Yeah if you are Papoosie Girl! Yesterday Papoosie Girl had her dance recital at the lovely Rose Theatre. She started classes in September and practiced every week at class and at home. She danced to a song called Johnny Angel and of course they all looked like little angels.
When she started dance classes at three and a half through our local Parks and Recreation program she was in the non-recital type of "kinderdance" where they did not have a formal recital. They performed for the parents on the last day in the classroom. They showcased their soldier marches and fairy skips and it was oh so adorable. She did this type of program for two years. Last year she decided she wanted to dance on a stage for "real" people. She was finally old enough to try one of the "Try It" classes and she choose Beginner Jazz. She performed at a local theatre (the recital moved to a bigger theatre this year) and thirteen of us clapped until it hurt. She loved it and a star was born. I must say I am most impressed with our local Parks and Rec programs. I have tried just about every preschool class, swimming and now dance classes. When we first looked at private swimming and dance classes they were nearly three times the cost. I would always encourage everyone to try your local classes out, we have been pleasantly surprised.
Papoosie Girl loves music and since we bought her a small boom box for her room (a decision I might regret later) she loves taking my CD's up to her room to dance and prance around with her sister. Despite her love of music and considerable practice the last few years she still seems to lack, um, rhythm. Hubby tries valiantly with songs like, We are Family, to get her to feel the beat and clap in turn. While she has energy and lots of exuberance she lacks the ability to pick up the beat sometimes. Rosebud on the other hand has an incredible sense of rhythm and can clap to the beat quite well. If she would just poop in the potty she could take dance herself! We are hopeful by sign-up in September that little problem is resolved. I myself wouldn't exactly be called a dancer either and I think Papoosie Girl takes after me. Hubby on the other hand has benefited from all the Greek folk-dancing classes he took as a child, he can also read music and has played several instruments. My only memory from my clarinet days in Grade 6 was the teacher asking me (at the end of the test) if I knew what these were - he was pointing at the rests in the music.
So Papoosie Girl may lack the God given talent to keep the beat, who cares. She loves to dance at home and at her class. Many of her pretend games involve her dancing with her sister and I could not be more thrilled. When something as simple as a song and a dance skirt can make her so happy why would I care that she is a little off-step? Next September she wants to try Beginner Acro where they combine jazz with some basic acrobatic steps. Since she has never tried gymnastics I am not sure she will be able to do all the moves, but who am I to say no. Dance class has given her a wonderful sense of accomplishment, a healthy dose of self confidence and gets her moving. Not once did she say she was nervous about the recital.
Is she ever going to appear on So you think you can dance? I doubt it. A show, for the record, I had never heard of until my 25 year brother joked about it at the recital. I don't care if she spends the rest of her days jumping around her bedroom and the rest of the house shaking our walls. She loves music and dancing and her willingness to get out there and do it are inspiring. I have toyed with idea of signing up for the Hawaiian Dance class for adults for years, I think this might be the year.
There really are no words to properly explain the joy Papoosie Girl gets from dancing, her entire body is an instrument. While I have never been a country music listener there is a song by Lee Ann Womack called I Hope You Dance that somehow pops into my head sometimes watching her dance.
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope that you get a chance to dance too, I hope we all do.
Yes, she is wearing make-up in the photo. Part of performing in a theatre recital program is wearing make-up to the recital. If you don't want your child to wear any you need to make some special arrangements. It is so you can see their faces under the bright stage lights, in the professional photos and the video. Last year I was all set to jump on my high-horse and protest "they are children!" and spew all kinds of beauty pageant stuff, but I didn't . She wore a bit of make-up for three hours and we washed it off. This is the professional shot of Papoosie Girl from the class. It is strange to see her with a "done-up" face and Hubby was really put off I must say. In the end it is make-up not pole dancing and she wore it for a few hours at her recital and we washed it away. In the end I was fine with that. Please know she would never, ever do this for any other reason. There are a lot people who would disagree with this and that is fine. Just setting the record straight. I have had to eat a few bowls of crow in the last few years, applying a bit of make-up to my 6 year old was certainly a healthy portion. At the end of the day she had a fantastic experience and loves dancing with or without make-up. I think I have said enough.