Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Strengths and Weaknesses

There is a sheet of writing here on the desk, at which I've been staring.
frist pasin
Ariabask Ariabask
tern with your tow on your naee
forth pasisan
Peaca Peaca
leep and land in frist posison
Plea frist posisan
What keeps this from being complete gibberish is that I know it is the handiwork of Julia, age 7, who is a notorious speller. And an accomplished dancer. Interpreted, it reads:
First position
Arabesque Arabesque
Turn with your toe on your knee
Fourth position
Passe Passe
Leap and land in first position
Plie first position
It never fails to amaze me when I watch Julia dance. All three big girls have taken dance lessons from time immemorial, simply because I have no interest in hauling kids to soccer or taekwondo. Eleanor likes tap better than ballet, and I grant that she taps vigorously and with a certain aplomb. But Julia has a lithe elegance and grace that transcends her heritage from either parent.

Watching one's child excel at something, particularly in some unique discipline, is a fearful and wonderful thing. I choke up watching my pretty girl whirl and extend and leap. I envy her careless ease in movement. I worry both that I push her too hard because I see so much potential in her, and that I don't provide her with enough opportunity to train that talent. Should I be driving her in to take classes at the BalletMet? Does it really matter at age 7, anyway?

These mental gyrations will remain only thought exercises because it so happens that we live within walking distance of the local arts center, which has a perfectly acceptable dance studio. For now, it seems my time and effort would be better spent in imparting to the young ballerina something that comes easily to me: the rudiments of spelling. Even a naturally talented dancer is going to have trouble leeping and landing in frist posison.

My graceful girl


John Farrell said...

All three big girls have taken dance lessons from time immemorial, simply because I have no interest in hauling kids to soccer or taekwondo.

Ditto for me on soccer. Only one of our girls is taking ballet now. The other is exploring tennis.

[Martial arts, however, is in their future. ;) ]

Julia said...

My middle girl (12) is a dancer, a serious dancer. Just got back from the ABT summer intensive.

The age to start at a serious ballet school is 8 or 9. If she loves to dance, and seems to show talent (not just relative to siblings, but relative to girls in her class), I hate to say it but you really should take her for an audition at a good school. We know too many talented kids who didn't start at a pre-pro school until they were 10 or 11, and by then everyone else is en pointe and all the basics are missing.

There are other factors to consider, too. If you want to talk about the ballet world, feel free to email.

mrsdarwin said...

Thanks, Julia! I'll send you a note.

mrsdarwin said...

Oh, and 7yo tells me that "Peaca" is not "passe" but "pique". Makes sense, I guess.

JMB said...

Last year at 11, my middle daughter began a pre-RAD program (Royal Academy of Dance, England) in which she will prepare to pass a series of exams starting at 13 or 14. It's a huge commitment and I'm not sure if she has the motivation to stick with it, as she likes to play lacrosse, sew, act in school plays and dance jazz and lyrical as well. So we'll see where it goes.