Sydney started dance company last week. Yes, she is four and in company. Call me crazy if you want, and yes this is a decision we agonized over for several weeks. It is a lot of time, a good bit of money, and a lot of work and commitment for a four year old. But, in the end, when it came down to it - this is her thing. She loves it. Most four-year-olds play house. Well, while she does her share of it, she also spends a good share of her time choreographing routines. Last year, I would say she spent a good thirty to forty minutes a day practicing her routine. The kid is committed.
Learning the company routine for this year - A Michael Jackson mix. (Ever watched a four year old try and pop?)
She is definitely at the end of the pack on skill, but she should be, because she is the youngest. I love it for her though, because she is having to work a lot harder (and she has that whole four-year-old coordination thing to work against as well.) Right now they are doing their summer practice where they are in with the entire company (up to the high school seniors) and the look of determination on her face is priceless. One thing I love about company is the willingness of the girls to help one another. If Sydney isn't getting something and the teacher stops to help someone else, one of the older girls will immediately walk over to Sydney and start working with Sydney to help her figure her part out. They really work as a TEAM! (Oh, and did I mention that the mom's are the same way?? None of the snooty stuff we were dealing with before!)
But, in true Sydney form, she is not the least bit intimidated by the older girls...
The first day they had them sit in a big circle (around 40 girls) and say their name, age, grade, and something they were doing this summer. After each girl Sydney would say, "And next." Then, when it got to one of the teachers, Mrs. Brittaney, and she said her age, 28, Sydney's response was, "Old, old, old."
This all before she found a mini deck of Uno cards in my purse. She decided that she wanted to play with her new friends. (Did I mention that the older girls fuss over her like crazy?) She wanted to play during a water break, but was told she didn't have time. I told her to put the cards back in my purse and assumed she did. Well, towards the end of class (45 minutes after the water break) I see her tugging at her tights. So did her teacher. Apparently, she had stuck the cards down the front of her leotard. Through the turns and leaps, the deck of cards had slowly been making their way down the front of her leotard, into her tights, and down the leg. She spent the last five minutes of class trying to shove them back up the leg and at least keep them hidden under her skirt. When Brittaney asked if that was the cards Sydney of course denied any knowledge of said cards.
I've been told by both Brittaney and Jordan that this may be a tough year, because they don't know if they'll ever be able to actually get mad at her. I assured them the cuteness does wear off.