Reta Jean is a ball of energy wrapped up in pink, glittery fluff! Mommy started calling her “Reta Bita”, which eventually shortened up to “Beats.” Now, she insists on just about everyone calling her Beats, including all her dance friends. (It’s easy to call her Beats, but it was a little harder to figure out how to write it out. Bits doesn’t “read” Beats. If I spelled it Beets, that’s just kind of weird. So, Beats it is.)
She’s been dancing since before her little legs could even hold her up. Whenever music would come on, she’d start shaking her little booty, sitting on the floor. When she turned 3 it seemed like it was time to sign her up for dance class. Stanza PAC offers a “Creative Movement” class, taught by Miss Molly, who is the studio co-owner. Beats LOVES Miss Molly, and she loves being in dance class with her friends. She also loves that we stop at the donut shop after class every week for donut holes and pink donuts.
At Beats’s first recital in December all the kids were kind of doing their own thing. For the June recital I noticed all the other kids were starting to follow choreography much better, but Beats was still doing it her own way. It was like the choreography was whole notes, and Beats was dancing in 8th notes. The other kids are working on their high kicks, and Beats is kicking like a can-can girl. A few weeks before the recital I mentioned to her that in dance class she’s actually supposed to try to move like Miss Molly and the other kids. Her response, “Oh.” Apparently, that was a totally new idea to her. She tried to follow along. For about 5 minutes. It was just more fun to do it her own way.
The day of the recital all the kids are in costumes and makeup back stage, and they all look adorable. A couple are nervous, but mostly they’re excited. The “big girls” will be along the sides of the stage doing the choreography so the little kids could follow along if necessary. And, they’re on! Beats started out in the back row, but somehow was in the front when the dancing started. Just like in class, the other kids are doing a really good job following choreography, and Beats is over there on the end dancing her little heart out. She was doing most of the right steps, she just had to shake her booty 8 times while the others shook theirs 4. She was awesome and she knew it! The last few steps were point-point-passe, and that’s when Beats found us in the audience. She stops and waves, “Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad! Hi, Gabba! Hi, Papa!”
Later on, at the grocery store, I mentioned to the cashier that we had been at our granddaughter’s dance recital. She says, “Oh, how fun! I probably shouldn’t say it, but there’s always that ONE kid.” Yeah, we know and love that kid.
Next season: Tap!