Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ballet Tryouts

As I have mentioned previously on the Blog, Abigail is obsessed with ballet. She absolutely loves it. However, her pensive-nature has made it a challenge for her. Last year she tried to participate in the play Cinderella that her ballet school put on, but she was unable to do it due to how overwhelming the idea of the try-out was.

We took it in stride, and she continued going to weekly classes. At the beginning of summer, she participated in two little recitals for nursing homes without even a second thought. And by that point, Hannah was doing ballet with her despite being a bit too young. Her teacher had encouraged me to let Hannah join in. So I did. (It was much easier having them both dancing then trying to entertain Hannah while Abigail took classes.) 

Then over the summer, Abigail took a week-long ballet summer camp. Her teacher bumped up her into the 6-10 year old class, and despite being only 4 at the time, she thrived! At the end, they did a performance of Jack and the Beanstalk for friends and family, and she did it without another thought. 

We therefore thought that she might be ready for this year's big production: Sleeping Beauty

So we asked her if she wanted to do it this year. She shrugged. We asked her again. Shrug. Shrug. Shrug. (It's common for her to answer us with body language instead of words. She's been this way since she was little.) 

Finally, when she failed to give us her wishes after requests over multiple weeks, we simply told her that if she didn't feel ready, we'd wait another year. To this Abigail started shaking her head vehemently. Then we would switch and ask her again if she wanted to do it. Shrug. Shrug. Shrug. 

JB finally got her to admit the truth: she really, really wanted to be in the show but she was really, really scared. We again said let's wait a year. She again shook her head vehemently. 

Okay. She wanted to do it. Next step? The try-out. 

Abigail's teacher, Ms. Lori Ann, is wonderful and I knew that even if Abigail couldn't get through the try-out, they'd let her be in the play since all the little kids simply gets roles of little animals anyway. But we really wanted her to succeed with the try-out. She loves ballet soooo much, and performing is a part of that.

Today was the day. During the hour-long meeting that precedes the try-out, I had my doubts that she would be able to do it. She was clinging to me and asking to go home. I told her that she had come this far, we had to give it a try.

Hannah went first. Oh, did I tell you that since Abigail was going to do it, why not let Hannah do it too. (Again. Way easier to let her perform than try to entertain her during Abigail's class time.) So, here is Hannah, completely unfazed by the try-out:

Number Eighty-one

Ms. Lori Ann talking to the kiddos. That's Hannah right in the middle doing her thang.

I think she is actually doing what she is supposed to!

Next up is Abigail. Her teacher is such a wise woman. Knowing Abigail would be timid, she walked right up to her, took her hand and said, "Let's go Abigail." And brought up to the front. Abigail did great! She didn't want to act out an animal, but did all the other required steps. The try-out is more of a formality at this age, but it was still so great to see her accomplish a goal!

That's Abigail on the far right. Her friend, Eliza, is standing next to her. Eliza is a friend from homeschool co-op, and her mom, Kristin, took most of these pictures. We are so glad they are in our class this year!

Way to go Abigail (far right)

Abigail (left) with Eliza

Here's a sweet picture of Abigail and Hannah with Eliza (center) after the try-out. She has a little sister, Hazel, who will also be participating.

Abigail was so proud of herself for completing the try-out. She was honestly glowing the rest of the afternoon!

Afterwards, Abigail decided to do one of her splits to show our friend Patty (who was a professional ballerina.) Patty helps us by looking at pictures and video and giving Abigail advice. On this one, she instructed us to have Abigail's knees facing more toward the ceiling. :)

Sisters. So fun!


Nancy Gritter said...

Abigail, way to go! That is so awesome to make it through that try-out! Even though you were scared, you did it! You conquered your fear! You look beautiful out there and and are working so hard and listening to your teacher; that is wonderful and I can tell that you love ballet VERY much! Keep up the good work and before you know it you will have so much fun on stage you will forget your fears altogether! I love seeing pictures of you with your beautiful, happy smile! You are a lovely ballerina and I always look forward to seeing pictures of you dancing! You remind me of another sweet girl I know, who is going to be a professional ballerina! She has a smile just like yours when she dances! Dancing makes her VERY happy and I think it makes you happy too! Enjoy! 😍❤️

Jennifer said...

You can just see how proud she is! I'm so happy for her, and I only know you from blog world. I was always painfully shy, so I know how hard that was for her. Way to go Abigail!