Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My future dancer, seriously proud mommy moment

Shame on me for taking over 3 weeks to finally share E's first dance class. This move has been longer and more exhausting than I expected. With so much house it is easy to just walk passed boxes rather than put them away... But, alas, I share with you one of my most memorable parenting moments to date.

But, first, I really have to share why this is such a big deal for me. I took dance lessons at a local studio, Center Stage Dance Academy in Long Beach, for 9 years. What started as a recommendation from my childhood psychologist (long story, different blog), became something that truly helped me survive those dreaded teenage years. At one point, between school and the studio, I was dancing 6 days a week. I was never happier.

I was a particularly awkward and angry teenager. I had a "mid-life" crisis at 14, didn't speak to one of my parents for months at a time, and was generally pretty awful. But, the studio was my refuge. Even the time I told my dance teacher she needed to point her toes. In retrospect, I was lucky to not have been kicked out. But, I also think they had some understanding that I was having a tougher time than normal navigating that time in my life and gave me some extra slack.

I wasn't particularly good. I wasn't terrible either. But my family always said you could tell I was happiest when I was performing.. they are probably right. There was something about dance class that put my heart as ease. I am eternally thankful for my teachers at Center Stage for giving me such an amazing gift. The morning after my grandfather passed away - freshman year of college - rather than stay home with my family, I went to dance. I didn't actually dance for the first of my 3 scheduled classes that day. I just sat at the front, listening to the music and going through the motions and my emotions in my head. Eventually that day I was able to release a lot of my sadness and confusion through my classes.

Those 9 years I look back on with amazing affection. I feel so grateful to my grandmother for footing the expensive bill for classes, costumes, shoes, attire, competitions, etc. She gave me the greatest gift I could have asked for.

So, when I found out that I was going to have a little girl, I had these amazing visions of signing her up for her first class at 3 1/2 at Center Stage. We have been having dance parties at home since she was an infant. I dreamed of working backstage and her taking classes from my old teachers. But, then we moved a year prior to her being able to take classes. It was one of the things I mourned the most about our move.

And now we're taking it slow, trying out classes at our local parks & rec to see how she does. We'll likely do this for another year or so, then dive into finding a studio. I truly don't believe any studio will match mine, but I need to find one that will let little girls me little girls. One that doesn't use inappropriate music or costumes on 6 year olds....

But, right now she is running around dancing to Disney Princess songs. And loving every second of it. I was in awe of seeing my little girl love dance the way that I used to. It was the best feeling in the world.

Ready for "dancer class"

Doing her "dancer" pose.

Ready for "dancer class"

And because any good "dance mom" must have her first class on video. Here's a short clip. I swear she has a real future in this! =)

And one more... because I'm shameless!


  1. What a sweet girl! Love that she is following in your footsteps. And the leotard is too cute!!

  2. This is so sweet! You are so lucky to have a little girl who loves to dance! Hopefully I will have this moment one day!

    Also, thank you for linking up today! Hope your are having a lovely day!!

  3. How cute! I just signed up my 3.5 year old up. So excited!

    I am hosting Like Me On Facebook now. Love for you to link up your twitter and facebook page if you'd like.


  4. aw so sweet!

    Hope you had a good day! Stop by nichollvincent.blogspot.com and say hi :)

  5. How adorable!!
    I saw you on the link up! Love your blog!
    Hope you had a good day! Stop by http://grapefruitprincess.blogspot.com and say hi :)

  6. Oh, what a sweet little girl you have, Crystal! She reminds me of Nora Clark from the movie 'Step Up' when she grows up. And with those graceful moves, I must agree that she could be one of the best ballerinas in the future. You should be proud of her!

    Celia Maciomhair

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