My daughter, Lexi, has been taking ballet for about a year now. This past weekend we were treated to the fruit of her labor as her class performed their final concert for the year. I personally, at great expense to myself, sacrificed many hours driving her to her lesson in another town. You might say, “But Adam, doesn’t all that driving mean you get to listen to whole albums uninterrupted? That’s not much of a sacrifice!” You hush. It’s my turn to talk, not yours.
Anyway, my lovely little squeegiedunk had been practicing her dance week after week for months. With the aggressive focus, dedication, we often ascribe to Olympic athletes. “Do you want to play with your ponies?” I would ask. “No, Papa” she would say in a cultured British accent, “I must practice for my concert.” I have no idea where she picked up the accent. It must be all the Doctor Who.
Ha! Ha! I’m kidding of course. I never ask her that because then I have to play with ponies.
Anyway, with all this practice, I knew that when we sat down we were going to be treated to some bonna-fide triple A class dancing. Naturally that is what Lexi delivered. She was the best dancer in the show. She upstaged all of the older girls that had been dancing for almost half a century. She was the epitome of poise and grace. Her lines were flawless. The fact that I am her father almost assuredly has no bearing on my opinion whatsoever.
The other girls in her class… well…
I am not sure they were aware that there was any choreography to begin with. They kind of moved their limbs around haphazardly as though they were told about the dance a mere ten minutes before the show. Let it be known that I do not place any blame with their teacher. I can’t imagine what it’s like to try and get twelve four-year-olds to do anything. Actually, I can imagine what that’s like. I imagine it’s like going into a chicken coop and gathering twelve chickens, getting them into a studio, and teaching them how to dance. “Okay, chickens, first positions!” says the teacher.
Then one of the chickens poops on the floor. Another chicken begins pecking at another chicken for no reason. Then yet another chicken flaps its wings aimlessly in the corner of the studio oblivious to both the other chickens and the teacher. I would imagine that after an hour or so the teacher would just gather up the chickens and head to the nearest Chik-Fil-A. “Here,” she says dumping a bag of chickens on the doorstep. “I hope they’re delicious because they’re terrible dancers.”
In other words, I’m amazed that the kids did anything at all! I’m more amazed that their instructor can still speak in complete sentences and walk around like all that chicken-wrangling is no big deal. Oh great… now I’m hungry for chicken.