Ballet – The Penguin Move

Most nights when I put the kids to be I lay down with them and talk about their day or whatever is on their minds. When I put Haley to bed on Tuesday night she told me that she was sad that she missed her dance class on Monday because the while her regular teacher wasn’t there Mrs. Pumpkin was. Apparently Mrs. Pumpkin is a substitute and Haley likes her. I thought the name was a little funny so I started laughing about it. Side note, this is a regular dance class. The regular teacher is awesome and a friend of our family. I’ll tell you the story about when I first approached her about teaching Haley another time.
Haley was telling me she liked Mrs. Pumpkin because she made the class stand on their heads and put their leg up in the air. She then proceeded to tell me how when she was first asked to do this move she looked at one of her friends and said “ya Right!” Apparently they both thought the idea of Haley doing this move was somewhat funny. I asked Haley if she tried it. She had. I asked her how she did and she said , “Well, I kind of looked like a penguin!” That took me back at first. I was afraid that someone else had told her she looked like a penguin when doing the move. That could have been very bad. I asked where she got the idea. She told me there are mirrors in class and when I looked at myself in the mirror I thought I looked like a penguin. At that point I really couldn’t help it I started cracking up. Then I asked if she looked at everyone else and what they looked like. She told me they all looked like beautiful ballerinas. Now I was in hysterics, both laughing and crying at the same time. She started cracking up too but as I gained control I told her she just made me laugh and cry at the same time.
That upset her. I realized I had to act quickly and help her see why her thought was great even though it did make me sad. I explained, “Haley, you know that you have unique movements and doing ballet just means doing your movements beautifully. If your movement is the penguin then work your hardest to make it the most beautiful penguin you can.” She like that idea so I knew I was getting somewhere. I then went on to talk about how she could use her own thoughts about her movement to take someone who is being mean off guard and make them a friend by sharing her story about dance. I think she got that too although I don’t know if it was the best advice. I figure if you can take someone who is laughing at you and make them laugh with you it’s probably a win and you have probably made the person see who you are rather than what you look like.

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