Saturday, February 22, 2014

Ballet with Toddlers or How I Seized the Moment and had a Wonderful Time

It was the end of the week, and towards the end of the day. The day was cold; we had been unable to be outdoors for days.

Sarah, was in the housekeeping area, and putting on a pair of boy's ballet shoes, size small. She handed me a pair of pink ballet slippers, well worn, mine from my teenage years. 

"Put these on, Teacher."

"Well, I guess, I could try, I'm not sure if they will fit". I pulled them on.

"These ones are boy's," Sarah says as she stands up. She twirls.

"Um, yes they were my son's when he was a boy."

I stood, and felt the floor through the bottoms of my feet.

"Let's put on our ballet music, and dance."

I called the small group of toddlers to the music carpet, found that my YoYo Ma cd was in the machine, and turned it on.

As I stood with feet pointed out, back straight, and arms in front, slightly bent at the elbow, I  bent my knees, showing the girls how to slowly lower their body while keeping back straight, and then slowly come back up.

Two of the girls immediately follow along with me, and we begin to raise, and lower to the music, and as I begin to remember the very most basic positions of the ballet, we bend our bodies together with arms held poised out, we turn, and then because I have forgotten almost all I once knew, I improvise, while keeping arms poised, toes out, back straight, and move slowly.

I am aware of Jess, watching from behind the bookshelf, and Nina, eyes sparkling at the edge of the carpet. Nina is special in many ways, she and I have a close bond, and she looks bemused and appreciative as I move with the music, in my old ballet shoes.

I call the two watchers to join us, and so we hold hands in a ring, bending  slowly to the ground, with our backs straight, we stand first on one leg, and point the other leg out; and then do the reverse. 

We release hands, and I twirl, as my toddlers watch.

"This is ballet", I say.