Today my son Super Kid made me very proud. He’s eight and since the start of the school year he’s been flying. Super Kid is a worrier, and sometimes his worries made it difficult for him to achieve at his best. Sometimes his worries made it hard for him to participate in things that I know he’s capable of. So we’ve been helping him to learn to deal with his worries, increasing his confidence and reminding him to simply try his best.
Super Kid’s been doing ballet classes since he was five. Initially he did really well at ballet, he had masses of enthusiasm and he happily took his primary exam when he was seven. He took that exam with three other children and wasn’t too worried about it.
Since then he’s struggled. His natural inclination to ask lots of questions, spin around and sing have prevented him from having the focus he needs to learn. I wondered whether he would carry on attending.
Then the same group that took primary ballet took their grade one exam. He was not entered for the exam, the teacher didn’t think he was ready and I agreed. Shortly afterwards his attitude in class got a lot better, he realised that he needed to do better if he wanted to move up into the grade two class. His teacher told me he was ready to take the exam, but he would be the only one in the grade one class, so he’d have to take it alone, or just move up without taking it. He decided that he wanted to take it.
What’s happened since then has been wonderful to watch. Private exam preparation classes once a week, as well as the usual class. His teacher is awesome (the lovely Miss Sam from Annette Adams if you’re in Bristol looking for ballet classes) and has been very encouraging and really accommodated his quirks. He has practised three times a week, diligently and without complaint. He has accepted critique, taken it in his stride with no confident dents and his dancing has improved.
One week he had me in tears, he danced so beautifully. What’s most gratifying is seeing how much he is clearly enjoying it when he dances.
Today he took the exam. He was so nervous, telling me he wasn’t going to be able to do it. He was really upset. So I told him, one step at a time, first just get dressed. I repeated this throughout the mornings tasks and we got to the exam hall. He looked so nervous that some of the other Mum’s asked me if he was ok. It took him two attempts to enter the exam room, because he nearly panicked and bolted.
Then he went in, and he did his exam and I am a very proud Mum. It’s easy to do something you’re not scared of, it’s the things that terrify us that make us brave. He took grade one ballet alone, and he did his very best throughout the process, today my boy was the bravest boy in the world.