One day he makes me furious, with his Jekyll and Hyde like behaviours. The next I'm crying out of shear proudness!
My son is a ballet dancer…yes my SON.
Every time music came on he would dance instantaneously and with my dancers eye I could see straight away he had ‘something’. I used to be a ballet and tap dancer, I performed in shows and competitions, I had the perfect build for a ballerina and I was good at it. I remember my teacher practically throwing the letter back at my mum that she had written explaining I would be leaving. She said “if you think I’m going to let Emma just walk out of here you’ve got another thing coming”. The thing is I was adamant I wasn’t going back, as a teenager my social life seemed so much more interesting and in my mums words ‘you can take a horse to water, you can’t make it drink’…12 years on and I will hold my hands up and say that was quite possibly the biggest mistake of my life!
But I digress…Sparks and I talked on many occasions and agreed that Slim should start dancing and should do so before he starts school. We didn’t want peer pressure or the thoughts of others to put him off. So I found a local dance school and enrolled him in a street dance class.
What a disaster!
He cried and cried and cried a bit more!! I was gutted for him because he had been so excited but it clearly wasn’t for him.
Whilst we were there, my toddler, Daisy, notices the little girls in pink tutus going into their ballet class and she was desperate to get in on the action. So sure enough the next week we went along and she got involved. She wasn’t overly enthusiastic but she wanted to go and wanted all the gear; tutu, ballet shoes, and so on.
Over the weeks the teacher noticed Slim joining in at the back of the class. Completely on his own with no encouragement from me. If anything, knowing how explosive and unpredictable he can be, I just wanted him to sit down and be quiet but the teacher asked him to come over and join in.
I was blown away!
He was great and he clearly loved it. The teacher was stunned at his ability and she was completely made up as he then became her first male ballet dancer.
Upon arriving home that day I was excited to tell Sparks that our boy had found his dancing love, ballet. I was shocked at the response! Sparks did not like it. His son, a ballet dancer?! His thoughts were never expressed to Slim nor did we have this conversation in front of him but I was gobsmacked at his reaction. I continued to take Slim and explained his dads reaction to the teacher who advised I asked Sparks to come along one lesson to see Slim dance for himself. You see Sparks also thought I was trying to relive my dream through our son. As he hadn't seen him dance, he didn't realise his amazing natural ability.
Eventually, I persuaded Sparks to come along to a lesson and in that one hour his opinion was changed forever!
What a transformation; from that day on he tells anyone who will listen that his boy is ballet dancer.
Slim and Daisy were given the chance to perform in a show at the Kings Theatre. Something I was given the chance to do in my pre-teen years, but this was around the time I gave it all up so I never made it on this stage. I was so excited for them both – Sparks & I were so proud! Our babies were up on stage!
Slim kept asking when it was his turn again – he loved it! It seems he was born to perform.
During the show they saw the other types of dance on offer and so both started tap as well. Awww their little tap shoes...too cute!
After a while Daisy stopped participating in both the ballet and tap classes. So after weeks of perseverance we decided to take her out; her lack of focus was distracting Slim and other class members as well and if I'm honest I think she was just there for pink tutu anyway. The novelty soon wore off!
Prior to the show, rightly or wrongly, due to the stigma attached (and what with his dads reaction) I kept it relatively quiet that Slim had started a ballet class. Slowly I told few members of the family but I certainly didn't shout about it; then one day his teacher told me “he really is talented at it! I don’t have any other 3 year olds that are that naturally gifted with the ballet”.
And just moments before that I had a lady whom I’d never met before pull me aside to tell me “he’s bloody brilliant”.
I can’t even to begin to explain how I felt at this point. I wanted to shout from the roof tops that my son was a ballet dancer. I left that day with my head held incredibly high, feeling extremely proud of him yet ever so ashamed of myself…
I can’t believe that I was worried what people might think of us or think of my boy being a ballet dancer. I was hiding the very things that define him, I was doing exactly what I feared his class mates to do when he started school;
What president is this setting?
What was it teaching him?
Nothing other than to be ashamed of yourself for doing something you love... that was NOT the lesson I wanted to teach.
Well you know what? I couldn't give a monkey’s toss what anybody thinks.
He enjoys it, he's fantastic at it and I will be actively encouraging him and openly talking about his achievements'. Proud is an understatement!
My son is a ballet dancer...yes my SON!