When I watched Fiona’s participation in the high school dance elective before Christmas I realized that her persistent desire to get involved in some sort of dance class needed to be brought to fruition. With her gymnastics class now on a different day from the middle kids’ choir rehearsal she had been enjoying spending choir day at home alone, but she enthusiastically traded that privilege for a couple of dance classes. So she’s now making [at least] two trips a week to Nelson.

With the help of a wonderful friend who has her finger on the pulse of the dance scene in Nelson, we were able to get Fiona inserted into a ballet class and a jazz class that seem to be meeting her needs beautifully. She joined Ballet Level 4, which is mostly 9 and 10-year-olds. She has since turned 11, but because she’s an absolute beginner, she’s feeling challenged amongst a class of slightly younger girls, the majority of whom have been doing ballet for a couple of years or more. She’s picking things up incredibly quickly, and I suspect by next year she’ll be “caught up” with her age-group.

The jazz class is a larger group with a wider range of ages and abilities. It’s super fun and again fitting her very well.

I have no idea where this will go, but she seems very committed and enthusiastic. There’s still the possibility that there will be a local extra-curricular high school dance group for her to join, and I think she’d love doing that as well. I have a lurking fear that her dance interests may continue to grow, and will not always be quite so convenient to fit into an already-planned week. But as always we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. I’m the mom who drove one of her other kids 8 hours each way for violin lessons, after all.

She continues to enjoy the greater challenge of her current gymnastics class. She had a non-competitive meet last weekend and was actually ticked off that her adjudications were just full of kudos, rather than giving her hard feedback on things she could improve. She loves uneven parallel bars is doing particularly well with this apparatus. Perhaps if Sophie is going to require us to rent an apartment in Nelson next year, Fiona could work it out to get more than one gymnastics class a week.


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