Madeline had her first tap dance class on Thursday. The ballet class was still in session when we got there, so we sat in the back and watched. It was just three little girls, all about five, but Madeline was mesmerized. Each girl had their little dance outfits on, and one was even in a tutu. The instructor, and older lady from Scotland, was definitelty old school. When a little girl stopped participating, she informed her that she was her "dance teacher, not her babysitter" and if she didn't participate, she wouldn't be able to come back. I have used that line more then once with my own students, but they are sixth graders, not kindergarteners. It made me more than a little nervous for Madeline. I don't mind a strict teacher, but I was worried that Madeline would get anxious, or be so excited that she wouldn't follow directions, and then get scolded. If that happened, who knows what she would do? Cry? Shut down? Melt down? I whispered in her ear that she must pay close attention and do exactly what the teacher asked. Then I whispered it again.
Madeline, however, popped up right away when the class was over and had no trouble introducing herself to both the teacher and the two other girls that would be in tap with her. She did follow directions, and was quite the ham on stage. The house lights were off, and from the moment she hit the stage she just shone. She is not the most graceful butterfly, but she makes up for it with enthusiasm. She kept the other parents entertained as well.
I had taken her to class in just her regular clothes and tap shoes, (it is just a rec center course) but like the class before, both of the other girls were in full dance attire. Madeline didn't seem to mind, but when she got a lavender leotard from Lee today, the leotard, tights, slippers and tiara had to go on right away. We'll be attending ballet as well next week, so I suppose one of her tutus will be on before she dances out the door.