Fast forward to last year. We found a gymnastics class being offered at a local dance studio, and decided to let her give that a try, since it wasn't quite dance but would allow her to stay active, and it was something Frank did as a child, and enjoyed it, so we wanted her to try it. Much to our happy surprise, she excelled at the class, and we were so proud and excited to see her in her final performance.
Because she did so well that first year, we decided to let her do gymnastics again in the fall, and even decided to go out on a limb an add a ballet class to let her try that out again now that she was older. Well, it was definitely the right choice for her and for us. She excelled even more this time around!
I know I'm slightly biased since she is my daughter, but I truly believe she is a natural at ballet! From her very first ballet class (the photos above) she had perfectly straight legs and perfectly pointed toes!
Though doing these two classes meant getting her from daycare early two days a week and assuring she made it to class twice a week, and then of course the dreaded, exhausting, long final rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and of course the crazy-ness of the show itself, it was well worth it in the end.
This year's show was Alice in Wonderland, and Merasia was particularly excited for this since that was the theme we did for Halloween as well. Merasia's gymnastics class were part of the "croquet game" and her ballet class were the White Queen's Little Attendants. The young lady that played Alice did the whole show on pointe (pointe shoes...it's a ballerina thing), and Merasia absolutely ADORES her! She definitely idolizes her and looks up to her, wanting to dance just like her. And this young lady is so great with the younger children, which makes it even better. I got some special shots of Merasia and her chatting during a break in dress rehearsals on the stage and the twinkle in Merasia's eyes as she is looking at and talking to "Alice" is just precious.
I wasn't as nervous for Merasia being in the show this year, since she was older this year and she had done it before, so knew a little of what to expect. Plus, she had made and nurtured some very special friendships through the year or so, so she was plenty busy backstage and distracted from me not being there. She was in excellent hands so I could enjoy the show from the audience.
I was seriously in complete amazement watching her on the stage this year! I was one heck of a proud mama! Don't get me wrong...I loved watching her last year and was proud then too, but I was even more proud this year, as I could definitely tell she had matured as a person, and even more so in her gymnastics and dancing abilities. She truly took to ballet with no problem whatsoever and looked like the most perfect little ballerina in training up on that big stage! It brought tears to my eyes to watch her doing so well and being so amazing and beautiful.
People have asked me if dance is going to be "her thing." They ask me if I'm going to keep having her do it forever. I always respond that as long as she wants to dance, I will be there to support her in that and in whatever else she chooses to do. If she wants to continue it into her teenage years and even beyond, then I will be there for her in every way I can to support her love and encourage her every chance I can. Dance has the potential to provide so many amazing, unique opportunities educationally and professionally for Merasia, and what kind of mother would I be to not encourage a love like that? On the other hand, if there is ever a time she says she no longer wants to pursue dance, I will support that decision as well, and encourage and support her in whatever else she might choose to do or participate in instead.