Super Ballerina

Published October 17, 2013 by jay p laughlin

A Ballet Demonstration

She’s ever the little ballerina. From the day she could say the word she’s wanted to be one and she finally got her wish this fall. On the day of her 3rd birthday we had her pose for pictures in her birthday dress. True to her spirit, she decided to demonstrate what she learned in ballet class for the pictures. First position, piqué, plié, arabesque (though she still inverts the “sk” sound so she pronounces it “arabex”)…the big day began in a big way.

Her ballet class has been one of the best things we’ve done for her. She’s the youngest in the class but is undaunted. In fact, her maturity level from the first class to the second rose quite rapidly. She had to learn to stand in line, wait her turn, listen to her teachers instructions, and imitate the teachers actions. The first day she missed more than she hit. But by the second week, she was hitting more than she missed. It was remarkable. Moreover, her maturity level increased at home as well. In that first week she began to express her feelings more and increased sentence structure complexity. We were amazed and delighted. Now, each week she improves her ability to imitate the moves that her teacher demonstrates.

To make things even better, her BGFF, Ella, is in the class as well and she gets to come with me for my class. At home, we practice together a little bit.

I’m very pleased with her…well, our…ballet school. The teachers are fantastic and there’s a good amount of parent involvement. It’s a very welcoming and friendly place. When I first started shopping for ballet schools (over a year ago) I wanted to find the right place for her. Having absolutely no experience with ballet, however, meant I didn’t know what exactly I was looking for. So, I did what any dad would do to find the right place for his little girl, I enrolled in a class myself to see what I thought of the place. I must admit, on my first day I was terrified. Surprisingly, the class was great, the teacher was great, and the amount of discipline and control required to do everything even moderately right was such a mental and physical challenge that I couldn’t imagine not doing it from here on out. And from there, a new ballet family has been born.

First Day of Class

When we decided that I’d be the stay-at-home parent we wondered if ZK would grow up to be tomboyish. Admittedly, she’s an excellent ogre slayer, but in many ways she’s becoming aware of the differences between boys and girls and gravitating towards gender stereotypical things. We had hoped to set the example that everything is open to her and I still think that we do a good job of it. However, kids her age pick up a lot of social cues from their peers and the world around them. Case in point, the other day I asked her if she wanted to read one of her, formerly, favorite books, Dinosailors. “No, I don’t want to read that one,” she said. When I asked why, she replied, “Because I’m a girl.” I was stunned into silence. If you can imagine the sound of a sack of damp sand hitting the ground…that’s about what my jaw sounded like when it hit the floor. Where, exactly, she got that idea we don’t know. It certainly wasn’t from us.

In the meantime, she got a Thomas the Train set for her birthday and is quite pleased with it. “Don’t break it,” (meaning, don’t break it down) she said to me while walking up the stairs to go to bed.


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