Reese is such a performer and is always dancing and singing around the house, so I thought that she would enjoy taking a class in dance or gymnastics where she could learn some basic skills, be active and have fun. We signed her up at a local dance company and she started a tumbling class tonight. They started the class with some pretty simple stretching, grabbing their toes and bending and stretching their legs. As they were swinging their legs in the air, Reese kept checking to see if I was looking. Next she instructed the girls to lie on their bellies and arch their head and feet to try to get them to touch. Reese did pretty well at this and was doing a great job following directions. She seemed to be having a very good time! After a few minutes of that, the teacher had the girls lie on their backs with their knees up and hands by their heads. She instructed them to push their belly buttons to the sky and make a table. Reese had some difficulty in attempting this skill and needed several remiders to keep her hands up by her head. She kept doing more of a crab walk, so the teacher had to keep moving her hands up by her head. Reese kept trying but got very frustrated and soon started crying. My heart broke as she sat there on the mat telling me that she just couldn't do it. I tried to tell her that it was ok and to just keep practicing. The teacher gave her a nice hug and some words of encouragement and then they were on to the next skill. Thankfully, grammy Debbie has worked with the kids on somersaults, so Reese was able to perform this skill without much help from the teacher, which boosted her confidence a bit. After somersaults, they moved on to cartwheels. As well as Reese could do somersaults, she was completely opposite on cartwheels. The teacher showed them to fall to the side, touch both hands to the mat and then both feet. Reese took fall to the mat literally and kept falling onto the mat like a ton of bricks! After a few attempts she was very upset and crying again. I wanted so bad to go out on the floor and guide her, but did not feel that that would be appropriate. She was so upset that the teacher had another talk with her and then sent her to get a drink and regroup. When she came back they began hoping on one leg, which Reese did more as a !skip. Finally, they did an obstacle course: slide, crawl through tunnel, balance beam and jump off of the trampoline. Reese did the course 4 times in the time that the other girls did 2! I couldn't believe the energy she had left in her!
Finally they sat back in a circle and the teacher asked each girl to name a hero. She gave the example of anything from superman, to a cartoon character to mom or dad. The first girl said her mom was her hero. When Reese's turn came, she answered dad! I'm thinking that she thought that mom was already taken, so she went with the next best option! Haha! No, it didn't suprise me because she has always been a daddy's girl!
All in all, I think that the class went pretty well. I explained to Reese on the way home that we don't need to cry if we can't do something in class, we will just practice it at home and in class. I revealed to her that I still do not know how to do a cartwheel because I never practiced it, to which she responded, "I will teach you mommy!" I am glad that she actively participated in the class and really seemed to want to learn the skills. It did upset me that she got so worked up over not being able to do something immediately, but that is the way she is with anything, puzzles, getting dressed, playing a game. She is very much a perfectionist like me and gets frustrated very easily if she does not excel at something. Hopefully, this experience will teach her to keep practicing and to have a little more patience. Though if she told me tomorrow that she never wanted to go to dance again, I would respect her decision.