Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ruby's First Lesson

Today was Ruby's first Tap/Ballet class. And before you start thinking what a terrible thing it was for Ruby to be the only one in regular clothes (and the only one without ballet shoes), please let me explain that it was expressly suggestd by Ms. Deidre, the teacher. She said that with this young age, mothers often get over-excited and buy all the bells and whistles, only to find that their children aren't ready to take lessons. Her advice was to wait until the first class to decide whether we should even sign up for lessons and THEN get the necessary items. The awkward thing about it was that I was the only mother who actually did what she suggested. (I didn't want to literally throw away almost a hundred dollars!)
There's a bonus to Ruby wearing regular clothes: it's easy to tell which one is her!

I am not die-hard into dance for Ruby. But I do think some sort of class will be good for her in many ways (like learning the importance of listening and following instructions from someone other than Mommy or Daddy, and that no matter what others are doing, she must do what she knows is right). I believe this will also provide the opportunity to learn that Mommy does not have jurisdiction over all children, and will not be able to fix certain problems, and that other children may be allowed to do things that she may not do. This is a fundamental lesson for her whole life, I believe. Therefore, it is not "simply" a dance class to me. It is a chance to learn and practice several different things besides dance techniques.

In the tap video, you'll notice Ruby holds on for dear life to the barre. Can you guess she's slipped a few times on the tile at home? (By the way, these are very short videos, mostly for the viewing pleasure of Ruby's 'Lita, who sent her a garage-sale find of tap shoes and a Shirley Temple movie--ingenious!)

Watching Ruby, I think about how I struggle to follow an aerobic exercise video, and hope that she will do better than I in the coordination department. She reminded me so much of myself when she had to stop doing one thing before doing another, and couldn't quite manage to both "fan" and turn at the same time!

And by the way, she didn't seem embarrassed to not be dressed like the others. Thankfully, she's young enough to not notice it too much (and the other girls only noticed for a split second).

So, after class today (after getting an affirmative that she's ready) I asked Ruby if she'd like to take the class. She said "Yes, I'm happy. No, Mommy, I LOVE IT!"