Just the other day, I went to my three year old daughter’s ballet class for the first time. This is her second term. Each term is 8 weeks. Once each term, a parent can sit and watch the class, but only once.
It was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. The class is held in an old union workers lodge. There were several 3-4 year old girls in tutus and ballet shows. They started with simple stretches, and then started to work on two dances for an upcoming performance.
The first was a ballet dance. They did little ballet runs (running on their tip toes with arms out like wings), and then finished the dance doing something they called “Disco Up and Disco Down,” a move taken from John Travolta’s dancing in Saturday Night Fever.
After practicing the first dance, they started in on the second. They put on their tap shoes, and did a tap warm up: “This is my right toe (several taps), this is my left toe (several taps), right toe (tap), left toe (tap), now march….This is my right heel (several taps)…” I think you can see how it continued.
But after the warm-up, they started working on a tap routine choreographed to the great Aretha Franklin song Respect. It was amazing to watch these three year old girls sassying it up. “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” with their little fingers wagging no.
I suppose even avant-garde dancers start this way.