Saturday, February 2, 2008

Emma's Dance Class

The mantle has now moved on to Emma...that is, dance class. Rachel was our most serious dancer. She took classes from the time she was 4 until the spring after her 10th birthday (then she wanted to move on to piano lessons and horses. There is only so much time in the day, not to mention money for extracurriculars!) Julia took less intense classes from the time she was 3 until last year--she also wanted horseback riding lessons. I say her classes were less intense because unlike Rachel, who took her classes at a studio, with classes every week from September till June and a recital to perform in, we found a better option for Julia....classes through the town.

The first thing I love about these classes is the price. Rather than $45 a month, plus registration, money for photos and recital costumes and tickets-- expensive! --classes through our town are just $35 for 7 classes! No photos, registration fee, or recitals. And that brings me to the second thing I love--each session is 7 classes long, and then there's a 6 week break. This is awesome for small kids, gives them a chance to try another activity and gives us a break! The third thing (and probably the best thing) is the teacher--Miss Gail.

Miss Gail has been teaching these classes since she was a sophomore in college, and is now in her mid-to-late 20's. She is wonderful with the kids--a dancer and choreographer, she knows what she's doing, but she is sweet and kind, soft-spoken and always smiling. The girls (the classes are pretty much all girls with maybe a boy once in a while) just flock to her. Julia just adored her when she took the class. She couldn't wait to go, she couldn't wait for breaks to be over, and she always wanted to hug Miss Gail and tell her about new adventures.

Now Emma is in the class, and although she is bizarrely quiet there (she practically doesn't speak at all, and if you know Emma you know she is not the silent type!) she loves everything about it and really pays attention. Today was the first week I took her to class, and I watched Emma watch Miss Gail carefully to see just what she was doing, and then imitate her as closely as she could. It was so cute to watch. And I knew the entire class, since she does the same activities and songs with every 3 year old class,so it was a kick to see Emma do the same things Julia used to do.

When we came home from class, I went up to the attic to get some bigger clothes for Emma from the 4T box--she has outgrown a lot of her pants, some of her dresses and I knew there are shirts she just refuses to wear, so I thought an infusion of new clothes would be perfect. It just reinforced seeing Emma the way Julia used to be, taking out things that Julia loved at this age. Took me right back to Dolphin Way, folding clothes in Julia's green bedroom there....


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