Over the weekend, Levi discovered ballet. It started while we were clearing out some bins in the studio and rearranging furniture (again). We came across a pair of tiny pink ceramic ballet slippers hanging on a pink satin ribbon that I used to have in my room as a child. He asked what they were and from that point on (no pun intended), has been rather curious and enthralled with ballet and just dancing in general. Well, this just made me a wee bit giddy, I must admit. I took ballet classes as a young girl and then again as an adolescent, and while I never would have made a very good ballerina (way too clumsy and incredibly ungraceful, not too mention a bit too chubby), I so loved the ballet and all it represented…the music, the costumes, the passion, the beauty. Without having any picture books on ballet to show him, I pulled up some YouTube clips from the Nutcracker and some of Baryshnikov doing jumps and pirouettes…he still makes my heart skip a beat. Levi was completely in awe. “Mommy, their dresses are so pretty! Are they fairies? How can they stand on their toes like that? Look how high he can jump!!”…and on and on and on. He immediately went into the family room and started hopping and twirling around, sliding on his knees, trying to stand on his toes and throwing his arms in the air with reckless abandon. “Turn on ballet music, Mommy!” Thankfully we often listen to the classical radio station at home, so I didn’t have to go rummaging for a cd!
The following day, he asked if we could make a ballet “dress” (as he called it) for him to wear. Having only a tiny bit of tulle in my stash, we stitched up a little skirt for him to put on over his leggings. Funnily enough, he said that he couldn’t wear it while he was wearing his “boy” ballet outfit and that maybe he would try it on later. I told him to dance in whatever made him feel good and comfortable.
And so he did and has been dancing ever since. We’ll see where this all goes. It might grow into something more than just a passing phase or short-lived interest of childhood, or he might discover that tomorrow he wants to learn more about mountain climbing or canoe-building or bird watching…who knows? What I do know is that right now, my little guy loves to move his body and explore his world, that he is discovering his own versions of beauty through his own experiences…and that when he hears Chopin he wants to dance.
(PS…the canvas that he is dancing on was an old half-finished oil painting from college that was rolled up and cracked beyond repair. I was about to throw it out, but Levi wanted to use it as his “dance floor” instead.)