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Because my husband works on Saturdays, he has Mondays off. This means we are both available on Mondays to take Summer to ballet class.

And we both would rather not.

As a result, we pretty much have to rock, paper and scissors our way to a compromise.

And this week, scissors did me in. I had to take her.  In the beginning, I was very excited to take my little girl to a “Mommy & Me” ballet class. I mean, how cute! All those girls in their sweet leotards twirling away to the Nutcracker.

Except I’m the one who does most of the twirling. As well as the leaping and stretching and curtsying.  Summer focuses on the whining and the pouting.

Our teacher is a serious ballerina. And she sounds EXACTLY like Minnie Mouse. My first class I asked another mother, “Is that her real voice?!” because it is so insanely high pitched.

So we all follow Miss Serious Minnie Mouse Ballerina as she tells us to put on our listening earrings and make a big balloon with our arms. And by “we,” I don’t mean Summer.

Then comes the part of the class where the girls put on costumes. Despite the fact that one wall of the room is lined with gorgeous, sparkly ballerina dresses, each week the teacher pulls out a box of toddler size potato sack-like costumes made out of felt so our little dancers can dress up as caterpillars or bears or that kind of thing.

Summer wants no part of this. Ever.

But on this particular day, the teacher also pulls out fairy wings and wands for the girls to wear over their felt potato sacks. And suddenly Summer wants in. Keep your sack. Hand me those fairy wings.

summer at ballet class

After class, I ask Summer,

“Honey, you don’t seem to love this class. Do you want to keep going?”

“Yes, just not every day.”

“But we don’t go every day. It’s only once a week.”

Summer looks unconvinced.

Then we head next door for a croissant which is awesome and no one makes us wear listening earrings or anything.

Note to reader: My daughter Dylan goes to a different ballet class which is fun and normal and never taught by Minnie Mouse so please don’t think I’m spearheading an underground Anti-Ballet Movement. I am however considering an Anti-Minnie Mouse Movement.

34 Responses to ballet class is bumming me out

  • Shana says:

    We had a successful experience with “mommy and me swim lessons.” Much less successful with “mommy and me gymnastics class.” I kind of spent the entire gymnastics class thinking, “And I’m paying for this?” But my daughter pronounced it “gym-spastics” and you’ve got to love that.

  • tracey says:

    What is with this new trend to turn ballet class into dress up class? Corinne’s didn’t have it and I am so grateful because that would be ALL she would want to do it it was!

  • Dixie Chick says:

    This week I had to talk the child (who cried buckets when she found out her sister was taking dance), into going this week and I knew it was coming. I didn’t want to sign her up but I did after she cried and cried. She’s four, she changes her mind like the wind. I was outdone this week and our teacher is fantastic and no Minnie Mouse voice. There is no winning with dance lessons.

  • hokgardner says:

    My second daughter loves, loves, loves her dance classes. She’s been in “creative movement” for three years, and this year she’s finally in pre-ballet. I had visions of a strict Russian grande dame beating her cane on the floor and barking orders. At our first “Parent-Watchind Day” I was relieved to discover that class was nothing like my vision of it.

    And while Lily’s in class, I get to go to the big farmers’ market across the street and shop. Win-win!

  • Cathy says:

    i totally understand. I just got done dragging James to soccer once a week, watching him run up and down the field with a pissed off look on his face. You’d think I put him in boot camp. But i asked if he wanted to sign up again and yes one time and no another time, so I’m not sure what I’ll do.

  • Jean says:

    Haha! That picture of Summer is priceless! That part about the ballet teacher though, kinda reminds me about the story regarding Michael Jackson…and how he would talk in a high pitched voice when he first met someone…and then when he got more comfortable, his voice would move into a lower register…don’t know why that reminded me of that but…blame it on nerves, I guess! lol

  • Gretchen says:

    Phrases like “listening earrings” make the hair on my neck stand up. My son’s teacher tells them to “put a bubble in their mouth” to get them quiet. The grumpy old woman inside me wants to just shout “In my day, they just told us to shut up and listen. It was good enough for us!”

  • SoMi's Nilsa says:

    I remember being forced to go to classes when I was young. I’m not sure how long that lasted before I could finally convince my parents to stop letting me go. I think I was in high school before I convinced them that the piano was more than enough and I shouldn’t have to play clarinet anymore. Man, I hated the clarinet.

  • ~Laura says:

    My daughter is three and has a very similar reaction to her ballet class. I can’t say that I blame her. I would love to see the husband make the balloon arms though! Too funny!

  • I suppose I should do one of these classes at some point… But the boy/girl twin thing gets complicated. Even if I could find one activity that would suit both of them, I think I’d just be chasing “the bad one” (a role they alternate) around the whole time.

  • Elisa says:

    Ugh. That class is one of the very few things that scare me about having two girls. The only thing worse would be if it was taught in German, which it probably would be here – hence my avoidance of kids’ ballet classes. I’ll do the post-class croissant any day though 😉

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Why does everything have to be a ‘class’? Provide a playmate and let them dance/dress up on their own. I was given tap dance lessons next to the pool hall, by Elaine the Fat-Never-Got-Off-Her-Ass teacher. She’d sit in a chair and move her feet to teach us tap dancing. I’d sneak out of the tap lessons and watch them play pool, till my mother caught me and it ended the lessons. But I can still do a mean ‘Shuffling Off to Buffalo’ and also play Pool.

  • anna says:

    too funny, i think my daughter also takes minnie mouse’s ballet class (but a drop-off one), she loves her! she also love putting on listening earrings as well as sometimes listening lipstick (i’m not kidding) so you have that to look forward to!

  • francine Kasen says:

    Uh oh. As the mother of a now grown-up dancer, start practicing your French Braiding NOW! It takes a while to perfect, and if your girls are anything like Jenny, they will be checking the view from the back with double mirrors ! Good luck!

  • Bitsy says:

    Summer has the most beautiful eyes! I have somehow managed to avoid ballet for my daughter for 15 years now! I think I’m in the clear. Although she has done almost everything else.

  • Nap Warden says:

    Ugh…I really think it all comes down to the teacher. Miss Peach actually had a teacher who looked at me and said “Make her do it!”

    Ummm…how do I make a toddler do anything???

  • Julie B. says:

    I love to watch my 4yo in her Little Gym dance class even though she has the grace of chimp. But what I do NOT love, is having to see my own reflection in the wall size mirror the entire class. I’m convinced it’s one of those carnival mirrors that make me shorter and fatter than I really am.

  • Betsy says:

    My daughter has been begging for ballet lessons. She is “practicing” all around the house. Of course I just missed the cut off for the current classes- You know, the only class I can fit in around school, etc. I figure that I will get her enrolled and by the time it starts- mid January- she will be interested in something else. I think if her teacher told her to put on her listening earings, she would come home and explain to me that she could not go back to class without getting her ears pierced.

  • Ann says:

    This is a bizarre coincidence.

    The couple that directed the summer theater where Ben and I met…she was a former ballerina and she is the only adult I’ve ever met with THAT EXACT MINNIE MOUSE VOICE.

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kelcey kintner