Dance Fever




Dance Fever, originally uploaded by blondemom.

Silence envelopes us as we wait for the traffic light to turn green, not because we were both engrossed in deep thought, but because we couldn’t decide on what song to listen to and Miss C was miffed that I’d left her favorite Jimmy Buffett CD, the one with Jolly Mon, at home.


“Mommy?”

“Yes, baby?”

“Mommy, can I tell you a secret?

“Sure, what is it?”

“I want to be a famous ballerina like Angelina Ballerina when I grow up!”

My heart swells after hearing her express a heartfelt desire to become a famous ballerina just like a character in a storybook that is a bedtime favorite. We run an errand at Home Depot and afterwards, instead of heading straight to daycare to pick up Miss A, I tell Miss C we are going to stop by a local dance studio to ask about lessons.

We are greeted with the staccato noise of little girls laughing and chattering and scurrying to get ready for a 4:15 dance class.

The teacher invites us to sit on the dance studio floor to observe a group of 5 to 7-year-old girls as they practice for the spring dance recital. She sits down on the floor with us for a few minutes and tells us more about the regular classes, as well as a summer dance camp in June with a princess theme. Class begins and after the girls warm up and get all the silliness out of their systems, they practice a tap routine in front of the large mirror, a gaggle of arms and legs and pony tails.

Miss C lays her head on my lap and does not say a word for the twenty minutes or so that we observe the lesson. She is completely enamored with the whole thing.

I leave with a registration form and ask when the summer schedule will be posted on their website.

Summer dance camp in June is now a shoe in. A ballet flat, to be precise.

So do you have daughters (or nieces or cousins) who take dance? What is the ideal age to start lessons? Four or five? Miss C starts her fourth soccer season in March and expressed interest in dance last year, but I procrastinated and never got around to seriously scoping out local studios. I just hope that turning 6 in June won’t suddenly translate into her thinking ballerinas or princesses are suddenly “uncool.” The dance studio we are signing up with is also offering a summer dance camp with a High School Musical theme. That will be our backup plan, but I kind of hope she hangs on to the princess years for a little while longer.

28 comments

  1. Mrs.M says:

    My little (and only) cousin is 10 now and started dance when she was three. She loves it, it’s fun for her, good exercise, and it’s close to their home so it’s not a stressful activity. I think your girls would love it!

  2. Amy says:

    She won’t ever think it’s uncool, cause it’s not!

    My daughter studied at the Nashville School of Ballet from about age 7-12 or 13. It was a great experience. She would have continued but at that school they are really grooming you to come up into the actual ballet school, like becoming a real dancer. It gets very intense and each level you move up you are there more hours of the week. She didn’t want to actually become a dancer, so when it got to the point of showing up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning and being there part of her weekend, she decided it was too much.

    But she auditioned for the Nashville Ballet’s Nutcracker and got to perform at TPAC as a toy soldier! It was too adorable.

    Amy’s last blog post..Real Boyz Bake

  3. Sunshine says:

    My Sammie is in her 3rd year of Dance and this is Em’s first year. They quite enjoy it, and to be fair, when my boys were 3 I put them in dance too, it is the only activity around here for kids that small. Once they could do other things, they quit dance but I do see my girls sticking with dance for quite some time. It’s exhausting (for me), but also very fun.

    Sunshine’s last blog post..What Would Bacon Do?

  4. Jill says:

    I danced ballet and tap from age 4-18 and taught dance (in my little home town) for my last two years of high school. The youngest I had was 3 and they were more into tumbling and gymnastics and it was only a 1/2 hr. class. Four is a good age, I think, but even if they’re older I think kids get a lot out of it. For me, it taught me discipline, poise and an appreciation for the arts. I have danced in several Nutcracker productions and it was a great way to earn money and “run a business” while still in high school. Yeah for Miss C

    Jill’s last blog post..Truth or Consequences

  5. Mrs. Schmitty says:

    How cute is she? I’ve been trying to talk my 4 year old, R., into dance lessons. You know after 2 boys I really, REALLY have been looking forward to this. For some reason though, I think she just might be better with Karate lessons. Hummmm….

    Mrs. Schmitty’s last blog post..Take This Job And Shove It

  6. Blonde Mom says:

    OK ya’ll are making me want to sign her up NOW!

    Technically I could have signed her up a few weeks ago for the spring season since they were ordering recital costumes that week, but they were already well into practicing for the May recital and I knew she would get very discouraged if she started late and all the other girls already knew some of the routine already.

    So…if she loves the summer experience I’ll probably sign her up in the fall. We can still do soccer and dance. Up until now I’ve been a real stickler about her just doing one activity, but I think soccer and dance are doable.

    Now what to decide about Girl Scouts next year (fodder for another riveting post I’m sure!) πŸ˜‰

  7. Beth_C says:

    My 3 1/2 year old has chosen T-ball with her brother instead of dance class. I am completely miffed because she loves princesses, ballerinas, anything pink,wearing dresses – the whole girly thing.

    I hope she doesn’t change her mind tomorrow at the first practice because we have already paid our money and purchased pink glove, pink bat, pink helmet, etc…. At least she will be wearing pink!

    Beth_C’s last blog post..Now that’s the kind of customer service I expect!

