Today was Sophia’s ballet recital. The last few classes have been a challenge at best; she has suddenly decided she doesn’t want to go to dance class anymore. Trying not to push her, but at the same time trying to encourage her to stick with it for remaining few weeks, have been exhausting for this little mama. I wondered if Sophia would even make it on stage. The teacher asked me if I’d like to be a backstage mom since Sophia hadn’t been willing to part with me as of late. So there I stood with my daughter wrapped around my leg among a sea of darling little 3- and 4-year-olds in black leotards and pink tights. Sophia wasn’t interested in partnering up for rehearsal and it seemed like it was going to be a disaster. It was hot back there and I began to panic inside. I found myself bribing her with pop tarts and flowers. What did I care if she made it onto that stage? What was the big deal? But I knew that if she missed her opportunity, she would be upset. I know my daughter; she is much like me in this way. So with some advice of another mother/friend backstage I dropped it for a while and sure enough, a few minutes before her rehearsal she requested a dance partner. Phew! I waited in the wings with a grin from ear to ear. When she came off stage she ran up to me and said “Do I get to do it again Mama?”
When it came time for the performance 30 minutes later I stood with the teacher corralling all the mini dancers. I joined their hands and told them to have fun out there. Some cried and asked for their moms; a few girls from the other class got mixed in with ours, and little Sophia buried her head in my leg. But when the lights went up and the music started, all of the crying stopped, the girls joined hands, and off they went. I watched Sophia chasse in a circle with her partner and when they all split apart to do the routine, Sophia broke out — suddenly she was spinning and moving from downstage to upstage, left to right. She was doing her own thing while the others muddled through the routine. She was a free forming little ballerina enchanted by the thrill of the stage and I was a proud mama waiting in the wings.
Congratulations darling Sophia on your first ever ballet recital!