Dance class started today. No, not for us. We did that once — worst money ever spent. Sorry, Arthur Murray. It wasn’t you; it was us. We lasted for one fox trot and half a waltz before we two-stepped right out the door.
Two of the little ones, cousins, have enrolled in dance class. We’re hoping they last longer than we did.
There’s nothing like low-to-the-ground, full-bodied toddlers swathed in bubbles of pink netting attempting to master the willowy bends and arcs of professional ballerinas.
There’s a buzz in the hallway before class. The teacher emerges from the classroom and introduces herself to each of the girls. Then come the good-byes, big hugs and lingering embraces.
“Mommy will be waiting! Be good! I LOVE YOU!”
It will be a long journey for the little ones — approximately 10 steps around the corner and into the dance studio. Parents are not allowed in the studio but can watch on a monitor in a waiting area.
It appears the teacher’s goal today is to get eight preschoolers to stand in a straight line.
The teacher explains something to the group, then patiently goes down the line, on her knees on hardwood, and puts eight pieces of tape on the floor, instructing each girl to stand on the tape.
The teacher then goes down the line a second time, again positioning each dancer on her tape mark. Dancer No. 1, Dancer No. 2, Dancer No. 3, all the way to Dancer No. 8.
All eight are on their tape marks.
Class is halfway over.
Tiny dancers then sit on the floor and bend to touch their toes. Those with long arms are at an advantage.
Dance Class Lesson No. 1: All arms are not created equal, and life is not fair.
Dancers advance to standing position, attempt to point their feet and lift their arms overhead.
The teacher then demonstrates how to skip. She motions for the girls to skip in a line. There is no line. Dancers are moving in every direction, crisscrossing, zig zagging and roaming in loose figure 8s.
The girls are not grasping the concept of following one another.
Girls are instructed to go to their backpacks and put on tap shoes.
One returns with sunglasses. Another removes her tutu in order to put on tap shoes. She tugs at her leotard and tights but apparently decides to leave them on.
They commence tapping their toes when the teacher turns to a little girl, picks her up and carries her to the camera. Did she want to wave to her mother?
No. The teacher indicates the girl needs to go potty.
Another dancer lines up behind the first dancer. The teacher indicates that this girl, too, needs to go potty. Then another dancer lines up. And another and another.
They can do something in succession! Line up for the potty!
Three little dancers remain on the dance floor.
Not a single one is on her tape mark.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.