They are hooked, and musical movement is now their world! A dancer is born! Dad’s dreams of a soccer star in the family are forever lost. Mom heads to the dancewear store to buy the world’s tiniest leotard and ballet slippers. In palest pink, of course.
So, now what happens?
I see dance as art. Fun, exciting, heart-pumping, brain-cell expanding, character-building, yes…. but first it is art, no matter what age the dancer is.
Recently, I heard a wonderful commentary on the nature of enjoying art:
The viewer shouldn’t be led through a piece of art to understand its meaning. They should be allowed discover it.
It’s that initial spark that the artist (dancer, painter, musician…) feels when they are creating and the appreciation that the viewer feels when they see it. All can create the same joy in the artist and in the observer. It doesn’t mean that properly training the technique of the artist (in this case, the dancer) is ignored. In fact, it is the technique that allows the dancer to be truly free.
What is amazing to me is that in that tiny, newly-realized dancer’s moment of uncoiled freedom, as she gleefully waddles to the floor, without any explanation or instruction from anywhere but within her little soul, she understands the feeling of pure joy that fills her!
The tiny, tippy-toe steps she takes in her first dance class are her first steps to creating her own dance, her own life, of her own creation. It’s a powerful moment and it never ceases to amaze me to witness it.
What a triumph to be lucky enough to witness that miracle at work every day! What a lucky, lucky girl am I. All these years later, thanks to Fred and Ginger (and Mom and Dad and public television), I am still wearing those palest pink ballet slippers, and still feeling the magic!