Saturday, June 20, 2009
Another school year and year of after-school activities gone by, and Roxiticus Desperate Housewives still can't say enough good things about Garden State Ballet in Randolph, NJ. My girls have danced there with Miss Katie for three years now (starting with "baby blue" pre-ballet classes, followed by "white" beginner classes, and moving on to "Pink I" this year) and plan to continue in the pink II class in Fall 2009. Miss Katie also delivered a beautiful ballet lesson in our home for Maddie's 6th birthday party last year. Now today's the day for the annual recital, and Rex and the girls and I are off to Secaucus to see them shine.
While the Roxiticus Desperate Tomboy Mother has no idea where my girls got the ballet gene, I have developed quite a bit of experience and wisdom about ballet, for pre-schoolers on up to high-schoolers, over the past five years.
London started ballet at age 3.5 when we first moved out here to the Roxiticus Valley from the West Village in NYC. We went to a place called Showcase Studios in Far Hills, NJ. While my daughter enjoyed dressing up in a leotard and tutu and "making cookie dough" and "dancing like fairies," we didn't take it very seriously, it was just for fun. Good thing. Despite the pressure, we didn't sign up for the recital or the accompanying $300 costumes etc. Two weeks before the recital, Showcase Studios was evicted...no more lessons, no recital.
The next year, we "started over" at Art of Dance in Chester, NJ. This time both girls signed up for ballet class. I think all of my friends have tried Art of Dance for some period of time, but no one stays on....my girls just didn't have much fun there, and in pre-school, that's what ballet classes should be all about. Again, we thankfully skipped the recital....waaaay too much make-up and kinda trashy costumes.
In September 2006, both girls and one of their best gal pals signed up for the baby blue pre-ballet class (4 and 5 year-olds, I believe) at Garden State Ballet. When I learned that the recital was on Father's Day, I was all set to skip another year's recital...but I'm glad I didn't. At the recital, each class performed a basic routine and we snapped pictures of our little darlings. After a brief intermission, the stronger dancers returned to demonstrate almost professional skill in modern dance. While my daughters may or may not continue to dance as they get older, if they do, Garden State Ballet is the right place for a serious dancer.