Tag Archives: dance

the season of Fall

22 Sep

I’ve been incognito for a few weeks now and this typically happens to me as we enter the month of September. 

September brings our household back into the routine of school and a multitude of extra-curricular activities. I love that my children (one teen, and two tweens) have interests but truthfully September can take the wind out of my sails until we settle into the new groove of Fall. Competitive dance times two, horseback riding, drums, karate, swimming. It doesn’t sound like a lot when I list it here, but when we are driving seven days a week to and fro after a long work day…it’s busy. 

Having said that, I enjoy watching my daughters’ light shine when they are dancing their favourite genre of dance; one ballet and the other loves every genre but shines at tap. I smile when my middle daughter is up early and ready to head to the barn two hours before her lesson. My son keeps his light a bit more hidden from others. He’s a talented young drummer who does not like to practice but loves the yearly performance when he’s the young tween playing in a band with three senior teens and truly holding his own. He is also a purple stripe in karate and drags his feet sometimes to go but is very disciplined and loves to show us the new katas he has learned. I was in awe watching him test for his recent belt…moving through all 24 katas with precision. As I type this I realize he never complains about going to swimming, when he swims lap upon lap improving his stroke. He’s becoming quite the dolphin!

Some parents live vicariously through their children. Am I doing the same? Not really. I took up tap dancing because it was something I always wanted to try and I loved it. I get my weekly horse fix watching my daughter ride and have started to plan when I will start taking lessons myself. There is a woman in her 60’s taking lessons now, I can do that too. I’ve inquired about leasing a horse…hmm. Definitely food for thought. 

With Fall, I find myself ready to start into my own extra-curricular. It’s the season that brings the winds of change and this is my favourite season. 

What is yours?


thrill of victory, agony of defeat

28 Feb

I have two daughters who dance competitively. Their solos are of different genres, tap and ballet.

The tap solo is very fast, upbeat, uses the whole stage with many turns and varied footwork. The ballet solo is slow with gentle controlled leaps and balancing arabesques.

My younger daughter’s ballet solo was breathtakingly beautiful. Her poise and balance for her young age is admirable. 

I am her Mom, I am biased.

My older daughter’s feet fly during her tap solo, and I’ve seen such growth in her movement, her arms, her turns and spins. She loves dancing on stage! The only lacking quality is a consistent smile. I laughed because when I mention this to her she replies, “Smile? Mom I am having a hard enough time catching my breath let alone smile during the entire routine!” I could see she really put her forth all she had to dance her best. Her tap solo was amazing!!!!

I am her Mom, I am biased.

My youngest took 1st place for her ballet solo with a high gold. This was her first solo and ballet solos are typically marked lower than other genres of solos. She took the highest placement in the marking system with the high gold. She was also runner-up for an overall award!!  She didn’t want runner-up, she wanted 1st overall. How do I parent this? Do I tell her to stop pouting and congratulate the winner? Do I tell her to find out what she needs to do to win the BIG trophy? Do I talk to her about the awesome jazz solo winner who did so many spins it made me dizzy?

How do you teach graciousness to a child who wins an award, but not the award she wanted?

She doesn’t like to talk about it. If I do she replies, “I wanted the big trophy.” With tears in her eyes, she listens to my advice.

I don’t know if she’s really listening, tuning me out, yelling at me in her head, or taking it all in to plan her strategy for next weekend’s competition.

I wonder if she’s disappointed in herself for not dancing “better’ to win 1st overall, or if she’s mad because she feels she danced her best to deserve the 1st placement. Maybe she feels being runner-up is not good enough and she won’t settle for anything less than 1st place overall.

My oldest daughter felt thrill with her mark and placement. She was in a group of six solos placing 6th with gold. She felt she danced well, just needs to smile more and knows the other solos were also great. She understands when she dances her best, it’s up to the judges to choose who they liked. She knows her gold mark may have been only a few decimals away from the 1st place dancer’s mark. She was happy for the other dancers and congratulated each of them. She has great sportsmanship.

They are both winners for having the courage and ability to dance competitively!

If my younger daughter is not happy with the smaller trophy okay, but I’d like her to at least congratulate the winner and be gracious to those who come up to tell her how great she did.

Do I urge her not to settle for less than she feels she deserves? Is that the attitude of all great dancers and olympic athletes?

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