Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Whole New World

We're entering all kinds of 'whole new worlds' this fall. Kindergarten happened first. Dance is up next. Brenna's taking a tap/ballet combo class beginning next week. I never took any dance classes so I know next to nothing about what we're getting into.

Maybe that's a good thing.

Yesterday we set out after school to find tap shoes, ballet slippers, a leotard, and some pink tights. We'd already struck out multiple times trying to track them down in the stores where we normally shop, so we were planning to go to a real dance store. I honestly didn't even know there was such a thing.

But first we had to drive down to Rocketts because I left my umbrella there after the tropical storm on Saturday. The sky was so clear when I left work, that I forgot all about it. Amid the small talk, I mentioned where we were going and one of the girls said there was a dance store just a few blocks away - no need to drive across town. She looked up the address and phone number for me and off we went.

I'm not a city shopper. I hate to parallel park. Actually, I don't parallel park. For the most part, I just don't go downtown. But we couldn't find the dance supplies in the suburbs so there wasn't a lot of choice. We spotted the sign easily and pulled into an actual parking lot. The concrete steps led to a heavy metal door on the side of a large brick building. I was feeling less and less sure that we were in the right place. When the inside door opened, though, the room in front of us was crowded with racks of dancing outfits, walls of sequined material, and boxes of shoes. It was a visual mess! I thumbed through a rack or two and quickly realized I wouldn't be able to make this purchase without help.

We stepped to the counter and within a few minutes, a woman who clearly wasn't raised in the south, asked what we needed. She took over the shoe sizing immediately. Brenna was honest about what felt good and what didn't. There were so many tap shoes out at one point, they had trouble keeping the pairs together. The sales lady wasn't warm and sweet, but she knew what she doing. She kept trying to trick Brenna into trying on the same size twice, but Brenna wasn't having it. I wasn't sure those two would ever settle on the right shoe. For my part, I just sat on the floor and waited for them to tell me what to buy.

They finally agreed and we added the leotard and tights to our purchase. At the counter, another woman rang us up and generously added a discount that I didn't even ask for. I left rather impressed and pleased with our city shopping. We got everything we need, for less than the cost, and without having to parallel park. What more could I ask?

Next week I'll drop her at a studio for an hour of dance instruction. We're in it for the year, whether she likes it or not. Just like the encouragement I got about Kindergarten, no one seems to have regretted taking dance. It's new and exciting and the change will be good for her.

As long as I don't have to parallel park at the studio.


Mary said...

Tap shoes, ballet shoes, leotards.....You are speaking words that make me so happy and sentimental. I dance from the time I was 3 until my early 20's. Tap, jazz, ballet, gymnastics, acrobats and hula. It was the best experience of my life. Really, after you've been on stage in front of a coupla hundred people doing the hula, you pretty much lose any shyness you ever had.

I hope she loves it as much as I did. Those are some of my best memories. Oh, and watch out for those tap shoes. Those suckers can be REALLY slick on hard floors.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome opportunity for Brenna. At the West Branch football game, she danced right along with the cheerleaders and line dancers. Her little feet were HAPPPY FEET ! Tap wll be perfect for Brenna.