Yesterday my little girl and I entered a brand new, all-girl world of ballet shoes, tutus, leotards and lots and lots of pink.
My daughter loves music and dancing so when I saw an advert for pre-school ballet lessons held at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Bishopston, I phoned up to find out more.
The teacher told me that while all the other girls were three and four years of age and therefore older than my 2 1/4 year old, I was welcome to bring her along for a trial lesson. She explained to me that age was not so much of an issue; it was more a question of whether my daughter could stand in line, wait her turn and follow instructions (no chance, I thought!).
While I know some parents may steer their children away from ballet, I have been looking forward to taking my daughter to her first ballet lesson for a long time. And it was all the more special to take her to a dancing lesson as this time last year she had just had her hip operation.
The ballet lesson began with piano music and all of the girls collecting hoops and laying them down in a long line down the hall and forming a queue. The task was for each child to take turns to walk on tip-toe, hop, skip, jump and even ‘flamenco’ over the hoops. Later they did ‘Good Toes, Bad Toes’, which reminded me of the ballet lessons I had when I was little.
Another task was for each girl to take their turn to walk the hall with a beanbag on their head, obviously to encourage walking straight and tall; just like a ballerina. My daughter, however, preferred to practise her throwing skills with her bean bag.
No matter, my daughter LOVED her first ballet class. She smiled and giggled throughout, actively participating with evident delight. She loved the older girls, their ballet costumes and all of the dancing.
While my daughter clearly doesn’t yet understand the concept of queues and lining up, I was pleasantly surprised at her ability to follow instructions and fit in with a class of older children, despite her age. And while at the start of the ballet lesson, a few girls objected to her blatant and unashamed queue jumping, they soon formed a motherly brood around her, fighting over who was to hold her hand.
The ballet teacher even approached me at the end of the lesson and told me that if I wished, I could continue to bring my daughter to the ballet classes!
My little girl thoroughly loved her first ballet lesson and I enjoyed watching her just as much 🙂
My daughter’s trial ballet lesson cost £3. If you would like to find out more about the ballet classes at The Church of the Good Shepherd, please visit www.balletwright.co.uk.