Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kids' Activities - Let Them Try (2)

(Continued from February 12, 2011) ..... So, on a warm Friday evening in early June, when my daughter was three years old, she and I ventured off to the dance recital hall to watch my students perform.

While I enjoyed watching my students perform and excel in yet another arena, I noticed that my daughter's eyes were wide open for the entire three-hour recital, as she seemed mesmerized by the colorful costumes, several different styles of dances, and the overall production.

On the way home that evening, I asked her if she would like to get involved with dates. I received one of the most enthusiastic affirmative answers that a three-year-old child could muster up. My daughter wanted to begin dance lessons immediately! She was instantly hooked and she wanted to be a star on the dance stage!

Keeping the Beethoven/Ruth analogy in mind, we contacted the dance instructor of the recital the next week and asked if our three-year-old daughter could take dance lessons. Unfortunately, she told us, three years old was simply too young to focus in dance class. The teacher told us to wait until our daughter was four years old before beginning dance lessons.

Upon breaking the news to a future hall-of-famer in the dance field, our daughter was devastated, as she wanted to begin dance lessons right away. We also knew that her ability to focus for long periods of time was already well-established. Paying attention in class would not be an issue for her.

We waited for about a month, and then we called the teacher again. This time, we talked to the teacher about our daughter's ability to focus for long periods of time and we asked the teacher if our three-year-old daughter could try dance lessons and, if the teacher believed that things did not work out, we would understand and we would withdraw our daughter from dance class and wait until she was four years old.

The dance teacher told us that she would think about it and that she would get back to us in August - still in plenty of time to begin dance classes in September.

To say the least our daughter was excited about the possibility that she might be able to start dance class. We continued to dance around the house multiple times each day, as she was still demonstrating her great desire to become a dancer right now!

Sure enough, in early August the dance teacher called us. She asked again about our three-year-old daughter's ability to focus. We assured her that our daughter would be able to focus in class, but, again, if things did not work out, we would withdraw her from dance class and resume when she was four years old. 

(Please come back next week to find out how the dance class went for my favorite 3-year-old daughter!).

Paul W. Reeves

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