First dance class. I refuse to be one of those moms. You know, the stage moms who make their kids participate when they don’t want to. But I do recognize that my kids both have “warm up” time periods when approaching a new situation, and have learned not to give into the “I don’t want to” mentality too quickly.
Morgan was so excited about her dance class – she chatted about it all the way to school, then all the way to class. When we got there, she turned on her shy act. I was smart enough to get to the studio 20 minutes early, so we spent that time getting acclimated. She’d look around curiously, then bury her head in my shoulder. We used a “tickle spider” (my fingers crawling up her back) to break the ice. I was hopeful that we’d be good when the kids got there.
Her curiosity grew as she saw the other little girls run in, excited to dance. But she still wasn’t sold. When it was time to gather in a circle on the dance floor, she wanted nothing to do with it. So we stepped behind the curtain, Morgan looking at my shoes on the floor and barking at me any time my little toe crossed back over to the “black floor”. She may be timid, but she’s not dumb – she knew that was the floor for dancing.
So I was stuck on a small square of laminate wood-patterned flooring. She was arching her back and leaning over, intently watching the class in front of the curtain. And that’s when I knew. She wanted to be there, but wasn’t ready to put herself out there yet. She started to relax her body a bit in my arms, and I gradually moved us back on the dance floor and closer to the class. I knew dance class had become a mommy and me class, and I was ok with it. I didn’t want her to miss out on an experience she seemingly wanted.
So we danced. Well, I danced. She instructed me along the way “march, mama. slide, mama. sunshine arms, mama.” I held her in my arms and did my best to mimic the teacher. Let’s just say, dancing has never been my forte. Fortunately for me, the preschoolers in the class didn’t know any better. I’m sure the other parents got a good show.
Finally, we broke through. Towards the end of class, Morgan wanted to stand next to me. She didn’t do the dance steps, but her little ballet-shoed feet were firmly planted on the floor, as she watched the teacher and continued to bark orders at me.
Class was over and we went to leave. She looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said, “I don’t want to go home, mama, I want to stay.”
And that’s when I knew. She is going to love dance class.