Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lessons from a Mini Ballerina

Yesterday, Little Miss had her first dance class - ballet and tap for 3 & 4 year olds! It was the cutest thing you've ever seen. All those little princesses in leotards and tights and ballet slippers and their hair up in a bun (or in our case, a haphazard ponytail with 3 bobbypins that still wouldn't stay). Absolutely priceless.

Parents weren't allowed to stay inside the studio, understandably, but that didn't stop all us stage moms (and dads! ha) from taking turns peeking inside the little window on the studio door, taking phone pics and filming on iPhones. lol I was a little concerned about the first class, just because this was all so new to us, but Little Miss did great and seemed to really have fun!

They all have a sticker they stand on, on the floor in the studio, so that they know where to stand and not crowd each other. Well apparently one little girl took the sticker Little Miss wanted, so she ended up with an octopus and was NOT happy about it, as we heard later. She didn't protest in class though, just told me afterward, so thank goodness for that. ha!

At some points, when I peeked, I saw Little Miss standing hesitantly, watching the other girls, trying to do what they did, and at other times, I saw her eagerly dancing full out, with a big smile, and doing exactly what she was supposed to. I was so relieved, it seems like she's going to do fine and learn and enjoy it. I already can't wait for the big recital in May! :)

The cutest part was when they put on their tap shoes and all we heard from the hallway was "clack clack clackclackstompshufflestompclackclack"!

At another point, they were lined up in two side-by-side lines, and Little Miss was the first in her line! They had to then do a tap move all the way across the floor to the mirror at the barre. Little Miss, without hesitating, took off across the room and did her move just as she supposed to! So adorable! And this was the first class!

Afterward, once my little ballerina was home and I was looking at the pics from the night and remembering, I thought of the parallel to our lives as writers. It's hard getting out there, being new. We tend to watch the writers around us, and think we have to do it their way. We copy instead of embrace our own style (and I don't mean plagiarism, I mean in regards to writing schedules, the genre we choose, the tense we choose, etc. We fumble around and feel stupid and think we're the worst writer out there. We think we have to do it the way everyone else is instead of the way we feel it inside. We consider quitting because hey, its hard.

Then we realize that somewhere along the way, we started having fun. We branch out a little, maybe realize we can incorporate our own style into the basics. Add some flair. We start smiling while we write, and realize - hey, I CHOSE this. I enjoy this...

Then as more time passes, and as we grow and learn in the craft, we might even get to lead a little. Teach a workshop or speak at a writer's retreat, spread our wings.

Whether we're 3 or 30, whether it's ballet or writing, being good takes practice. It takes time. Commitment. Little Miss will figure that out, just as I've figured it out for myself over the years. Every famous ballerina on a stage in Russia started out like Little Miss. Unsure. Fumbling. Tripping. Complaining over their assigned sticker. :)

And every writer starts out the same. We have to stick with it and keep trying, and above all, HAVE FUN.

Because hey, if you don't even enjoy your story, no one else will...

(this is a blurry pic I took on my phone before we left for the studio, but I'll have better ones on FB soon.)


  1. Cute pic!
    This was a great example!! At least to me it was, when I was a little girl ( like little miss's age) I was obsessed with ballet! Think the weird girl who wore a tutu everywhere and was always twirling and jumping and on and on. My mom says she kept asking me if I wanted to take lessons but I'd start crying and was too shy. So I never took ballet and always wish that I had bc I love it or I think I'd love it.
    But that makes me think just becuse writing is scary at time or hard it's not worth giving up on for fear or insecurities because then I'll always look back and I think " I wish"

  2. That's great Tonya! :) Definitely don't give up. Not worth the regrets....

  3. She's the cutest! I did ballet for a while... just quit recently. It just stopped being fun for me, I guess.

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