D is for Dance Class

…which we no longer attend.

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All Lily talked about was being a ballerina. She would prance around the apartment on her toes and twirl around. But dance is ridiculously expensive in our area. So we decided to get her dance class for Christmas last year. It was still a financial stretch. But we made some cuts to make it work.

She loved it. She got dressed in her tutu and leaped around with the other two-and-three-year-old girls. I started having visions of being a Dance Mom. Without the crazy.

Then, a few months ago, she started fighting me to get dressed. I thought maybe her class was too early. She is not a morning girl. So we switched to a later time. She would go, but only if I promised her we could get Starbucks after.

A few weeks later not even the Starbucks was enough. She was asking for her friend who had been in her class the previous year. It turns out that girl had switched days. So we switched days. Lily was thrilled to see her. For about five minutes. Then she went back to being bored.

Eventually she progressed from lack of participation and trying to escape to rolling around in the middle of the floor. The nannies tried to comfort me. Maybe it’s a phase. I watched the teachers try to conduct class around her writhing body. As a performing arts teacher, all I could do was shake my head.

Finally, a few weeks ago, we had a heart-to-heart. And she told me she just doesn’t like dance class any more. Heartbroken, I let go of my dreams of raising a professional dancer, and called to tell the school she wouldn’t be returning.

Then, I remember that she’s three.

She may not become a professional dancer. In fact, it’s likely she will not become a professional dancer. She’s great. Don’t get me wrong. But the odds are against it.

And she loves to dance. She really does. But not ballet. Not right now. And not under someone else’s direction.

Lily’s birthmother really wanted us to expose Lily to dance. And we have. And we will again. And it’s hard not to be disappointed that I won’t see her in a little tutu at the family day “recital.”

But it’s time to admit that she’s a person with opinions and interests. And because she is three, those interests change quickly. I’m so excited to see who she’ll become. Which things will really stick.

But I guess for now, it’s OK to let her change her mind.

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