  8. Blonde Mom says:

    Beth:

    Miss C’s soccer shoes are black with pink accents. Last year’s were white with pink! πŸ˜‰

  9. Holly Schwendiman says:

    How sweet! I took dance for most of my youth and even ended with a few years on pointe. One of my secret ambitions was to go explore the professional scene. Maybe it’s the magic of wondering what it would have been like but I still feel a little flutter when I see it performed.

    I think the only age suggestion I have or believe in is regarding ballet on pointe as the bones in the feet need to be fully developed or permanent damage can result. But that’s years off anyway so I say go for it! Nothing melts the heart like a little girl in a tutu.

    Hugs,
    Holly

  10. Jenni says:

    I’m interested in this too. My daughter is 4 and keeps telling me she wants to take ballet. My concern is finding a dance studio that doesn’t have inappropriate outfits or shady dance moves. I’m still looking!

    Jenni’s last blog post..Haiku Blah

  11. Tracey says:

    My oldest is 3.5 and started taking a combination of ballet and tumbling last summer with a little friend of hers. She absolutely ADORES it and can’t wait for class day each week. She continued even after her friend dropped the class to try soccer. It’s been great for listening, coordination, running off extra energy, and her little princess, ballerina-smitten heart just about bursts every time she walks through the door. I have to admit I too was a little worried about the whole recital thing, but the small children’s numbers seem sweet, innocent and fairly benign as far as I can tell. Don’t know about the older kids as this is our first. Not sure, but the studio you mention sounds suspiciously like the one where she goes as we just got the sign-up sheet for the same kind of summer camps.

  12. Blonde Mom says:

    If they offer the Bratz Divas on Parade summer dance camp I may rethink this studio. πŸ˜‰

    But seriously the instructor took so much time to sit down and really talk to us…she won me over! Also, they are really reasonably priced, from what I can tell and I have a coupon for free registration.

    Did I mention I’m cheap?

  13. Jennifer says:

    My oldest started at age 4 1/2 and did great. She is still in it and will be 6 soon. I think Miss C will do great. If you don’t want to spend a lot to see if she likes it see if your community offers a recreational or PAL (police athlethic league) program. If not then maybe the city near by has open registration to non residents. It is way cheaper this way. Although my daughter learns some moves it’s more of a routine type class. For $100 total she goes almost 5 months, receives 2 costumes, does 2 dances, and a closing number int he recital. We have more formal dance classes near by for a lot more money, but she likes where she’s at so much that I wouldn’t switch her.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Calgon Take Me Away!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Me again…
    Wanted to mention for the younger kids during most recitals they put little pieces of tape on the stage with the number spot they are suppossed to stand on to help out. Also usually the instructor is off to the side doing the routine with them as they go along as well. And after seeing the kids learn a closing number after two nights only since they were doing it with the older girls (granted it was simple, but still) it’s amazing what our little sponges will remember.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Calgon Take Me Away!

  15. Amanda says:

    I love this post just love it1!!

    I am signing Hannah up for Dance because she is now potty trained. I can’t wait for this. I really think girls and young ones too. Should be able to have a outlet to express themselves.

    I am so excited for Miss C. Tell her I will buy a lot of tickets to come see her dance.

    Isn’t that a great song “I hope you dance”.

    Amanda’s last blog post..It’s A Date

  16. Amy says:

    I can’t wait to see more dancing pictures. My mom enrolled me when I was four and that age was ideal for them. They actually enrolled me because I was so clumsy and stepping on everyone and falling all of the time. Dance really helped with that and I took it until I was 12. At 12, I opted for sports (horrible decision) and then theater (best decision)

    She will love it- hope it doesn’t put you in the poor house though. Those recital outfits, leotards, classes, ballet shoes, hair accessories….yikes!

  17. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    I haven’t signed any of my girls up for dance (yet), but both Abby and Hannah have been asking. I talked them into cheerleading instead (cheaper) this year – and Abby ended up dropping out anyway, so it’s just been Hannah. My biggest problem is that we can’t afford dance lessons for both of them, but I hate to tell one of them that they can’t do it… I’m hoping to maybe find some classes at a reasonable (affordable) cost this summer and let them try it to see if they like it.

    Deb – Mom of 3 Girls’s last blog post..Favorite things

  18. Anne says:

    Lily has been in dance since the school year began. Emma will probably join next fall (being potty trained was my personal pre-requisite). Her first recital is in June; be still my heart!

    Anne’s last blog post..Target aka Heaven on Earth

  19. Mrs. Flinger says:

    I love that lil’ Miss C. Love love her. And no, LB doesn’t take dance but she should. She prances around here all day every day. If I was in TN… (boy, wish I had a dime for every time I said THAT) πŸ˜‰

    Mrs. Flinger’s last blog post..Speaking his language

  20. Lisa says:

    We started ballet this past summer @ 3. Our local museum offers classes that only last 6-8 weeks though, so we’ve been able to dabble in a lot of different things. Goosey currently loves ballet & tap, and I too am batty for pink ballet flats and black tap shoes

    Lisa’s last blog post..Road trip

  21. Dawn says:

    Both of my girls take dance. One is almost 6 and has been dancing for 3 years. The almost 4 year old just started in September. My oldest is a pro now, and has already been in 4 recitals!

    Dawn’s last blog post..Hurry! March 4th Only!

  22. Artzy01 says:

    Hi, my daughter is now 18, a dancer since she was 3 years old, and loved every minute. so did i. from one dance mom to another ALWAY S TAKE PICTURES. I made this book for my daughter now i want to share with other dance moms. Take a look when you have a free moment.

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