My Heart Danced to the Rhythm for My Little Girl! A Lesson in Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone with Persistence, Confidence & Positivity

 

“Are you excited about the dance recital, Mommy?” my six year old asked. To which I replied,  “Yes, I’m excited but a little nervous. How about you?” Quinn said, “I’m a little nervous and excited too!” In September, I enrolled my daughter in a local dance school for tap and jazz, and for months, they’ve been preparing for the dance recital which was just held this past Friday and Saturday.

About a couple of months ago, a notice was sent out recruiting moms to do a dance routine as a part of the recital.  As soon as I mentioned it to Quinn, her eyes lit up, and her smile widened. “Mommy, can you please do the mom dance? That would be so cool if we both were in the show!” Initially, I was excited because the song selection was “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson, and the wheels were already turning with how I’d put together my outfit. But when I realized that there’d only be five rehearsals to learn the choreography, (a modified yet still involved version from the video) the anxiety set in big time.

Even though I loved being on the stage many moons ago rapping and doing spoken word,  I was extremely nervous. As a child, I was rhythmically challenged and lacked confidence. I’ve gotten a little better as an adult, but I still consider dancing to be out of my element and not my strong suit. But, I’m proud to say that I did not allow my nervousness to overwhelm me causing  me to bail out of the dance number.

It actually was an experience full of lessons, some old and some new, allowing me to grow as an adult. Even if I do not believe I am the “best” dancer,  I still gave it my all and remained confident on stage even if there was a missed step or two in the routine. Believe me, this was tough for me with my type A personality constantly critiquing my practice performances, but I, for the most part, remained positive and did have a lot of fun.

It felt good teaching by example and making a conscious effort to live by the lessons I try my best to instill in Quinn. What made it even more rewarding was seeing my little girl step out onto the stage full of confidence with a smile on her face.  I hope that as she rewatches my performance in the years to come that she will not just watch me dance with the group of moms but will actually listen to the lyrics of the song, “Rhythm Nation” as they still apply today and still will for many years to come.

“People of the world today
Are we looking for a better way of life
We are a part of the rhythm nation
People of the world unite
Strength in numbers we can get it right
One time
We are a part of the rhythm nation”

All the best,

Tanya

Can’t Stop the Feeling! Mommy’s Little Girl Loves to Dance

“I got this feeling inside my bones. It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on…” was not only the lyrics of the song playing for my four year old’s dance recital but how I felt as she did her tap moves with the other children in her class. “I Can’t Stop the Feeling” of excitement, nervousness and being a doting mommy as Quinn tried her best to keep in rhythm and do the steps she memorized for the past few months. Since she was about six months old, I’ve been enrolling her in classes at The Little Gym, and while some parents may choose to enroll their children in a facility that focuses exclusively in dance, I love it here because it is all about the children having fun, and there is not as much pressure to become “professional” dancers. Like her mother, my daughter has an inherent quality which may be a gift and a curse. She tends to be a perfectionist and will keep trying until she gets it just right or even becomes frustrated if she is unable to get it right. With this in mind, the environment at The Little Gym is ideal to help her relax more.

Nevertheless, I would not be totally truthful if I didn’t admit that I was proud that my daughter followed the instructions of her teacher, did not run off during the performance or suffer from stage fright and cry. Also, something that really put a smile on my face is how she handled a mishap with her tiara for the ballet routine. When she did a spin with her partner, it was knocked off of her head. In that moment, I was more anxious than she was as I wondered what she would do next. She simply reached down and put the tiara back on her head to the best of her ability and continued to dance. Now that really put a smile on my face. Even after the performance she said with a big smile on her face, “My tiara came off when I was dancing, so I had to put it back on, Mommy. But I kept dancing!”

After the dance portion, she and the other children displayed some of their skills on the gym equipment. Even though Quinn also inherited her lack of flexibility from her mother (me), she still keeps trying and had a fun time. This summer, Quinn’s going to try out karate at The Little Gym for a new and different experience, and then we’ll return to dance for the school year. This was a wonderful experience for the both of us.

When we prepared to leave, I just couldn’t get those lyrics out of my head, “…Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance. A feeling good, good, creeping up on you, so just dance, dance, dance…” It’s moments like these that make my heart dance and will stay with me always.

All the best,

Tanya