Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Challenge for Melissa

Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Melissa had her first ballet class tonight. They don't allow parents in the room plus I had to go pick up Allan from work anyway. So the other kids and I walked her in, turned her over to the dance studio staff and left her there. I got Allan, dropped him and younger M's at home and returned for Melissa. I got there still 10 min before class let out.

She came running out looking happy to see me - but the instructor pulled me aside and said she cried first part of class starting when the started barre work. She wanted me - but of course I had already left. She did stop crying at some point but mostly watched didn't try anything at ALL until the end.

The watching doesn't worry me so much - the crying does. She's the kid I can drop off ANYWHERE with ANYONE and she's normally fine. She was fine when I left her in the waiting/change room area watching videos of last year's recital with other students since we got there early.

She is the youngest and by far the shortest in the class and the ONLY one who is new this year in Junior ballet. The other preschool ballet classes through Parks and Rec didn't have barre work at all. She was the oldest and is used to being the oldest and the one who knows the most. So I'm sure it's an adjustement to be the youngest and the one having trouble. Though she sure was getting a lot of attention! The older girls including those waiting for intermediate ballet were definitely all over her asking how old she was and telling her how cute she was.

The teacher is really nice and said we'll see how it goes. However - Melissa's going to MISS the next 2 weeks going out East for her Aunt's wedding. So she'll be even more "behind". I was assured this was fine talking to the staff when I registered over the summer, but her instructor sounded really dubious after today's class.

I stopped at the library with her on the way home to get books and videos about ballet and will ask my mom to do the same while she's out East. So at least some of what she's doing will be familiar. Other than that, I'm not sure what can be done but hope she starts to feel more comfortable after a few more classes. We signed a contract for a year and I'm inclined to hold her to it - though I think next class I will make sure that Allan is watching the other M's while I sit out the hour in the waiting room.

One possibility is she might have been hungry. In the rush to get out the door - I burned supper dreadfully and ended up serving a rush "supper" of leftover rice and donuts. I had $5 on me and offered to stop for a DQ treat - she spied the menu and ordered herself a whole cheeseburger meal, with chocolate shake and ate it ALL!


Mama Bird said...

Would it be possible to schedule a couple of half hour sessions of private instruction to help her bridge the gap between recreation department pre-ballet and "real" ballet?

Cheryl said...

I can ask about that - but when she comes back. I do know that private instruction is usually a contract for a year in a time-slot as well.

Sunny said...

Oh she really looks cute as a button in that ballet suit. Hope she can stick with it a bit longer. Grandma always said a little ballet was good for a girl's gracefulness.