Sunday, June 07, 2009

twinkle toes

This Sunday Olivia will participate in her very first dance recital. As many of you know I spent the majority of my younger years in the dance studio. I studied tap, jazz and ballet until I graduated from high school. I hoped that one day I would have a daughter that would enjoy tap dancing as much as I did as a kid. So the second she was old enough I enrolled her in her very first tap class, at the same studio I attended, Northeast School of Dance. I told myself that I would not push her to like tap dancing. If she started the class and decided she did not like it, we would stop. Well what two year old doesn't like to make loud noises with their feet? She has loved it from the very beginning and in a few days she will perform everything she has learned this year in an adorable dance while wearing an adorable costume. I can't wait!

A few weeks ago we got to see Olivia's progress during parent visitation. Having all of the parents in the room while the kids were trying to pay attention was a bit distracting for them. But we did get to see Olivia tap those toes and show off her moves. There is nothing funnier than a room full of 2-4 year olds trying to dance.

They start the class by warming up with the teacher and a few high-school aged helpers. Then they take turns practicing certain moves while the other kids watch. As you know, Olivia's personality is bigger than life, and so are her movements. Every step she takes is exaggerated to the fullest extent. She definitely does not hold back. She tends to favor her right foot and leg so her movements are a little lop-sided, but I am sure that will even out if she continues tapping.

After their warm-up they usually work on their dance for awhile. Olivia's teacher, Miss Karmen is a brave woman! I cannot imagine getting a room full of toddlers to pay attention long enough to teach them a routine. That is not only challenging, but very impressive. She has managed to get them to remember their dance, with a little bit of encouragement and constant reminders of what comes next.

I have a couple of fears regarding Olivia's first dance recital. First, there is the issue of the costume. It is beyond adorable. Pink, frilly and poofy...and she HATES it! It is not the most comfortable thing to wear (which makes no sense, since two year olds are expected to wear it!). We have been trying on the costume on a regular basis with the hope that she will not feel the need to rip it off on stage in front of hundreds of people! She still tells me that it is itchy but I think she will forget about it once she is on stage with all of her friends.

That brings me to my second fear...the stage. I am afraid that she will freeze when she realizes that she is dancing on a big stage in front of a huge group of people. We have been talking about this as well, with the hope that I can keep her from being nervous. I have positioned it this way...Elmo dances on the big stage in Sesame Street Live (which she saw), so it will be Olivia's turn to dance on the big stage just like Elmo! She thinks that sounds pretty cool, so we will keep our fingers crossed.

Regardless of what happens at the actual recital one thing is for will be cute and funny! She has enjoyed all of these months of tap class and has made some nice friends, and that is most important. Even if she freezes on that big stage during her big moment, my heart will melt, knowing that my little girl is doing the same thing I was doing at that age. If she loves it half as much as I did I will be thrilled, but if she decides it is not for her I will not be sad. If I have learned one thing about Olivia since she has come into my life it is that she is strong willed. There is no way I am going to make this child do something she does not like to do. She will be sure to let me know if she has had enough. So far her face lights up each time we pull into the dance studio parking lot, so I think she is happy.

I hope to have full coverage of Olivia's first performance next week, so stay tuned. Until then keep your fingers crossed that she agrees to put on her costume and go out on that big stage. One never knows!


Anonymous said...

I wish I could be there to see her first dance recital..I am happy to hear that Great Grandma will be there to see it...I can't wait to see video of that..she is too cute as always..
Love Aunt Sue Sue

Wormie said...

Oh How adorable!!!
Wish we could be there too! Take lots of video!

Anonymous said...

I love her "moves". She definitely dances with enthusiasm...perhaps the grace will come later. She does make me laugh. I will be in the front row!

Tiffany Leininger said...

I love the videos!! She is so cute and I like her facial expressions as she is practicing. I bet the recital will be lots of fun. Can't wait to read about it!