Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The little dancer

Enter my giveaway here.
The little dancer slowly pulls on her leotard and tights and gathers her dance shoes into her bag.  Tonight is dance class and she is willing, if not happy to go.  She thinks back over her dance career so far.  She has had a love/hate relationship with dance all throughout her young life.

It all started back when she was 4.  She had seen some girls dancing and begged her mom to take lessons.  Her mom, being the wise woman she was, researched dance classes, evaluating them for class size, facilities and patience of the teachers.  After picking the smallest class, the one that would best suit her daughter, the mother enrolled the little dancer and the once a week dance classes started.

The first year was bliss.  The little dancer loved to go to class.  Oh, there were a few days of complaining, but overall dance was still fun.  With the end of year recital, the little girl's passion for dance was rekindled.  She loved being on stage.  Her loving mother happily enrolled her in classes for the next year.

Two pivotal things happened that next year to create the perfect dance storm.  The first was that the little girl started kindergarten.  Long days, no naps, and less playtime led to a cranky child most evenings.  At the same time, the patient, older dance teacher decided that the studio should put on a Christmas recital this year instead of just the spring recital as in years past.  Knowing that the little girl thrived on recitals, at first the mother was excited... but then the extra rehearsals started.  Twice a week, the little girl had to attend dance class after a long day at school.  The crankiness got worse. The complaining grew and the mother vowed that after the recital was over, the little dancer would no longer dance.

True to her word, the mother allowed the dancer to stop dancing for 6 months...and then...

The little dancer saw her best friend in Showtime, the area's community musical show.  Oh, the little girl was re-inspired at once.  She wanted to dance again because she wanted to be in Showtime too.  Against her better judgment the mother re-enrolled her daughter in dance classes, this time at a different studio.  The daughter, now 6, enjoyed dance class again.  The mother paid the recital fees for the Spring and paid for her daughter's costume. 

The little dancer looked forward to going to class, and enjoyed being with her friends...for a while.  Until the complaining began, once again.

Like the last time, the little girl begged to stay home, to not have to go to class.  This time the mother was wiser.  Instead of trying to use logic to convince the daughter to go, she decided to teach her about the cost of her decisions.  She told the daughter that each class was $10 and if the daughter would prefer not to go to class, she could instead reimburse the mother so she could stay home.

After counting her money and weighing her options, the little girl decided that she preferred to keep her money.

So now the little dancer willingly, if not cheerfully, dons her dance clothes and attends her dance class weekly, waiting for the day the recital is over and she can end her dance career.  The wise and sometimes weary mother waits along with her daughter for that day, knowing that this time her dance career will be over for good.


  1. I don't know if Kaylie will continue next year either. The next class level meets on Saturday mornings. Yikes!! I don't think I can get her there then. We'll see...

  2. Great idea having her reimburse you. It makes her really think about weather she doesn't want to go or if she's just falling back into her routine. I really like this idea and hope I remember it when my two are older.

  3. Money... the great motivator. Works on my kids all the time! I made them pay me for underwear ruined by wedgies, which were outlawed in our house after the first new pack of underwear was purchased. We haven't had to repeat that lesson.


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