Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dance Fever

You'll have to forgive the picture heavy posts this week. My mom is out of town on a business trip so I am trying to keep her posted on what the kids are up to. I think she would prefer that nothing happen at all while she is away, something I completely understand. BUT, if we had to keep the kids inside with no new activities I think I might go crazy--especially since we don't get our normal Saturday night break from the kids while she is away. Our mission this weekend is to keep them as busy as possible. Since there is no cooking class this week for Avery, we enrolled both of the kids in dance classes at our city Rec Center this morning. The schedule won't work for Avery because it is at the same time as her cooking classes are but she has been asking to go to dance class for almost a year now and so we finally decided to give her a second chance and see if she would actually participate this time.

For Jack, this is the first time we have enrolled him in ANY class or activity. He gets a lot of interaction with Avery at home and his friends at daycare so we didn't feel like we needed to enroll him in Gymboree like we did with Avery. But now that he is almost 2, he really does need some kind of activity on the weekend to get his energy out and build his motor skills. Jack's friend Conrad is in the class and his mom really likes it so we decided to give it a try. Here are the pictures from Kindertots and Kinderdance today.

At first Jack stood around with his thumb in his mouth. He stood up when the teacher told everyone to and he sat when everyone sat (always on the little mat he chose at the start of class, which I thought was cute--and also a sign that he has been programmed to always sit in his "spot") but he didn't really participate much at first.
The teacher gave him these scarves to use as part of a dance. As you can see from the look on his face, he isn't quite sure about this.
But then he realized that he got to run around the room with the scarves and he perked right up. Poppa was there to watch and I think Jack considered Poppa to be "base" because he would almost always run over to Poppa after any activity. Run around the room and wave scarves. Run to Poppa. Jump on little mats like a frog. Run to Poppa. Sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Run to Poppa. Hopefully he'll catch on that you don't actually have to tell Poppa what you just did every time because HE CAN SEE YOU from where he is sitting.
He really did start to enjoy class and the various movements they were making as a group. Large elephant steps and then baby mouse steps. Running on tip toes and then walking very slowly and quietly. Jumping up and down and jumping side to side. When he was catching on to what he was suppose to do, he was quite happy with the experience.
"Look! I'm jumping! Like a frog!"
This was a song about being a big apple, I think. It was toward the end of class so he had figured out that he could just watch the teacher and know what kinds of motions he needed to make to go along with the song.
He really liked being able to jump around in circles and raise his hands over his head. I think that's because of all of the Yo Gabba Gabba shows he watches. Dancing like a fool is not foreign to this kid.
But this! THIS was the best part of class by far for Jack. He perked right up when the teacher told the class that it was time to play catch. Jack would watch the others get a turn and after each one he would say, "My turn! My turn!" with such a cute smile on his face.
He was thrilled when it was his turn and he got to catch the ball and then roll it back to the teacher. He clapped for himself every time.

Oh Lucky day! He got to STAND and CATCH, too! And he did. The teacher threw the ball and he caught it with no problem. Whenever a child missed Jack would run after the ball and say, "My do it! My do it!" (which is Jack's way of saying he'll get the ball).
I was worried that once he got the ball he would choose to keep it and run around the room like a fool while everyone chased after him to get the ball. I was pleasantly surprised when he threw the ball right back to the teacher after he caught it.
He jumped up and down when he realized that he got to catch and throw the ball MORE THAN ONE TIME! OMGTHEBESTDAYEVER!

We're definitely going to sign him up for the weekly classes. He liked the songs, being with his friend Conrad and running around the room like a crazy man. Plus, the nap he took this afternoon was fantastic. :-)

Next was Avery's class. I'll start this story by reminding you of our former President, George W. Bush, and a famous saying that he shared with the world one time: "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." I think what he meant to say is, "fool me twice, shame on ME" which is exactly how Matt and I felt after Avery's ballet class today.

After months of requests from Avery to go to ballet class again, we finally agreed to take her. As I said earlier, today was the perfect day. Luckily this was just a "try and see class" so we didn't have to pay anything.

Things started out very promising. She went right over to the teacher and participated in the exercises with no tears at all. She even turned around and yelled over to me several times to see if I had noticed that she was "listening to the teacher." She was doing so well, in fact, that I felt comfortable leaving the room to let Jack run around on the track. After about 20 minutes I came back in the room to get Matt to take over with Jack so I could watch Avery. Once she saw me come in the room she turned around and gave me a really pitiful look. I was afraid it was one of those "I have to go to the restroom and I have tights and a leotard on" looks so I motioned her over. She whined that she was ready to go home and she didn't want to do ballet anymore. The teacher told her that some fun dances were coming up along with tap and gymnastics but Avery was firm in her decision to leave. sigh.

I told her that we weren't going to come back again if we left as she started to put her pants and shoes on. She clearly didn't care.

So that's it. We tried twice and we failed twice. The kid likes the idea of ballet class but not the act of participating in the class. We won't be fooled again.

The only ballet picture of her that we have from this time. Definitely an improvement from the tearful photo we have from her last attempt when she was 2. Same outcome, though. Same outcome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jack looks like he LOVES it! We may have a dancer on our hands! Thanks for keeping the blog current. I love seeing the kiddo's.