Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pre-School Dance and World Peace: Doing Our Little Part

Today, I took my girls to the weekly tap/ballet class at the community center for 3 to 5-year-old girls. Well, I suppose that it's not restricted to just girls, but girls are the only ones who come. And it's quite a fine assortment of little ladies, too. There's the fancy ballerina (long side pony tales, nicely curled and sprayed; petite bows that match her leotard, tights, and tutu); the rock star (wispy blonde toddler hair sprayed hot pink; fake tattoos on her little otherwise porcelain-looking arms); the dreamer (sporting some sort of Disney Princess costume; really believing that she is that princess); the silly-willy (wild poof of hair in a top-of-head ponytail; tutu large enough to be a hoop slip and/or Christmas tree skirt; considers the dance instructor's tutelage to be broad suggestions for patterns of movement, at best). And so many other delightful dance class characters!

But no girl, not a single one from rock star to silly-willy, wants to be the one without a baby doll. You see, there comes a point in every class where the girls are asked to go down from the stage area to get their baby doll for a special dance. Then the teacher (who's own hair may have been part of rock star's inspiration) gives some sort of meaningless caveat to the parents that if this is their daughter's first class, she can just pretend to have a baby doll but be sure to bring one next time.

Pretend? Next time?? Have you ever been around a group of 3 to 5-year-old girls? Sure, pretending is fun when everyone is pretending, but when you're the only one without a baby doll, it is catastrophic. There is no 'next time' in their world -- only the sad reality of the present moment without a baby doll to dance with. One girl today was even ready to resort to using her real baby brother's bottle (although I think she should have just taken him up on the stage!).

And so my girls and I have taken to bringing several extra little dolls and stuffed animals in our dance bag to each class. The near-tears are suddenly replaced by smiles, and no girls seems to mind if her baby doll is actually a little chihuahua or monkey. The parents, too, often come up to us after class to thank us profusely. Although our act of kindness is a seemingly small one, those parents saw the total meltdown that was so narrowly averted, and we are just happy to have played our own little part in bringing about world peace.


  1. God has always had a way of making angels show up at precisely the right time and/or place. Why am I NOT surprised that you and your beautiful girls are those angels?? Goodnight and God bless :)

  2. You are an awesome dance mom already, Leslie. The best kind of dance mom. :) And, trust me, I have known plenty of dance moms in my 16 year dance mom career.

  3. Thanks, ladies! And Denise, I had not considered this as the beginning of a 'dance mom career' - that's a sweet thought! :)

  4. You just never know, Leslie. Sixteen years ago, when I took Theresa to her first dance class, I had no idea I would still be doing the "dance mom" thing, much less have five daughters and one little guy dancing.

    You are just going to have to trust me when I say that we could use more dance moms like you around.

  5. LOVE IT! This post made me laugh and cry. Way to bring the world peace! By the way, you're a fantastic writer.