Monday, November 17, 2008

Dancing Queen

Hannah and I (and Susie & Arin, too) spent the weekend in Albuquerque at the Dance Masters of America Chapter 35 regional dance competition. We had an amazing time...I can't remember the last time I laughed so much! I am thankful that Hannah has such good friends who are genuinely good girls. All three were a delight to be with.
Hannah has been saying that she wanted to be a ballerina since she was two years old. She started dance lessons in kindergarten, a Christmas gift from Grammy(the gift that keeps on giving). We attended her first dance competition when she was 7 years old. I remember so distinctly watching Hannah dance on stage at that first DMA competition and being so proud and frightened I could cry. She looked terrified, but she did it!
Through years of competitions, I sat nervously and watched her perform, knowing that as much as she loves to dance, doing it in front of people is really difficult for her. After the little girls went, we would watch in awe as the big girls leaped and spun knitting technique and emotion into a work of art. Hannah has always longed to be better than she was. She's wished we lived in an area where she could attend a real dance school where she could devote hours and hours a week to dance. She's cursed her genetics and cried with jealousy over girls with so much natural talent and without a good work ethic. She has danced through aches and pains, sprains, blisters that would make grown men cry. She has danced instead of playing soccer, basketball, or even hanging out with friends. She has worked hard and been so hard on herself that it has made both of us cry. She's been so frustrated that she's wanted to quit, but couldn't give up on her desire to be a dancer.
As I watched Hannah this weekend, I overheard some little girls and their moms oohing and aahing over her dance. It suddenly hit me that now MY daughter was the big girl that was amazing the audience. I watched her through new eyes at that point. Instead of nerves, I was filled with joy, pride, and amazement...not exactly sure when this transformation took place. She has become an artist on the stage. Instead of fear, her face portrays the emotions of the music as her body twists and spins and stretches and flies. Though she doesn't realize it and is still her own harshest critic, my little girl has grown into a ballerina.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Man--that's cool!