{Dee-tales} The Turning "Pointe"

Have you ever tried to think wayyyyy back to when you were little to see if you could pin point one of your earliest memories? I have! I legit remember sitting in a packed auditorium with dozens of family members watching my big Cousin G glide around on a stage in a whirlwind of taffeta and a tornado of tulle. {I was 2 years old...just shy of 3!}

Her moves were magical. Breezy like a swan. Gorgeous! Beautiful. Cousin G and her dance classmates painted a masterpiece up on that platform. The stage was their canvas and they completely transformed it with every swirl of their perfectly pink ballet slippers. Their shiny black taps commanded attention from the first beat of a Charleston tune to their last strike of a double wing. The sounds! The rhythm! The 8-counts! 

{SIGN ME UP, MA! Get me some shoes, Dad!}
I wanted in. 

Fast forward just a few months later, and I genuinely recall my dance teacher taking me by the hand and walking me back to a room full of other 3 year olds. I remember seeing a handful of gals cry out for their Moms. One girl hid. Another was swinging from the barre. I remember standing in place like an absolute NERD...waiting and hoping for the teacher to call on me. CoCo + Big M always said I was a tiny old lady - an old soul who liked to follow the rules. 

I was so excited for dance. Hurry up and teach me!

My oldest friendships today are those I share with my dance friends. I don't really call them friends, actually - I call them family. We were from all walks of life and when we joined together in the name of sequins and lycra, the WORLD was our stage, man. For approximately 3 minutes, we'd rock the heezie out of a wooden floor. Thinking back to those days makes me well up with happy tears. I treasure that time of my life, and I'm so ridiculously grateful to my parents for giving me something to call my own. {I can't throw a ball, but I can do a ball-change, yo!}

I loved dance because it made me feel alive. Dance taught me about team work - trust - loyalty - commitment. It taught me to be completely devoted to something and to give it my all. I remember being so in sync with my dance partner J at one point, that we could tell if we were even a millisecond off from each other's timing! We could fully alter our focus during a number and match up with each other's footing so no one could tell the difference. It was surreal, to say the least!

The laughs I shared with my dance girls are beyond compare. I can't think of them without wanting to smile. I LOVED competitions. {Adrenaline junkie!} Everyone would caravan up to Connecticut, New York City, Canada - wherever! We stayed in hotels, we met for meals, we practiced in the halls, we were always in leos, we did each other's make up, we learned how to braid during down time. What will always remain special to me is the bonds we shared OUTSIDE of dance class, as well. I think it really says something great about friendships if you can spend 3-4 nights a week - several hours at a time - and allllll Saturday morning with a set of people and STILL want to try to find time to hang out with them. {Those are those true blue ones, ya know?}

I'm rambling!

Let's fast forward many years after my senior year and let's jump on over to the Twinados' first dance class. Summer session. We enrolled them in Heaven's gift to our neck of the woods. To say I adore this dance centre is an understatement! The truly talented owner is brilliant {a gem!}, the staff is a powerhouse, the students are delightful and the families are sweet. It's a class act - and I was honored just to even attend their Open House!

My duo was 3 days shy of their 3rd birthday. {Following in Mommy's time steps! hehe} Now, as soon as they were born, they wiggled around their cribs, wore tutus on top of tutus, skipped around the house in my shoes, shook their tooshies to every song on the radio. They were ready to rock and roll, right? 

"1 year before the Twinsanity!

Well...hmmm. {Hold that thought!}

Are you holding?!

At their first official lesson, they were totally, utterly, officially NUTS! Not sure if it was the seriously awesome mirrored walls or the fun bubblegum wall color or the freedom to just RUN that made them go bonkers, but they went...certifiably...BONKERS! They goosed each other! Made monkey faces. Smooched the mirrors. Yelled! Asked for Kleenex like little old women. Belly laughed. Waived to me through the window. Threw in a chasse' every now and then. Played tag. High-fived other kids.

Want to know the best part? MY DANCE TEACHER WAS THEIR DANCE TEACHER! {Really, ladies? Now? Really?!!} As much as I was mortified and wanted to glissade myself right the H on outta there, I saw this as a little life lesson for them. I told myself that I wouldn't let them quit. {Even if they were still only toddlers!} I wanted to teach them to be committed to something....to continue on with the cycle my parents put in place. So we stayed. Ohhhh, let me tell you the patience my beloved Miss K had...and still has.{Special props to student teacher Miss A, as well!} I think I blessed her morning, noon and night on Dance Days. We made it all the way to recital dress rehearsal and the girls actually did it. Goodness gracious, they did it! They did the dance, and I thought we were in the clear. {CoCo has it on video!}

Until the next day AT recital. 

