Turns out I'm lucky enough to drive to the dance studio EVERY SINGLY DAY OF THE WORK WEEK this year. I know, everyone says I did it to myself because apparently I don't know how to say no. That or I'm a total sucker for working my hind end off so my kids can participate in all of the activities they'd like to participate in.
Sam told me this spring that she wants to take pointe. In talking to Jenny I learned that she needs a minimum of 1-2 yrs of classic ballet classes/training prior to taking pointe class or she will very likely ruin her feet. Seeing that she wants to be a dance teacher I think she kind of needs her feet to be well loved and taken care of. I talked to some people at Tueller's and apparently they are putting students into pointe classes at the age of 11 now. They start classic ballet classes there at 3 yo - LaShar's doesn't offer classic ballet classes because they don't have a demand for it. The only other place I knew of in town that teaches ballet is the Cache School of Ballet (aka Cache Valley Civic Ballet). I called this summer and found out the information about classes, tuition, etc. In doing so I learned that they operate on a semester basis rather than a season or yr basis. The fall semester is 15 wks and runs $300 (that's $100 a month or $48 a month more than what I pay for her competitive tuition). They also have to wear a uniform - black leotard, black skirt, pink tights and pink ballet flats (not half soles). I explained to Sam that if she signed up at CVSB and stayed at LaShars it would mean she would be dancing four days/five hours a week. This wouldn't leave much time for friends or much else. I told her she had to make that decision and if that was the decision she made she had to be ok with it. I also told her if her school work slipped I would pull her out of the second studio because school is most important and still comes first. It took her a week or two to decide that's what she really wanted to do. Her dad wasn't so sure - something about that's too many days, too many hours for a kid her age. ;) When Sam heard that she had a bit of her mother's "I'll show you" attitude come out.
Thus, she has begun dancing at the Cache Valley School of Ballet this year. She feels super naked wearing the uniform and was horrified to think I didn't have her black skirt the first day (hence a super quick stop at Wal mart on lesson two prior to class starting).
After her first lesson I asked her how it went. She told me that they were doing a dance and the teacher was telling them to do this and do that and she didn't understand what the teacher was talking about. Finally the teacher stopped and asked who didn't know what such and such was. Sam raised her hand and the teacher asked her what level she had been in prior to this class. Sam told her she was new there. Apparently the teacher had been using the French names for the ballet positions rather than the English version of 1st, 2nd, 3rd position, etc. Sam told me, "Once she used English I knew what she was talking about! Who does that mom?! Who uses the French words?! I don't speak French!" I tried really hard not to laugh. I had to tell her teacher at LaShars about it and let her know she should throw out the French names on occasion in order to help Sam out!
I asked her if it was something she thought she was going to want to keep doing after the first semester. She kind of shrugged her shoulders and said we'll see. She likes the instructor and she said the class wasn't bad "once she started speaking English!" I think she just feels out of place because she's uncomfortable in her leotard (they don't require that at LaShars) and everyone else in her class has been there since they were B's age. I felt bad for her on Wednesday though because apparently the instructor didn't have them stretch on Tuesday and her legs HURT like the devil on Wednesday and I still made her go to class at LaShars. She did say that they stretched before their second lesson though so that was good to hear.
The bright side of Sam's self induced torture for my other kids is that the Cache Valley School of Ballet is located at the Whittier Center. This means that for an hour and a half twice a week they get a free for all on a huge playground. It was quickly voted favorite dance studio by these two:
And this little diva started lessons this week as well. This time there was no crying, no screaming, no standing in the corner telling me "You're ruining my life!" I took her upstairs and helped her with her shoes. She had met Teacher Misha the day or two before and she was good to go! I asked her if I could wait downstairs and she was like, "Um, yea. Bye!" and off she went! Yay for progress! And, yay for the fact that her dance day is one of the days Sam is already at LaShars. Too bad their classes are back to back instead of at the same time!
The boys are back in tumbling this year as well. They loved going so much and asked if they could do it again this year. That means on the one day that I'm not hauling Sam to dance lessons I'm hauling boys to the dance studio for tumbling! At least they're on the same day, right? Too bad they are back to back too instead of at the same time. Oh well, makes us get creative on what to do without spending any money while kids are at practice! How we're managing to squeeze piano in there a day as well, well, I'm not really sure!