Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My Girl

My girl, Gracie, is so fearless that she flies herself into floors, walls, and door jams on a weekly or more basis, and almost never cries. She is the indestructible girl, who I like to think of as HeMan with a dress on. Or maybe the female version of her dad.

Alongside her dresses, she has been begging me to take ballet. She has always loved dancing. Even before she could walk she was swaying her hips to the music, and for as long as she could form just a few words, she would always ask Andrew and I to turn up the music in the car. So this month she started taking a 45 minute dance class once a week down the street that is half tap and half ballet.

Me and my girl with our tap shoes on.

Before her class, I couldn't help but whip out my college tap shoes, turn on some jazz, and show her some stuff. I forgot how fun it is! I think the last time I put my tap shoes on was in college. This reminded me of how all our college Bible study's apartments (typical Westwood style was 5 roommates to two bedrooms, so there were a lot of us to cause mayhem) used to get a kick out of tormenting each other, everything from brutal balloon fights to all kinds of pranks, including one apartment frying my gold fish and sticking it to my door. Thus, I got a kick out of practicing tap in my kitchen every night for apartment 101 below to listen to and enjoy for 20 weeks. After awhile they said they could hear I was improving.

Gracie doing the crab. I'm not really sure how that relates to ballet or tap.

Notice how the majority of kids in her class are blond. Scandinavian Minnesotans.

The next day, Gracie was wearing a flamenco dress, which I had brought back originally for my niece, Zoe, when I had studied a semester in Spain nine years ago. We like to flamenco dance in our living room to flamenco music.

She loves wearing my flamenco shoes.

Our neighbors showed up, so she got too shy to show us her flamenco arms. She's really good at it though, so I will eventually try to get a picture up of her at it. They tried dancing with her to get her to loosen up, to no avail.

Andrew said in his letter to her maybe one day she would be a performer. So maybe her constant falls, or rather, her fearlessness, is not so contrary to her love of music and dance and her very loud, I mean, strong, voice. I was always told that to be a dancer, you had to be fearless; fearless of falling, fearless of hurting yourself. Maybe she just got both of us in her, and afterall, her dad and I were one. We weren't contrary. We were complementary.

My girl's 3 year-old amazing dancer foot.