Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Ballerina Girl

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!


Grandma Bethany said...

Morgan you make a beautiful ballerina!
Heather, this is a very touching and tender story. We all look forward to the many special achievements that Morgan will accomplish. Morgan is blessed to have such a wonderful family that gives her so many opportunities.

Scarehaircare said...

THis post made me absolutely teary. Lauren wants so much to start dancing again. I have got to find her a place soon.

Toni Mehraban said...

I teared up a little, too. I can't wait to meet Morgan and the rest of the family - I haven't seen them in ages. Tisha might be coming to SLC in March - I'll keep you updated.


Brittany said...

I can only try and imagine the apprehension you would feel with Morgan. I think parents feel that way with their children anyway, disability or not. I know I just hate thinking of my children not fitting in or them being too frustrated or something. I think it is so good for Morgan to experience all of these things and to gain the confidence she needs to know that she can do a lot! She is such a beautiful dancer!

kellyclay said...

Heather, that just touches my heart. what a Wonderful Mommy you are for giving her all the opportunities that this life has to offer her. she is a beautiful Ballerina too.

Jenni and Chad Stewart said...

ooh, she is sooo sweet. I just started smiling as soon as I saw her picture. I'll bet she just loves it!

Heidi Rushing said...

Sweet story - sweet girl (except for when she scares WIll to death). Thanks for sharing your experience.

Ursenbach Family said...

I am so glad that Morgan loved dance. You are awesome for pushing your fears aside and letting Morgan have these real life 5-year old experiences.

mum2brady said...

Whooo hooooo - congrats Morgan! So happy for your cute girl! I'm so glad she had a great experience :) I, too, am always apprehensive about starting new activities with Brady, but usually it all goes well and he surprises me with how well he fits in and does what the other kids are doing :) I'm so happy for you both! Can't wait to hear about her recitals and new dancing adventures :)