

Sniz said...

This post is inspiring. Wow. En Pointe! Yay for her! My daughter turns ten tomorrow and has taken ballet for four years. I really like her teacher, but they don't have advanced classes there...she keeps telling me how talented Izzi is, and I can see it, but there's really no where for her to go if she stays there. But she's still young and I can't see her thinking going further into the discipline part would be worth it. I hope she thinks it is someday. That is so awesome that you are taking tap!!! BTW, how's school going this year?

Big Doofus said...

I thought you stopped blogging and haven't checked back in a long time. Nice to see that you're still at it. My youngest is a ballet nut and just got back into it this year after being away from it for two years.

eally said...

That's cool! How exciting!