June 14, 2010

Dreams Coming True: Dance Class!

When I found out that I was pregnant with a girl, I immediately thought of the girly things we could do together. One thing I desperately wanted to do was take a Mommy-and-Me ballet class. Many of my friends with daughters had taken such a class, and it looked like fun. I had a son, D, and although we did lots of wonderful Mommy-and-Me activities together (like music, soccer and gymnastics) ballet was not one of them. Don't get me wrong; I am not a ballerina, and in fact, don't even LIKE ballet that much. It's just that the idea of taking such a class with my daughter seemed like fun.

After A was born, it was obvious that such a class wouldn't be happening for a long time, if ever. She had so many health issues, not the least of which was that she was born without semicircular canals, which are the parts of the inner ear that control balance. She didn't really start walking independently until this past January, at the ripe old age of 3 1/2! Since then, she has really taken off, even doing her first race. It was time to start looking into a class to fulfill my dream. I also decided to look into a gymnastics class, since she wouldn't be getting her school-based physical therapy and adapted p.e. over the summer. This girl has really proven to me that she is ready for some physically active challenges!

Finding an appropriate class has been difficult, however, Her gross motor skills are still delayed. I mean, she just started walking about 5 months ago! I would estimate her gross motor level at about 18 months or so. Plus she has some receptive and expressive language delays that put her behind about a year or so (again, my own estimation). However, cognitively she is right where she is supposed to be. Classes geared for younger kids would be good for her physically, but might bore her; classes geared for her age group might be right for her cognitively, but she'd be way behind physically. Ah, the dilemma!

I was lucky to find a dance school nearby that offers some classes that seem appropriate. One is that elusive Mommy-and-Me ballet; however, they are waiting for more registrants in order to start the class. The other is a Creative Movement class for kids ages 2-4. They started today, and A started with it! It's not the ballet class, with leotard and ballet slippers, that I had envisioned, but a dance class is a dance class!

It was so fun to watch her. I wasn't allowed to be in the class with her, so I watched through the one-way mirror outside. There were four other girls in with her, ranging in age from 2 1/2 to 4. A fit right in with the other girls. There were things that A couldn't do (skip and hop, for example) but some of the other girls couldn't do those things either. She followed directions, sat when she was supposed to sit, move when she was supposed to move. I couldn't have been more proud. Most importantly, she had fun, and was really moving and grooving to the music and having fun with the provided props.

I hope to also take that Mommy-and-Me ballet class, if they get more girls to register. But even if that class never happens, now I know that soon A could take an Intro-to-Ballet class all on her own. She is a miracle rock star ballerina!


  1. Fulfilled dreams indeed. So happy for you both. :)

  2. That is a totally inspiring post. LOVED reading this!

  3. Thanks Lisa and Ellen! I know you both know how much these self-imposed milestones are.


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