By Christalee Froese
My six-year-old daughter loves to dance.
We identified her keen interest in dance very early on in her life. In fact, the first day that we received her into our family in a hotel in China, we knew we had a dancing soul on our hands. It was the inaugeral morning of our new existence as a family of four (our new adopted 11-month-old baby, my 14-year-old son, my husband and me).
Each morning of our two-week stay in China, we’d find ourselves dining on the best of Asian buffet at the hotel brunch bar. The first breakfast with our daughter, as we ate pork buns and congi (rice soup), we noticed the child moving rhythmically back and forth in her high chair.
The only music playing was some background classical piano that was hardly danceable, but there she was dancing anyway. We picked up the subtle dance again, as we ascended in the elevator up to our hotel room after brunch.
This became a daily routine with our daughter doing her dance every single time we encountered any kind of music at all.
When we got back to Canada, our musical 14-year-old figured out the piano tune that had played in that first Chinese restaurant. The minute he played it on our piano, our new daughter began dancing again. That’s when we knew we had a dancer on our hands.
What we also knew about our daughter as we got to know her better is that she was extremely joyous and smiley, and very strong willed. We received our first clue to the “strong-willed” side of her character as we visited her orphanage in China and her caregivers politely told us she was the “boss of the babies.”
I wasn’t sure what “boss of the babies” could possibly mean, but as we fast-forward to present-day, I now know.
Journey’s love of dance has only grown over the years, nurtured by the local dance club. She has certainly honed both her dance skills, and her assertive “boss of the baby” skills.
This brings us to the annual Weyburn dance competition last weekend where my dear little dancer and 10 of her dance group partners took to the stage.
The 11 tutu-adorned angels tip-toed out and performed their danced steps on cue. That is, until the part where they had to gallop around in a circle.
My daughter was eager to gallop, but the two younger dancers in front of her were not. That is when the combination of her aggressive dance style and her “boss of the babies” personal style collided.
She scowled at her fellow non-galloping dancer in hopes of eye-balling her into a gallop. When that didn’t work, she pointed in the direction the dancer was to go. When that didn’t work, she did something I absolutely did not see coming. She gave her fellow dancer an abrupt jolt with her shoulder and a hockey-like check with her hip. The stunned little dancer stumbled forward and had no choice but to fall into a gallop.
When the group earned a second-place award for their ballet dance, my dear daughter had only one thing to say, “Mom, do you think it was because we were punching each other on stage?”
“Well honey,” I thought to myself. “You were the only one who did any punching, or hip-checking.”
We’ve suggested that she try hockey—where hip-checking is slightly more acceptable. But our girl loves to dance … and to boss.
Here’s to many years of interesting dance competitions ahead of us.
Email comments to Lcfroese@sasktel.net and follow Christalee Froese’s 21days2joy Blog at 21days2joy.wordpress.com.