Most of the Princess’ teachers know she’s a dancer. We discuss it with her team at the beginning of each year so we can shuffle homework as necessary on long-studio days, and so they’re aware of competition dates she may miss school. So they know, and they’re fascinated. Then they found out she’s Clara in our studio’s production of the Nutcracker, and they’re asking her nearly every day about her dancing. Cue dorky teenage boys.
The boys…..once they got hold of this, they started giving her grief. They don’t get ballet. In their minds, nerd central. And it seems they’ve been letting P know their opinions. They haven’t been mean about it. She would be the first to let someone know if she’s been bullied. But they don’t get it. They just think tutus, tights, and classical music. They. Have. No. Clue.
I’d love for them to sit in on just one of her classes. Maybe then they would understand how hard she works, how much it physically demands to be a ballerina. Maybe then they would commend her rather than tease her.
I guess in my pride over her dance, I forget how many people, particularly teenage boys, see ballet as nerdy or weird. Since dance has become so big with the help of shows like So You Think You Can Dance, I forget not everyone understands the beauty of it, nor the work dancers put into their craft. In my (apparently blind) mother’s eyes, everyone who knows she dances should just be thinking, “Wow, that’s really cool!”
Some of her teachers are coming to see her dance Clara. I think that’s completely awesome. I’m super excited they get to see that side of their student. She, being a social-status conscious teenager, asks her teacher not to talk about it in front of her classmates. At the same time, she won’t stop dancing, never ever complains about going to class, and doesn’t mind – too much – missing dances and birthday parties when she has classes or competitions. She knows she’s chosen a different, difficult road, but she’s living her dream. She’s just going to do it quietly for now.