Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tiny Dancer

Lyndsay started taking dance lessons when she was just barely 4 years old. We were living in Show Low, Arizona, and for a small town we had a marvelous dance studio owned by a very accomplished dancer known to the kids as Miss Bev. Lyndsay took two or three classes each year, which had us at the studio many times each week (with brothers in tow), and at the end of each year we had the beloved recitals in the high school auditorium.

It was a lot of work and a lot of money, but even more fun. Lyndsay loved to dance. She was terrific at tap and jazz and even Highland Sword dancing, but ballet was her favorite. We were able to give her lessons for six years until I moved to Utah after my divorce.

She always wanted to get back into ballet, even through high school. I wanted to give that to her, but we just couldn't swing it. The cost, the driving, the scheduling. Life was just too busy and budgets too tight. I felt badly about it. I knew she wanted it (not that she really had the time either, actually) and I knew she was good at it, but it just never happened.

So, you can imagine how my heart melted when Lyndsay, who is taking a ballet class at BYU (yay!), sent me these screen shots from her video recorded ballet exam last week.

Oh my goodness, there is my ballerina girl. All grown up, so elegant, so feminine, so classically beautiful. And she is dancing.

It's been challenging for her, but she remembers so much, and her muscles remember, and she loves it. She has a ballerina body and mind, so well suited to the graceful movements and fierce discipline. I am so grateful that she is dancing again and exploring that other love. It's a nice break from her hefty load of science and math courses.

I look at these pictures she sent me almost every day and just love her so much. Sometimes I feel such a weight of guilt, thinking of where she could have been in her skills if I had had more to give her. I know I did my best, but I wish my best had been more. But then the other night, I dug out her old dance portraits and felt this overwhelming gratitude that I had at least been able to give her what I did. She might not have known that not only did she love ballet, but was good at it, if she had not had those 6 years of instruction. And six years is no small feat. As much as we have always struggled financially, I am so, so grateful that we were able to give her that gift during those years, and that her dad supported her interest. It was a taste, and I'm grateful that she can explore it a little more now at college.

I will never forget her first recital, in her teal green sequined tutu and pink tights, all baggy at the knees. They danced to a song called, "When I Grow Up" and it was the sweetest thing to see my tiny dancer up there on that big stage, her face completely lit up.

Now she is grown up. And I'm so grateful that she can still dance.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

That's so awesome that she's doing something she loves. I agree that it's great that she had that start years ago.
I always wanted to do ballet, but I don't have the body for that.