When Adelaide was two years old, she began asking to take ballet lessons.
I, of course, was thrilled. I spent ages three through eighteen camped out in a dance studio in my spare hours, and now Adelaide, too, could know the thrill of having ugly ballet feet but killer legs. Joy!
I did a little homework, and found that she could take classes at a studio fifteen miles north, one fifteen miles to the south, or one located two blocks away. Because I always prefer walking to driving, the Huxley studio became our first choice. I checked out their website, asked around, and set up an appointment to tour the studio and meet the dance instructor.
And that's where I went a little crazy.
I loved- loved- my former dance teacher, Mrs. Camp. Naturally, I wanted Adelaide to have what I had growing up, so I started to compile a mental list of all the attributes her new teacher must possess. After I got to around the thirty-seventh bullet point, even I realized I was starting to sound a leetle bit crazy, so I instead switched to a yes- or no- question format that I could pose to this poor woman when I met her. The list of questions went something like this:
What kind of exercises would I see in your average class?
How many shows does your studio perform per year? Would Adelaide be expected to participate in all these?
Around what age do you put girls en pointe?
Is this there some sort of funk or hip hop team she might audition for when she's older, or any sort of elite or advanced team of any type?
Are your recital costumes overly revealing or provocative?
-See? I started off relatively normal. But soon, things started to get... not quite so normal.-
What sort of moral code do you possess? Do you think it's your responsibility to integrate those ethics and morals into your daily life to the extent that it's very obvious to everyone around you, including but not limited to the dancers you are training?
Are you, yourself, an excellent dancer? Do you demonstrate and go through the exercises and routines with your students?
Do you know how to be silly?
Do you have the extreme tolerance and self control needed to work with groups of hormonal and extremely emotional teenage girls?
Can you yell things like, "Keep your legs together, girls!" when my daughter is leaving the studio when she gets older?
Will you love my daughter unreservedly?
Is there any way you could dye your hair red?
Fortunately, I stopped myself there, and didn't ask a single one of the latter, possibly more inappropriate questions when I finally met Adelaide's new teacher. Our daughter did end up taking classes there for a year, but elected not to continue at the end of the term. I was a little relieved; the studio was nice enough, and I liked her teacher, but it just didn't seem to measure up to my (impossibly high) expectations.
I got to visit my old studio and see Mrs. Camp when we were down South last week.
Would it be a little extrme to move almost seven hours South just so our daughter can take dance classes at a certain studio?