I forgot to tell them that they would pull a curtain in front of them before they'd see us in the audience. {Rut-roh, Scooby!} As I stood in the back of the auditorium ready to run back to them as soon as the last beat of the song hit, I heard it. Couldn't deny that chirpy bird voice was one of my "dainty" doves. Curtains opened...

"MOOOOOOMMMMMYYYYYYY" {Dear God, please let that screech be part of the music!}

There she was...vocal T-1, shouting out to her "BFF" through the entire song. T-2 stood with her hands over her mouth, looking at her sister the whole time, while I stood nervously smiling through the longest minute and a half of my life. 

But then it happened. On the last, ultimate, final, note of the song...T-1 hit the ending move. SHE DID IT! Even while still crying, that little nugget remembered the last move and stuck those tiny baby jazz hands in the air. {SO PROUD! I'll take it!} It's true, T-1 bawled through her big debut...and T-2 was a Mini Mime without the face paint and beret, but they didn't run off! Mama saw progress. Teensy weensy progress!

Stop. Hammer time.

Keep that hand on the fast forward button...because about a month and a half later, the gals went to summer dance class a few days after their birthday. {Seeing a pattern here?!} They told me they were "4" now, so they wouldn't joke around anymore. {#yeahsure} And they didn't! {What the heck?!} Whatever you say, primas! They had a super fun 3-week summer session, they begged to sign back up in the fall {reverse psychology...I told them they should do something else}, and we're now almost ready to finalize their 2nd year of dance.

There is still the occasional loony outburst and drift off into Twinado Land, but they have a solid set of dance besties, they count down the days 'til their next lesson and they even practice at home on their own! {Although things are steady, I now bless the other Miss K and Miss L each week...just for good measure!} Chapter "Four" is shockingly amazeballs.

{Prima Princessa}

With that all said above, I want to tell you about a dance video company that is CUTE beyond compare! Founded by two smartie moms, Prima Princessa Productions is a pinnacle place for budding ballerinas. This dream team figured out a way to cleverly introduce the art of dance to young Pavlovas by combining world-class ballet, animation and music into 3 darling DVDs...

The Nutcracker

Sleeping Beauty

Swan Lake

The Twinados chose to first watch the Sleeping Beauty tale. {Aurora's a pretty big deal around here!} A vibrant cartoon fairy narrator, Prima Princessa, happily encourages kiddos to dance from the heart, express themselves through creative movement and show off their skills to the tunes of classical melodies. From the very first sunshiney scene to the ever-so-great grand finale, you embark on an adorably whimsical journey. {Even the menu graphics are precious!}  Prima P's cheerful voice invites sweeties to view portions of famous ballet productions and actual stage footage is shown throughout the clips. {Incredible angles! Swooooon. Those costumes!}

The special demonstrations given by student dancers from the School of American Ballet {the official Academy of the New York City Ballet} were a favorite of mine...and an instant head turner for the gals. As a Mamarina, it was endearing to see the girls mimic the dancers' steps and try to pronounce the accompanying words on the screen. Hearing 4-year-olds say Bourree' and Saute' was just marvelous music to my ears!

And...let's talk about when they were asked to do a Passe'. They FLIPPED out! Eyes wide as fouettes because they had already learned that at their studio. {Ma!!!! We know dis from dance! They do it yike us!} 

Grabbing my twins' attention is a work of art - and these super fun instructional videos are the Picassos of their generation, let me tell you. 

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one scene that showed a little puppy dancing on its hind legs - a star was born - according, to my chicks! {Hmm...now there's another line of videos for ya, PP! Our credit card is in hand!}

As a "Dancer turned Dance Mom" - I'm thoroughly impressed with all of the fine details in these videos and even more wow'ed by additional offerings on www.primaprincessa.com. Games, craft ideas, party tips, treats - it's no wonder this company has been featured in People, Redbook and Parenting.com!

Prima Princessa Productions is officially...

Celebrate TuTu Tuesday with me by giving Prima Princessa a look. Then...head on over to my Facie page for a chance to win your own little piece of Prima! 

Yours in Arabesques and Attitudes...

1 comment:

  1. cry cry sob sob - lots of memories - Edison Hotel in Times Square, dining at Mama Leone's, braiding hair in the hallway, good ship lollipop, that was then, this is now - glad to see the tradition continues