Observation Day 9:46 AM

Parents shuffle feet, take seats on uncomfortable slats of painted wood that are meant to be seats, and excitedly await the invitation to enter the studio and find a place from which they can observe their dancers. I am one of these parents.
I do not notice the ever present dust on the lobby floor nor do I pay much attention to the chatter of those around me. I am here for one reason, to watch my daughter do her exercises.
Pins and needles. I am on pins and needles as I wait for the observation to begin. Reflecting back, I have watched ballet classes in this studio for over 7 years. I have seen my daughter move from tiny dancer in ruffled socks throwing her stuffed animal to semi-serious student in ribbon shoes and tights being touched to perfection by her instructor. I have witnessed the strict nature of the school first hand; and I have cringed when this strictness has touched my daughter. Through it all, I have witnessed the building of beauty – beauty of the art, beauty of the music, beauty of the ever passionate dancer’s spirit.
I sat and observed as the instructor moved from dancer to dancer at the bar. She corrected positions, moved feet, and gave guidance. The longer I sat, the more I noticed the sensitivity of my nerves. I clasp my hands. I felt the slightest trembling in my legs. Would my daughter make it through this class without the strict touch of perfection I am used to seeing? Would the teacher guide by her giving silent approval of her movements and techniques? I think this hour is one of the most nerve-racking hours for me… not for my daughter, but for me.
But the highlight came toward the end of class. My daughter did so very well throughout the beginning (which was a highlight within itself) and then…the real highlight.
Today I watch my daughter do her first public exercise on pointe. The class exercised on pointe for just ten minutes, but it was a wonderful ten minutes.
The dancers took their bows and returned to the dressing room to change. The parents sat in the studio to ask questions and chat with the instructor. I physically relaxed. My daughter, my little girl who has spent much of her life studying ballet, my little girl who spends her free time dancing with the butterflies, did her best. I survived another observation day and my daughter shone with true effort and focus.

She did her best…

1 Thoughts:

T said...

Here's to the butterflies... Absolutely beautiful writing today. Thank you.