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Budding Ballerina

Maddie’s ballet class started back
up for the fall yesterday, and someone in this household was
particularly excited that the big day had finally arrived.


I’m telling you, this girl is absolutely in love with ballet.
At Maddie’s school, the three-year-olds wear all pink, and
the four-year-olds wear lavender. So all last year, Maddie wore
pink and watched the next class come running in after hers, wearing
the so-much-more-sophisticated lavender. When summer ballet camp
rolled around, Maddie put her foot down and refused to wear her
pink togs; after all, she reasoned, she was four now! So we went
out and got her the four-year-old purple getup.

Which is the moment that Cora declared, “I get to wear pink

Cora doesn’t seem to understand that
she is not one, but TWO years younger than Maddie; she believes she
can simply graduate up the ladder, one rung below her big sister.
So she’s been waiting anxiously for the big day to arrive,
and I’ve been worrying over how she’d take the news
that she’s still too young to be in class.

Both girls had outgrown their ballet shoes (yes, Cora had her own
pair, I know, I know) and so I’d already gotten new ones. As
the time for class drew closer, Cora couldn’t take it any
longer and insisted on putting on Maddie’s discarded pink
leotard and outgrown tights almost an hour early. By the time
Maddie was dressed and ready to go, Cora was wearing a hole in the
carpet by the door.

I’d warned Cora numerous times that while she could go into
“her” (empty) studio and practice her own class, there
would be no teacher for her class. “No Miss Winda?” she
asked, referring to Maddie’s own Miss Linda. “No, hon,
not until next year.”

Cora pondered deeply for a moment, and then accepted fate.
“Ok. I’ll pwactice by myself and watch Maddie’s

So minutes before Maddie’s class started, two young ladies
walked through the studio doors – both with backpacks
carrying ballet shoes and water and a snack, both wearing leotards
and tights. Maddie nonchalantly strolled to the dressing room to
get changed, but Cora was hopping up and down with excitement and
began pulling off shoes in the waiting room. She couldn’t
wait until Maddie’s class started, and ran into the empty
studio to start her own workout.

When Miss Linda came out to collect the girls, Cora stood in her
doorway and screamed, “Look, Miss Winda! I in pink dis

And for forty-five minutes, Cora was either working hard or
watching Maddie’s class intently for pointers. She’d
run into her studio, practice her gallops or skipping in a circle,
then run back to Maddie’s door and watch some more. Cora
stretched tall to try to reach the lowest barre with her hands, and
tried in vain to kick her leg high enough to put it on the barre
like the big girls do. I’m telling you, this kid worked hard,
and I’m reasonably sure that when she’s old enough to
actually take class, she might well test out of the first level.

The good news is that this is costing me nothing. The bad news is
that I may well have a future starving artist on my hands.


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