Keeping with the recent Dance Fever theme let me tell you about my weekend. Friday night I attended a dress rehearsal for a dance recital. From 4-6 year-olds performing ballet and tap dance routines all the way through interpretive dances by a college student. All in all there were about seventy five or eighty girls dancing. And ONE six-year-old boy. My oldest son.
And let me be the first to say he did a marvelous job.
Last year his class at school was well ahead of their required curriculum at the end of the semester so his teacher, a wonderful lady and a lifelong tap dancer, brought in her tap shoes and showed the kids a few basic steps. My son was hooked. He begged to take tap classes, but when I checked out the schedule out of local community college the classes for his age were full. He was mighty disappointed so when Fall came around we enrolled him the day registration opened. From the first class he was hooked, but then again this is the same kid who gets in trouble at least once a month for trying to kiss some little girl, or his teacher. And suddenly he was the lone male in a class of sixteen girls.
The class was actually a dual tap and ballet. Ballet isn't exactly his favorite, but he endures it until he can set those legs of his to twitchin' in tap.
Friday night when he hit that stage and saw all those people out in the audience .. his chin come up and his chest puffed out as if to say "These people came just to see me and I'm gonna give them a show." Of course only about twelve of us were there to see him, but not in his eyes. Like every other child that age he didn't execute every step to precision, but he did dance his little behind off with a dramatic flourish that made me burst with pride.
What does this have to do with writing you might ask. Not much but you can check out my previous blog on the similarities of a child and a novel here
I hope he sticks with the dancing, because it is obvious he really enjoys it and I truly believe he has a talent for it. My wife and I plan to encourage him, but at the same time I've seen parents push their kids to hard at an early age and ruin what should be just youthful fun. I won't do that.
Somewhere down the line one of his friends or some other boy will ridicule him for engaging in "girly" behavior. I'll tell him the same thing I told some of my friends who asked why I would LET him take ballet. "Hey, if his dad can write emotional laden relationship stories why can't he do a pirouette?" And if he's till dancing when he's older I'll simply tell him to respond with ."While you're outside chasing a ball in the heat I'll be inside dancing with your girlfriend."
Maybe I should teach him how to box too .