Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nutcracker Sweet

 Last year around this time, Phoebe learned that there was such a thing as the Nutcracker Ballet.  She wanted to go -- really knowing nothing other than that it was a ballet -- but we determined that our not-yet-three-year-old was just too young for a lengthy ballet performance.  But we told her than when she was three, she could go.

Throughout the year, Phoebe only became more interested in ballet.  She loves to twirl about the kitchen, read books about ballerinas, and to practice “steps” that she has learned.  We knew that she’d love the idea of going to the ballet this year, but we weren’t sure how the performance would work out for her.  But we bought the tickets, and a sweet friend who works at the studio also gave me the heads up that we could also buy tickets to a tea party with the ballerinas.  

Phoebe was absolutely overwhelmed when we brought her to meet the ballerinas. We had talked about meeting the ballerinas, and Phoebe couldn’t wait to show them her steps and warm up with them.  But when we arrived, she couldn’t eat, couldn’t even look up -- and yet, we could tell that she was delighted to see the glittering tutus and stage makeup of the big girl ballerinas.  When I took her to the bathroom, the previously silent little girl couldn’t stop chattering about the ballerinas and the ballet.  From this point on, her face was in a permanent smile... although she was still super-shy with the ballerinas when we returned.
 For the entire three-hour performance (which included a forty-five minute prelude), Phoebe sat spellbound.  We watched other children her age wiggle and talk through the show, but Phoebe remained motionless and talked only when she wanted to ask a question about the ballet or the dancers.  She couldn’t get enough of the show; her only disappointment was that she returned home without having had a chance to dance on the stage.
Phoebe has amazed me with her retention of the different steps and movements from both the prelude and the Nutcracker Ballet itself.  She twirls with a new intensity, and she imitates some of the smaller dancers perfectly.  She remembers costuming nuances and song choices, and she already can’t wait to take Nora again next year.

It has been a delight for me as a parent to watch this interest grow, really in spite of me.  I am not a dancer, nor have I ever been.  I haven’t instructed her with steps; I don’t even have a shred of rhythm.  My role has been really very mild exposure, and yet the Lord has developed this in her, has uniquely made her to delight in dance.  To watch Phoebe as a little ballerina in my kitchen has reminded me that He knits us together in such a way that will bring Him the most glory -- and for Phoebe, that may or may not include dance.  Whether she goes on to dance more formally, or whether she simply praises Him in dance in my kitchen, I am delighted to watch this sweet ballerina twirl.


Kendall and Luke said...

That is absolutely precious! Her imagination is astonishing and her desire to dance, twirl, and share her excitement with her sisters is adorable. How sweet are the minds of your little ones and I absolutely love the last picture you posted of her ballet shoes! The Lord has uniquely created her with the desire to dance, I can't wait to watch her grow and sing and dance unto the Lord with a joyful song in her heart!

JJ said...

Sarah - I love reading about Phoebe's love for ballet! I think I started taking ballet around 3 or 4 (and continued through about 6th grade), and am so grateful for it - it's such a good way to learn grace, posture, and discipline at such a young age. And yknow, it's a lot of fun to jump and twirl and wear costumes :)

And actually....

I can't wait to see what a beautiful ballerina Phoebe turns into!!