January is such a ho-hum, month, isn't it? And not for lack of trying. It's just a little bleh. Up here in the Pacific Northwest we see a few days of beautiful sun throughout the month but for the most part, it's grey and foggy and either misting or raining or alternating between the two.
I made the decision this fall that I would not fall victim to a sad winter; we would keep busy and do some activities. So, I signed the girls up for a Creative Dance class, gymnastics, and then we alternate a little bible study/mom's group another day. One to two days at home and then Andy home on the weekends, and there ya go, there's our month gone by in a flash. I joined in on a weekly ballet class, and am looking forward to yoga starting up again.
I am loving the girls' Creative Dance class. It's not about technique or learning specific sequences, it's about feeling the dance and just giving the kids the freedom to move their bodies without any pressure to perform or be "right."
The teacher is sweet and warm with the kiddos (6 little girls in tutus) and she does the most creative prompts. "Today I brought my feathers!" Then she takes her imaginary feathers, puts them on each girl's head, and they become feathers. She does snowflakes and poofs and kitties and all sorts of variations with props like hula hoops and silk scarves. They do a sweet little stretch, practice pointing and flexing their toes, then at the end of class all the mothers come in, we stand in a circle together, and each little girl dances in the middle of the circle to show off her moves.
I've gotten better at not laughing out loud - these girls are soo sweet and when they dance it's the funniest thing. Ruthie, at the first class, just galloped around in the middle of the circle. Literally, she galloped. I think my lip bled from biting it so hard, trying not to break down laughing. She has since expanded her repertoire to twirls and hops but I will always, always remember that gallop. I've stored it in my heart and I'm sure that one day, when she's a teenager and we are at odds over something, that image of her proudly galloping around like a pony with her little toddler booty in a leotard will pop into my head and I won't be able to keep from chuckling.
Afton, on the other hand, is a more coordinated kid. She will be a natural later in life at whatever physical activity she puts her mind to, if she can learn the patience. Her favorite move right now, besides twirls, is a toddler-version of an arabesque. She easily balances on one leg and just seems to have a knack for moving. Since I struggle in that area I'm glad for her - maybe she'll stick with dance! But she also doesn't have the determination that Ruthie does to learn and master something.
I can see that an activity like this will really booster their self-confidence and their self-consciousness. I'm hoping activities like this at a young age will burn "dance like no one is watching! " into their psyches.
What activities are you up to this season?