Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Ballerina in Her Classroom

As you will likely have guessed if you've known me for at least a year, we are deep into Nutcracker season, with the curtain rising in just nine days for my little Mother Ginger boy.

Every year, I tell you that the experience is overwhelming, and then the next year Syd is offered an even more demanding role, and the experience becomes that much more overwhelming. Soldiers rehearsed twice a week, but Mother Ginger's children rehearse every single flipping day--sometimes twice a day! I am a chauffeur, and a babysitter of young ones on their breaks, and I have a bad cold to show for it. Syd, of course, thrives, loving every minute of it, her only wish to dance even more (and perhaps to be a Mother Ginger girl instead of a boy, but we mustn't dwell on casting decisions past, for there madness lies).

The Mother Ginger scene, though, is my second favorite in all of the Nutcracker (nothing can beat the battle!). I also think it's interesting how every choreographer creates a different version of the dance to the exact same music.

Here, for instance, is Balanchine's version:

This epic performance is a hip hop version!

Along with rehearsals, of course the pre-college ballet program's dancers are expected to keep up with their regular dance classes, and for a treat Syd's teacher (who, despite being only a sophomore in the university, I think, is the absolute best ballet teacher that my child has ever had. The children all adore her, and Syd has never improved so quickly as under her tutelage) the other day invited us parents into the typically no-parents-allowed studio space to watch our children's class.

I am about to show you too many photos of that class, but don't worry--I have a hundred more that I'm not sharing!

I don't know where the kid gets her grace and poise from, but it is not from me or her father. Her sister, too, runs into every doorway that she passes. How wonderful, then, to have found a program where she can develop her natural talent into a deeper skill, one that challenges her and helps her develop perseverance and dedication.

Nevertheless, I am DEEPLY looking forward to the post-Nutcracker winter break!

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