Class Act

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In a move set to create an uproar among the parents of 2-5 year old girls everywhere, Katie's dance teacher has suddenly left The Little Gym just 1 week before their "recital." This is good and this is bad.

This isn't the first time we have experienced sudden and unexplained staffing changes, but with just one week to go before the end of the semester, this one has classy written all over it. Packaged with a bit of irony and likely some karma, our replacement teacher is our old favorite Miss A, who happened to leave us dramatically at the very end of our summer session. Miss A is fun, fun, fun. She is patient, energetic, and genuinely enjoys the kids. Katie adores her and I love that she treats the girls with respect. Katie loved her summer class. She knew she'd have fun every week and she learned a little bit of dancing along the way.

At the beginning of the fall, we were at first crushed to find out that we had a new teacher - but with change comes new pros and cons. Miss X was more authoritative and more structured. I thought that was nice at first. I struggle with balancing the coddling of Katie's personality with trying to get her to grow out of her quirks. I wasn't sure how the new class would go. She did ok, but over time I think she stopped having so much fun. She was caught up in all the rules and having to remember so many different steps that it seemed like too much work for her, at 4. I also began to grow tired of comments such as, "If you girls don't pay attention and get this right, your going to embarrass everyone at our show." Once, Katie refused to allow Miss X to pretend to glue her knees together. Katie favors routine and every other class they had created glue guns with their hands and glued their OWN knees together. Katie was proudly trying to tell Miss X that she had already done it. Instead of saying "Ok, great" and moving on, she was told, "Katie, it's just pretend. All the other girls are pretending and you're ruining it for everyone else in the class." Katie takes comments like this in stride, but as a parent I was ready to look up a hitman.

So, Miss A is back and as a result the girls have had to scrap the entire routine they've been working on for weeks. I feel sad for some of the other girls who were so proud of the routine and practiced diligently at home. For Katie - this is not a problem. She would have never remembered the routine anyway and the new one is FUN and cute. Perfect for Katie. And while I'd love Katie to "be serious" about learning to dance - I know this will not be "her thing." This is why we chose The Little Gym for dance to begin with. She gets to be a ballerina to her heart's content and then run off all of her energy doing gymnastics in the second half of class.

Bad for some, good for us. If Miss A decides to stick around. Oh, and this is what the girls will now be performing for their recital. They love it and the parents love it. Miss A has even generously offered an extra class before the show so the girls can get a bit more practice. And we mom's convinced Miss A to do the routine one more time, so we could videotape. So we can help the girl's practice during the week. I can assure you - this is the week to be a fly on my wall.

My talented daughter is the tallest blonde. The one who refuses to wear a leotard. The one just a little bit "off" from the rest of the class.


Autumn January 20, 2010 at 12:26 PM  

Too cute!!! I love this!!! Love the video too, adorable!!! (And so nice to not see younger kids shaking their hips like stippers in training - which is why my kids are NOT involved in the local dance studio stuff this year: I went by myself to preview the kids there doing routines and watched in horror as these little tykes shook their hips provocatively to songs like Lady Gaga Bad Romance. Gah!)
I love these little updates, your daughter is adorable and the teacher looks like she really does enjoy the kids. Glad to hear Ms X is gone (I think I would have flipped out on her if she ever told my kid either of the two quotes you posted). Keep up the good work Katie!!
Thanks again for keeping us updated Julie :)


SkinnyMeg January 20, 2010 at 5:13 PM  

Drama at the Little Gym! haha the kids are too cute and it's just for fun! Loved the video and I can't wait for my baby girl to be old enough for fun stuff like this, crawling is getting old....

debi9kids January 20, 2010 at 9:12 PM  

OMGOSH! The way you described Katie and then watching her...giggling. She's not the most graceful child, but she certainly knows how to have a good time :)

(guess I better clarify to your readers that we're related, or else that would sound way too personal of a comment, huh?)

Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

Mummy McTavish January 21, 2010 at 5:50 AM  

I just can't believe how much Katie and Lion are alike... you should see any group production he is a part of. It looks just like that! I love the way she goes right up to look at herself in the mirror when she goes forwards :) I'd do that too, those massive mirrors are irresistible to pull faces in!

monica January 21, 2010 at 11:13 AM  

As long as she is having fun and enjoying herself...the new teachers sounds great. Good luck on the new routine and performance.

January 24, 2010 at 3:25 AM  

Super cute! From the video it looks like a seamless transition to the new teacher. Hope your girl has lots of fun!

I just came across your blog from a comment you left on motherhoodinnyc about your daughter's mysterious knowledge of Chuck E Cheese, despite having never been there. I had to laught, since I'm trying to keep it a huge secret, too!

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