A has been going to ballet every Friday for three years, growing out of a pair of ballet shoes five times and two uniforms. She has learnt to skip and hold her skirt out prettily, smile when doing first position and and point her toes beautifully. But today she has decided no more and I think I know why. I think she has realised that she is not very good at ballet. Of course I think she is wonderful and delight in her elephant jumps and uncoordinated movements, it makes me giggle when she is skipping to the right and the whole class is gracefully skipping to the left, it used to make her laugh too. Today, she didn't laugh and I guess she has grown up a little, the wilful abandoness of a toddler has gone and she has started to understand the meaning of competitiveness, of not being good at something and possibly of embarrassment. And if these things make ballet unenjoyable then goodbye ballet it is.
I feel sad about this. Not about ballet, I have to admit to being a complete heathen where ballet is concerned, but that she is starting to understand that life is no picnic or some other such cliche.