Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Tiny Dancer

Granddaughter Ellie loves to dress up.

When she gets home every day after "school," she immediately strips down and picks out one of her dress-up outfits to wear for the next few hours.  Usually it's a princess dress, of course.

Ellie loves princesses, and she especially loves Elsa, the princess of Arendelle, in the Disney movie "Frozen." Elsa is the character who has the ability to create ice and snow and who belts out that blockbuster song that we are hearing a lot these days, "Let it Go."

At my last visit to daughter Lindsay's home, I brought along a special gift for Ellie.  No special occasion - just for fun.

Watch as she opens her very own DVD copy of "Frozen:"  (in her swimsuit)

It wasn't long before she was dressed up and dancing to the movie tunes.

It is uncanny how this two year old has memorized so many of the song's lyrics and also knows all the movements the Elsa character will make at any point in the song.

Sometimes Ellie gets ready for the big stage screen, and that's when she dons her blue princess dress and her clear clomp clompy high heels.  Take your seats, everyone.  Ellie's gonna need the entire room for this performance.

I was a dancer many years ago in my youth, too.  When I turned just five years old, my parents enrolled me in ballet and tap classes at a nearby studio, the Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts, in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.  

That was back in the days when dance studios had live piano accompanists.  

Miss Patty taught us dance, while Miss Edie played the piano accompaniment.  Of course there was a wall of mirrors in the front of the studio and ballet bars on two of the other walls.  On the fourth wall was a long bench on which sat the parents and younger siblings.  

Each of us had our own fancy dance bag.  Mine had two handy compartments - one held my ballet shoes and the other larger compartment contained my tap shoes.  

Every week our class included three components - ballet, tap, and some very basic floor gymnastics.

At the end of each class year a dance recital was held at the Wyomissing High School.  I remember taking my little suitcase to these recitals.  It contained my various costumes, my dance shoes, and hair and make-up supplies.  The dance classes lined the hallways with their suitcases, and I sat next to my little blue case until we were called to head for the stage.  

In my first dance recital I danced a tap number, "Do Re Me" and a simple ballet song, "I Feel Pretty."

When my three daughters were little, they also wanted to dance.  Daughter Rachel learned after one year of dancing that it really wasn't her thing.  Later she gravitated towards, well, motorcycles.  Daughters Lindsay and Sarah especially loved ballet and jazz, and both danced from the time they were three years old until their late teens.  When they finally gave up dancing for other life adventures, they had both been dancing on pointe for several years and had made several good friendships with some of the other long term dancers in their classes.

With all the ladies in this family that love to dance, I guess it should come as no surprise that now Ellie loves to dance, too.

It's in her genes.


  1. I took ballet, toe and tap also. I remember Lillian our live piano accompanist. She was great. I never understood our Miss Margaret, my teacher, and Lillian could remember all the different dance recital dances and music. Poor were those the days.

  2. She's so darling. I didn't take dance lessons, definitely not for me. Mom made me struggle through piano and oboe lessons though.

  3. What a sweetie! My second grade students also love this movie!

  4. Ellie is darling. I love the ruby slippers. I haven't seen the movie Frozen yet but I hear it is a wonderful story.