The Little Ballet Books of Indoctrination Still Work
Many moons ago, probably starting somewhere around 2005, I collected ballet books to keep in the foyer of one of the dance studios I taught at to entertain my little dancers while they waited for their class to start. They were simple, charming books like Emily’s Dance Class, Katy Duck Goes to Ballet Class, Ballerinas are Special, Gallop! and so on. Not only were these great distractions for small children, it was yet another injection of “YOU LOVE BALLET YES YOU DO” that I could give them outside of class time.
I was pretty proud of the library I’d been able to build up, and lucky me! The parents kept my books relatively rip-free. Even the sticky fingers were at a minimum.
Fast forward to today, when I have my own toddler to rear. This evening was one of those rare moments when I didn’t have to teach, dinner was simple, and I wasn’t taking on another ambitious baking or sewing project during my daughter’s waking hours. This meant that I had the presence of mind to ask her if she wanted to read extra books before bedtime.
She asked for “Cindalella,” but as I pulled that book from the shelf, another book slid out with it: Emily’s Dance Class. Roz had forgotten this book existed, though we’d read it several times within the last year. She was already wearing her tutu and ballet slippers, and she was intrigued. “Cindalella” was quickly forgotten. Emily’s Dance Class earned 2 reads before we moved on to 4 or 5 other ballet books. Each book was well received – even the ballet history book that’s oriented more towards 7-10 year olds.
I’m not sure I can explain how much my heart swells to see my own daughter so excited about two things I love – ballet and books. I’m pretty sure I won to child lottery on this one.
Then it was time for bed, and she carried the new beloved books to her bedroom. I think this was a way to have her morning reading material ready to go as soon as she woke up.
Now I don’t know who has the ballet bug more – me, or her. There was a great deal of YOU LOVE BALLET YES YOU DO NOW SIGN YOUR DAUGHTER UP tonight. I was planning to wait until at least this summer before signing her up for an official ballet class, but it’s hard to exercise patience on sweet nights like this.