Here it is: I enrolled my four-year-old son in dance class. I know what you’re thinking. Dance class is so expensive! Yes, yes it is. But thirty-eight dollars a month is a small price to pay to watch an experienced dance instructor spend thirty-five of the forty-five minute class wrangling errant post-toddlers. (“Ava Grace! Stop licking the chalk off the floor!”)
I never took dance myself but my sister did for years, and she would teach me the positions in the basement of my childhood home, next to my father’s workshop, where I would one day hollow out a length of wood to make a homemade pipe. But that is a story for a different day. Anyway, I was more into sports and ninjas as a child, a hardcore tomboy, often mistaken for a boy.
So why did I sign my son up for dance? My son: a category 5 hurricane even in the womb, drawn now to monster trucks and werewolves and the humor of bodily functions. A pulsing, vibrant, mercurial force of nature who runs on endless batteries. He has no interest in anything pink, gauzy, graceful, coiffed, sequined, or glittered. Yet at dance these things surround him.
AND HE FREAKING HATES IT.
So why did I do it? Perhaps I wanted to throw a rock through the window of socially-reinforced gender roles? Am I advocating for my son the unsurpassed strength, posture, and controlled physicality ballet brings to its practitioners? Or is it something else? Some unexplored childhood fantasy I’m projecting–as all parents do–on my progeny?
Yeah, nope. I saw the name of the class (“Creative Movement”) in a brochure and thought they’d be doing somersaults and shit, so I signed him up. Lesson learned.