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  • After having two boys, I now have a little girl. My daughter, Gracie. When Gracie is three, I decide that she should begin ballet. I had danced all the way past high school, even being accepted into the Harrisburg Repertory Dance Company. I believe that having dance training makes you carry yourself differently for the rest of your life. It teaches one grace.

    I wanted Grace to be taught grace. We signed up and the first class went well. Not so the second week. On the way over to the ballet class, Gracie, who is more than a bit miffed at me for pulling her away from her toys and her play, begins to undress in the back seat of the car. By the time we arrive, she is naked! If you have never tried to dress a child who is working against you, struggling to get away, undressing as fast as you redress, you don't know what you have missed. It gives the experience an added dimension when the aforementioned child is resisting wearing leotards. After four weeks of doing batte with the naked ballerina, I conceded. I gave up. We stop the weekly torture of ballet lessons.

    Two years later, at the dinner table, Gracie surprises me by asking why she no longer takes ballet? I said that it became a battle and I didn't want to fist fight over it. She then asks if she can take ballet lessons again. I say of course she can. And she does, for many years. So what had changed? Once it became Gracie's choice, her intrinsic desire to take ballet lessons, we never fought about it again.

    image source: Edgar Degas, Ballet Rehearsal
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