After more than a year of donning 2T tutus in the living room, cranking up the classical on demand channel or the Prima Princessa ballet DVD and thinking that would somehow suffice for my whirling, twirling, leaping little girl, we gave in. Yesterday we took Thalia to her first real ballet class.
It was the most singularly poetic scene you can imagine – a dozen little four year-old girls in pink, lining up to show “Miss Patty” how they walk on tiptoe.
(I do admit the “Miss Patty” thing kind of freaks me out for some reason. Why not just Patty? Or Miss Johnson? All I can hear in my head is “Miss Scarlet.” Eep.)
I was pretty much choked up through the entire thing, four being the same age that I took my own first ballet class. Which lead to a second. Which led to a millionth, at which point I graduated college and realized that my 17-year hobby wasn’t going anywhere. Watching Thalia line up wave her arms up and down and fly around the room, I had the most vivid flashback of my own pre-K ballet recital, and the one adlib moment of the piece in which our teacher called from the wings, Run! Run wherever you want to!
We flapped our arms as the flowy yellow sequined fabric attached to our wrists waved and undulated, and by God if we didn’t feel like we were actual butterflies.
It was magical.
Looking through the photos the next morning, the one thing that strikes me is not that Thalia was the most poised or the most talented. (Although if the teacher were to come over after class and rave about her natural ability, suggesting that she’s on track for a walk-on in the Lincoln Center Production of the Nutcracker, I wouldn’t push her away.) No, what stood out most is that Thalia had the biggest smile of any of the girls through the entire class.