Dear Miss Kristen,
As you well know, Monday was Harper’s first recital of the year. What you probably didn’t know is that she’s been practicing every single day for weeks, preparing for her first one with two dances and two costumes. She had been fretting about changing backstage and forgetting steps or going left when she should have been going right but mostly she’s been so excited. Literally counting down the days, how many more sleeps before her recital.
I wanted to tell you this because I know she probably won’t grow up to be a professional dancer. She’s a little pigeon toed and she is not the most graceful, coordinated creature on this Earth. She has trouble focusing, she’s sociable but somewhat overzealous to make friends. She laughs a lot, often catches a glimpse of us in the wall long mirror and forgets to pay attention because she’s too busy waving. She’s not always the easiest student but she loves to dance.
God, does she love to dance. Sometimes when I’m in the kitchen or the laundry room I can hear her counting herself in. Five, six, seven, eight. Toe, toe, toe, toe. Heel, heel, heel, heel. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Other times, peeking around the corner I see that she’s pulled on her ballet slippers. “First position,” she says to herself, carefully aligning her feet and watching her pliés in the glass of the television screen. She even goes through the routines waiting in line for rides at Disneyland.
So I wanted to say thank you. For being excited to see her walk through the door every week. For using humor to motivate. For holding her to your highest standards without breaking her spirit. For being able to see past her possible lack of natural proclivity to her interest and desire to do well. For creating a place for her to make friends and feel like she’s part of a whole. For giving her a space where the girls (and guys) are able to forge supportive friendships. For breaking the stereotypes about what friendships between girls are supposed to look like. But mostly for the pride and joy being in dance brings her.
Love, Harper’s Mom Rachel
If you are in looking for dance classes in San Diego I highly recommend The Dance Company. Kids can start at age two and they are really awesome about having multiple classes of the same skill level so you can work around other activities. All the teachers and assistants are awesome. Harper’s primary teacher, Kristen, is actually the owner of the company. I can’t recommend them enough.