I tried something new today with Morgan. It's something that we all take for granted with our other daughters. It's something we actually look forward to-- shopping for cute leotards and tutus, trying on ballet slippers to find the right size. This is something I haven't ever done with Morgan and finally decided to see if there are any opportunities out there for her. I called the ballet studio where Hadley has taken dance for the past two years.
"Do you have any openings in your 5 old year dance class?"
"Great! Would it be okay if my daughter with Down syndrome came to that class?"
Morgan was so excited to get dressed in a leotard, tights and ballet slippers. She never complained that the shoes were too tight for her little fat feet. She started to dance around in our living room doing the most beautiful, perfect twirls.
I took Morgan to her first ballet class today and she LOVED it! I 'm not sure why I always get so nervous with trying to include Morgan in regular activities with her peers. Maybe I am scared of the possible disappointment if it doesn't work out. Maybe I am scared she will be too much work for the teacher. Or maybe I am scared the teacher will tell me not to bring her back.
Her teacher was absolutely darling with her. I walked into the class with Morgan and asked the teacher if she was up for the challenge of having Morgan in her class today. She quickly replied that she was more than up for it and would LOVE to have her in her class. She just asked that I stay in the studio area in case she needed me. That was not the easiest task with both Mia and Griffin but somehow we made it. I peeked in on the class several times to see how Morgan was doing. The first time I looked, I saw my cute little girl in a big circle with all the class practicing their toe points. I was so overwhelmed with happiness in that moment. Seeing my daughter doing something completely 'normal' for a 5 year old. The next few times I went to peek on her were more typical findings for Morgan--going away from the group to look at herself in the mirror, playing with the girl's hair sitting next to her, trying to 'taste' the paper flower props she was dancing with, etc.
I wasn't sure what the teacher would say at the end of the class. Would it be too much extra work to have Morgan in her class? But her teacher told me how impressed she was with Morgan. Saying that Morgan was able to follow the dancing moves better than most kids do on their first day. She also felt that it was important for her to stay in this age group rather than a younger group. They wouldn't be distracted as easily and would be more patient with Morgan. Her only concern was that Morgan kept copying everything she said during the class which was distracting for the other kids. (Her speech therapist would have been so proud! :) Hopefully it will continue to be a positive experience for Morgan!