Friday, September 16, 2011

Dance Class Experiment

Morgan started her first dance class today! This is something I've debated about for a long time. I took ballet and other types of dance throughout my childhood. I took the time to consider this carefully for Morgan. I didn't want it to be because I did it and wanted her to experience it. I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment if she hated it either. I built it up to her over a period of time. When she danced with the kids on TV shows I'd ask her if she liked dancing. She always says yes. I'd then asked her if she would like to take a dance class and try to explain what it would be like. Early on she said no, but when we saw clips of a ballet class on TV I asked her and she'd say yes.

So, I head about a studio from one of the Moms in Morgan's preschool class last year. I called and talked to the owner/teacher this summer about classes. She gave me the details, but I thought I'd check out some other places as well. I didn't think Morgan was quite ready yet either. Then a few weeks ago I got a postcard in the mail from another local program I'd heard about. When I called, the director was a little pushy. When I mentioned Morgan's autism she became very nervous and suddenly seemed very negative. This wasn't the place for us.

I called the original studio again and the owner was so sweet when I expained about Morgan's autism. She offered to let Morgan try it out for a few weeks without us paying yet. So, that Friday we went to check it out... it is the sweetest little place. You open the door right into the studio and there are big mirrors all around. The teacher wasn't there yet, so we played around a bit. Morgan and Piper loved running around and watching themselves "dance." I found some little tap shoes (they were having a shoe swap that day) to try and Morgan LOVED tapping...or pretty much stomping around in them. I didn't know how she would handle the noise, so I didn't want to run out and buy some. I asked her a few more times if she wanted to take a class and she said yes. We observed the class for a bit and the teacher (a different one from the owner) encouraged us to come back.

So...the next Friday approached and I went out and bought Morgan a leotard and tights at Target. They had the ballet and tap shoes at Payless. She was set!  Here's how it went...

The kids start off "stretching" at the beginning of class. Morgan sat some and other times got up and ran around. Notice Piper participating too!

"Butterfly" stretches. When the teacher asked what color everyone's butterflies were, Morgan said her's was orange (of course!). I was so glad she answered the question.

The girls at the barre on one side of the room. The girl on the far left was in Morgan's preschool class last year.

Another little barre on the other side. This was one of the few times Morgan actually stood still!

Piper wanted to dance too!

A sort of ring around the rosie dance

I think they were "dancing" to some pretty ballet music this time. Notice Morgan and another girl tending to their "wedgies." Oh, and Piper's in there too!

Checking herself out... again.

Little fairies "falling asleep" after their wand dance. Notice Piper. Where's Morgan? Looking at herself in the mirror of course!

Tapping!! One of the few times she was listening.

The girls getting their "treats" after class. I hope this isn't a metaphor for Morgan's life...

Now she joined in!

Really, the pictures make it look like she participated more than she did. I was exhausted after class trying to get Morgan to focus. Hmmm, probably a lost cause at this point. The teacher said Morgan did way better than she thought she would! I felt better and ws more encouraged to come back after that. This teacher was substituting for the owner/teacher that day, so I wanted to see what she thought as well, since it was her class. We'll see how it goes!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She did amazing! Nora's first class she didn't participate at all until the class was over and then she was really mad she didn't get to play.