Just over a year ago the geekdaughter started attending ballet lessons. She’d been asking for them for a while, but I made her wait until I was sure she was really serious and it wasn’t just a fleeting interest. I was desperate for her to enjoy dancing as I did (well, still do given half the chance!), but I wanted to be sure it was her choice, not something I pushed her in to. Not knowing anything about how to select a ballet class I ended up choosing based on convenience – there is a ballet school in the village my Mum lives in, meaning I can pop to her house for coffee whilst the lesson is on 🙂 As it is I think we’ve fallen on our feet. The geekdaughter’s ballet teacher is really lovely, the geekdaughter loves her lessons, and the quality of the ballet shone through the annual show that they put on earlier this year. But last week we got our first chance to assess how well the geekdaughter is getting on with her lessons, when she took her first ballet exam… The letters came out at the start of this term, and I gave the geekdaughter the choice as to whether she wished to enter her Pre Primary grade exam or not. She didn’t really know what it meant, but said she’d like to. She’s been practicing her dances each week, although they all seem to fade from her head after she leaves the studio and she can never show me what she’s learnt! Last week was exam day. The exam was scheduled for a Thursday morning, which meant I had to take her out of school to attend. This was my first experience of requesting authorised absence from school, which was a little nerve wracking, but thankfully her head teacher granted permission. So there we were, before 9am, at the ballet studio, ready to get ready.
A large number of the girls from her ballet school were taking the same exam, and the way it worked was that they went into the studio in groups of five to perform for the examiner. It was a very friendly atmosphere, and their teacher went in with them and showed them the steps at the front. Outside the studio a little production line was running getting the girls groomed and ready. We’d been told to turn up in the regulation pink ballet outfit, but not to worry about hair, which was good as I’m not very skilled at ballet hair! Thankfully two ladies were there, working miracles with all the girls’ hair and making them all look amazingly cute!
All too quickly the geekdaughter was in a line ready to go in, and then she was gone and all I could do was sit in the waiting area. The bustle continued around me as the next group was getting ready to go in, but I managed to snatch a few minutes with my iPad (it is VERY civilised that the ballet studio has free WiFi!).
All too soon she was out again, beaming and happy, having had a great time. She received a little bag of sweets as a reward from her teacher, and then I had to get her into her school uniform and hot foot it back to school so that she was back in time for lunch. But I want to remember that, just for an hour or so, my beautiful little ballet girl looked like this:
Apparently we won’t get her results until, in her teacher’s words, “she’s forgotten all about taking the exam”. Yes, it will take a number of weeks before we hear back. Her teacher said it looked like everyone did really well, but you don’t know until you hear the official word do you? I don’t mind what the result is, I’m just so pleased she enjoyed it 🙂