Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dancing our way through Christmas

Our grandkids love to dance. ViMae will tell you she wants to be a ballerina, and she can show you her best moves and her several tutus. She wanted to take classes, but around here you have to be four to enroll. So in the meantime, she twirls and spins and practices raising her leg to there. Augie joins in by grabbing her arm and swinging her around until one or both fall down. Then they laugh and do it again.

This fall Peter and I took them both to some free noontime presentations by the St. Paul City Ballet. The sessions graduated from barre exercises to snippets of a ballet-in-progress, and finally fully costumed excerpts from the company's holiday production. The Enchanted Toy Shop borrows some music from The Nutcracker; Augie recognized it as being from Disney's Fantasia. They love the Nutcracker Suite portion of Fantasia, and Augie can hear two notes of music and tell you exactly what it corresponds to--for example, the dancing mushrooms, the turnips, or his favorite, "the flowers that fall down over a waterfall."

We explained that the music was first written for a ballet, and the kids said they'd like to see it. Cue another great opportunity. A local dance school was presenting a 20-minute version of Act 2 of The Nutcracker at Rosedale Mall on Wednesday evenings before Christmas. We met the kids and their parents for dinner and then found the performance just as it began. The kids made a beeline for chairs up front and watched every step. This was no virtuoso performance, but it was up close and lively, and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it.

A few days later, we watched parts of two new DVDs--Act 2 of the Nutcracker followed by the corresponding segment of Fantasia. They loved both, and they danced around the den the whole time we were watching.

On Christmas morning at their house, The Nutcracker was playing as they opened gifts, and again they danced. Look at that picture of Augie, wearing his elf hat and red pajamas, dancing like the "action elf" he claims to be.

It will be some time before they are old enough to sit through a full-length performance, but a Christmas Nutcracker is definitely in their futures.


18 comments:

Ms Sparrow said...

I took my granddaughter to the Nutcracker some years ago. Alas, I can't afford to take my three great granddaughters. It's gotten too expensive!

Jeanie said...

I love the pictures of you little Christmas dancers.The dancing elf picture is priceless. I have taken my oldest granddaughter to "The Nutcracker" a couple of times and we both loved it.

DJan said...

Yes those pictures are priceless, and you are giving them a gift that will only grow as they do. Thanks for sharing their joy! :-)

Far Side of Fifty said...

What fun to watch them dance! ViMae's outfit looks so pretty! :)

Retired English Teacher said...

I loved these photos. You are giving them gifts that will last a lifetime.

lesinfin said...

I agree with RET--these gifts will last a lifetime. Your photos are lovely, as always! Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family! xoxo

Accidentally Angela said...

What a lovely and fun post! I love that they were dancing themselves while watching it at home. Definitely memories for a lifetime. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier too. :) Have a wonderful New Year with your family...Angela

Pearl said...

So sweet. I hope they dance for a long time...

Pearl

Kitty Moore said...

They are adorable! Happy New Year to you and your family x

sell wow accounts said...

they look so cute!:)

laurie said...

so cool! and you are such great grandparents to expose them to the arts. my niece danced in the nutcracker for years, starting when she was 6 and working her way up to the lead role. i learned that dancers call it, in an offhand, "we aren't excited by anything anymore," blase way, "the big nut."

but secretly, she was always excited. of course.

Allyson said...

I think it's absolute genius that area troupes are offering snippets of The Nutcracker instead of forcing children to sit through the entire thing. That is a fabulous idea! And it encourages them to build their love for ballet without punishing them for not being able to sit through 2 hours of dance.

Deb Shucka said...

The dancing elf is one of the best things I've seen all season. It's so cool that those kids love dance and feel free enough to express themselves in dance. It's also really cool that the adults in their lives are paying attention.

California Girl said...

Dancing children without inhibitions...I love that as well.

Happy New Year to you and your family. May it bring you peace, health, love and happiness.

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Misdemeanor said...

When your kid loves ballet, enroll her in a ballet school.

Roof Leak Repair said...

I simply wants to say happy New Year to you and your family. May it bring you peace, health, love and happiness.

Societe panama said...

It will be some time before they are old enough to sit through a full-length performance.

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