At our studio, we have a month we’re we do summer intensive classes. The levels aren’t broken up so extensively, due to the smaller size, but the kids who attend take classes for a greater part of the day, having a variety of different types of classes, special teachers brought in, and really good hands on instruction.
For the younger ones, we have continuing classes, depending on size and median age range for each level, some are able to get intense in their own right.
I teach two of the classes on Saturday: 3-5 year old ballet and 6-8 year old ballet.
The classes only last one month, which we are halfway through, and it seems to be the freaking summer of prodigies, at least for my classes. There’s a couple in each class, it seems, and even then the rest seem way above their peers for the most part.
It’s an exciting thing for a teacher. To have kids in class that are excited to learn and grow. To teach them things a bit above where they should be and for them to soak it up and blow your mind.
My favorite class is the 6-8 ballet. They’re all around the same age, though a few are technically 5 1/2, but none are older than 6. And they’re all doing things that I would give to the 8 year olds, and they’re doing really well with it. It’s exciting to be able to introduce things to them that are a bit complex and really get to work with them on it, knowing that in the gal they’ll be so very prepared to handle anything that comes their way.
The 3-5 ballet is good, too. The struggle there is the class is split, 3 year olds and 5 year olds. Some of the 3 year olds are brand new and struggle to focus a little. Some of them do just fine and work really hard. It’s still a good class, especially considering 3 year olds are just that–three. years. old.
I love these ages so much. The kids are so happy and so excited. They’re full of dreams and light. They remind me that life is worth fighting for and that there are good things in the world, even when so much is bad.
There’s one girl I had last week who was brand new to our studio. I gave her complex explanations of things and she just jumped right to it with incredible technique. She is a natural, in every sense of the word. She takes it slow if she needs to to make sure she’s doing it exactly right, which even at 5 1/2 can be hard to come by. So often they just want to get through the work to the “fun stuff.” When you find one who finds the work fun, it’s a recipe for immense success. She’s so happy and excited and loves hugs.
Her mom told me that she’s never seen her like this. That usually she is a reserved child. That she’s never been so excited about a class or a teacher or an activity like this. Her schedule is sort of complicated, as they live out of town and she’s pretty active in different things, but hopefully we can work with her and have her stay with us in the fall.
I’ve heard of students you see and as soon as you meet them they’re excited about them and their potential. She’s one of them. And then this past week another one walked in the door. It’s blowing my mind.
I get to be a part of these kids lives. How cool is that? Every single one of these kids I teach, I have a part in who they become, even if they forget me and who I am completely.
I try not to take that lightly.
And, for sure, their impact on my life will resound for years to come.
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.