Sunday, 17 June 2012

Learning to be a ballet mum

When I was small, dancing lessons weren't an option for me. I remember asking when I was small but my parents couldn't afford it - for a start, I'm one of four girls -  so it was off the agenda. I never got to experience classes, exams and preparing for shows.

So, when Missy Woo wanted to start doing dance classes, I was a bit lost. We are very lucky in that there is a lovely, small dance school that meets just around the corner from home. It's run by a lovely lady who is not pushy but great with the children and is universally known as "Miss Lizzie" (yes, even the parents seem to call her that!). Missy Woo started at class and I really didn't know where to start, but somehow, a spare uniform became available and we found ballet shoes so she was all kitted out. A few weeks in, we found out they were doing a show, and we bought her costume.

On the day of the dress rehearsal and show, I was asked to put her hair in a bun. Now, my hair currently is about the longest it has been since I was around Missy's age. I don't do things like that - I just about manage to put her hair in a ponytail of a morning for school and even then I struggle because she has a double crown. Thankfully, Lizzie - being a lifelong dancer - is an expert in doing buns and put her hair in a bun for me. Problem solved.

This year, the annual show rolled around and this time, Missy is in two numbers because she now does  modern classes as well as ballet. Costumes have been bought again and I was asked to put her hair in a bun once more.

I could have chickened out and asked someone else to do it this time, but figuring this is not going to go away, I thought I had better learn how to do it myself. In order to do my training, I did what I always do. I turned to the Internet! I spent Friday evening looking through several different videos on YouTube of people doing  a "ballet bun". What struck me was that the basic method was the same, but everyone had their own little ways.

This time, I figured I had better be prepared. A quick trip to the supermarket yielded some 79p hairspray and some grips that match her hair colour, to add to the bun net I'd kept from last year. I decided to do her hair at home so we weren't in a rush and there were no smug parents around doing theirs in 5 seconds flat. I went for the twist the ponytail then pin it like mad as it twists in on itself method. It actually took me much less time than I thought, and my first attempt stayed in place for the whole afternoon and the first half of the show until she had to take it out for her second number (which needed a ponytail.) So, I'm quite proud of that, given how ham-fisted I am.

And, in case you missed them - I've tweeted these twice - here is Missy Woo in her costumes ready to perform at dress rehearsals. First, her ballet costume for "Zip A Dee Doo Dah".


And second, her funky 70s costume for "Carwash".


I still haven't seen the full show as we're going today, but she was very excited to discover when she went to get ready for her first show that some of the mums that they were putting make up on the girls.

She's a proper little ballerina now. And me? I'm not quite a ballet mum, but I'm getting there.
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