Friday, October 15, 2010

Thundering Herd of Butterflies

On Wednesday, we had a trial class at another ballet studio. They warned me in the email that it was more of an intro to dance and rhythm, rather than ballet, since I had mentioned my disappointment in the last one we tried. Since her leotard and tights hadn't been washed since last time [guess who does the laundry?] and I didn't know if the other kids wore dance clothes or just whatever, I put her in a shirt and leggings, but with a matching skort, which she calls a ballerina skirt.
For warm-ups, they did foot flexing ("Ballerina feet, clown feet. Ballerina feet, clown feet.") They also did 'sun arms' which is the hands meeting over the head. Already more ballet than the other class! And Z did 'butterfly knees' which is knees out, with hands helping keep feet together; and flapped them fast and slow. Something completely new for us! The girls tried balancing on one foot, with the other foot resting on a knee, but it was too hard for them to do without help. (Little Z could kind of stand on one foot for a few seconds, but not with her foot on her knee. I helped her hold her foot to her knee and jump on one foot for that part.)
 There was enough ballet in the class to make me happy, and Little Z had fun the whole time. The teacher had them do pliés and what I call 'ballerina arms' and all kinds of fun stuff.

 There were lines of tape on the floor, and the girls ran on tiptoes along the tap while flapping their 'butterfly wings' (arms.) Z did a great job, but at this point in the class their attention span was waning, and she wanted to run around and do whatever she wanted, so I had to keep reminding her to watch and listen to the teacher.

After doing several runs along the tape (Z especially liked jumping over the mini cone,) the teacher brought out some bouncy balls. Well. Any possibility of listening to the teacher and following along was over! Z ran around kicking the ball like a little soccer protegé until it was time to put them away. We got to play with a really big parachute, which was hard with only 4 adults! But Z actually sat on it for a 'ride' while we walked it in a circle, which she's always refused to do at gym or preschool up 'til now. So it was nice seeing her willing to do something new. With the balls and the parachute, it was similar to the kinds of stuff we do at preschool and gym class, but there was enough ballet in it to please us both, so I signed her up for at least the last 2 classes of the month. And the teacher at least attempted to have the kids work on balance and dance-related stuff with the balls. (The kids hadn't read the memo. They had their own agenda.)

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