Well this year Skyler started “proper” ballet. With the passing months, I must say she is inching closer to dancing like a real ballerina. Mid-September was her big ballet concert where she danced beautifully to the song, Shepherd of My Soul. We celebrated afterwards with ice-cream and I went to bed thinking that was it….done for the year. I soon found out that was not the case. She was to learn a new dance for her first exam of many in her ballet future, the Badge Test. The test took place in November requiring her to practice and extra day a week taking us to 2 days a week.
In November, I received a notice with much underlining and bold detailing the specifications of her exam. She would perform in front of and be graded by judges.
Bolding read as follows:
- Her hair must be pulled back into a pony-tail and it must be a ‘pretty’ pony. Opposed to an ugly one?? Translation- it must be curled and no wisps were allowed!
- She must have clean ballet shoes. Use mentholated spirits….yea, I’ll use ‘spirits’ alright but not to clean the shoes.
- No underwear lines were to show through her leotard. So now I am supposed to try and find a thong for my 7 year old? Translation- don’t wear anything…..I know gross but it was bolded and underlined!
She would be scored according to all specifications and dance. If stellar marks were received she would be awarded a badge. Okay, what happened to ‘everyone wins’? They are 7 for heaven's sake. In addition to the extra afternoon lost from my week, the stress, and the extra prayer time for my already performance based, perfectionist child, I had to pay an entry fee of R100 ($15)…..what a deal! I must also insert, this is definitely new territory for me! I grew up a tomboy with 2 older brothers so anything pink and ballerinas were the last things on my mind!
Well the day finally came. Skyler arrived to her exam dressed according to specifications and sporting her highly flammable ‘pretty’ pony-tail. I was told I must wait outside, only the judges were allowed in the room. So after all I had been through I would not even see her dance….nice! As I sat there praying under my breath and completely stressed out her ballet teacher said, “This is such a nice introduction to the ballet exams, very relaxed and low key.” I had to restrain myself from not harming her!
Two days later (now we had to endure the stress of waiting) Skyler received a sealed envelope containing her results. With both of us holding our breath she ripped it open to find a shiny blue badge. As we drove home she said, “Mommy, I can’t wait til next year to get another badge!”
I think I need a year to recover…and I’ll take those spirits now!