She Dances When Everyone’s Watching


I could tell something had changed in my daughter this summer.

She’s sprouted up a few inches this summer – jeans that fit during the abnormally cold month of June are now Sullivan County flood weather appropriate. 
But it wasn’t that. 
She turned four this summer, graduated from the line between toddler and pre-schooler to fully the latter. 
It wasn’t that either. 
She’s been singing. And dancing. 

Signed up for a music class at Bethel Woods earlier this month so I could cover the partnership between the performing arts center and the Jeffersonville-based arts education facility, the Janice Center, she’s caught the bug. 
I’m afraid she may have her mother’s tone-deaf sensibilities, but it doesn’t matter. She’s also inherited my utter lack of modesty. 
Put them together, and you have a child who stands outside the ice cream stand in Callicoon hopping back and forth on the deck, her head back, her mouth wide open. 
No one had to tell her to dance like nobody’s watching – she’d prefer they are. And if they’re laughing, all the better. 
What was supposed to be a job for me, an opportunity to share the news with all of you has turned into one of the best experiences of her summer. She is at once enamored with the sounds she can make and the movements to match them. 
Allowed to beat two sticks together? It doesn’t matter if it’s in time, she’s in heaven. 
Told she can make a tambourine jingle? She’ll shake what the teacher gave her. 
While other parents in the western end of the county have raved about Music Together classes for their kids, I’ve held back for fear of buying into the new push toward over-scheduling our kids. 
What does she need classes for? She’s got fresh air and a backyard to play in. 
Leave the organizing for the city kids who don’t have a slide behind their houses or sandboxes to dig in. 
Forgive me, world, for I knew not what she was missing. 
Her life, it seemed, needed a soundtrack. And now mine is a string of crazy words . . . loud and off-key. 
I’ll dance to it too – just don’t look. 
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