I was talking with a friend last week about the Princess’ dancing. I also had a conversation with the Princess about how she’s different than I was at her age. She’s doing more than just dance….she’s learning valuable life lessons, things some of us don’t understand until we’re halfway through life. That alone is worth all the hours in the studio.
She’s learned when you fall, you get back up and keep going. She’s had falls and slips in performances. She’s forgotten steps. She’s gone onstage either missing part of her costume, or with it on not entirely right. But she keeps going as if nothing is wrong. She gets back up and keeps going. She catches up and just dances, with a smile on her face. How many of us still need to learn that lesson? Life is going to kick you in the butt every once in awhile. You can get mired down in the dirt where you’ve fallen, or you can pull yourself back up and keep going. You can get lost in what you’re doing, completely lose your way. Look around, find your anchor, and get back on track. Things may not be perfect, but take it for what it is and keep moving.
She’s in 8th grade, and in spite of being at the studio five days a week, she has all A+’s and one A. She hates that one solitary A. She’s working to bring it up. I kid you not. She’s great at managing her time, and advocating for herself. She’s great at prioritizing. I think I was in college before I worked that all out.
She’s learned sometimes someone else gets what you want. Instead of being jealous or vindictive, use it to push yourself to work harder. She’s learned to set goals, and then ask for help if needed to reach them. She’s learned how to mentor and serve as an example for younger dancers, as is part of her responsibility when you are in a company, performance, or competition ensemble. Even though dance is fairly individual, you all still have to work together as a team to present the best performances/shows.
On top of all that, she’s learned to dance. She has grace, strength, and incredible posture. She has gained a confidence she may not have developed until much later in life were it not for dance.