The Art of the Dance

Last weekend, my daughter (a Kindermusik graduate) participated in Flabbergast with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.  The show was described as “a journey of wonder,” and indeed, it was.  Tandy Beal, the choreographer, said in the Salt Lake Tribune, “We can get through some of the harder moments in life if we can achieve a sense of wonder.”

The show was not like anything I had seen from a dance company.  There were acrobatics, and dancing with helium balloons and all sorts of antics, wrapped up in the story of a woman’s desire to share with her grandchildren the importance of enjoying life.

Although I knew that children would be performing, the group of parents who came out to dance with their babies completely surprised me.  I realized, moments into the dance, that this was something special.  Not only did they somehow manage to get a group of eleven babies, all about the same age, to be happy all at the same time, they also turned the everyday movements parents do with their kids into art.  It was stunning.

I have swooped my children around, dancing with them in the living room or the Kindermusik studio, many times.  I have connected with my children through movement, and have enjoyed the raw emotion that comes from savoring that fleeting moment.  I have also observed many Kindermusik parents, all dancing with their little ones together, perhaps to Skinnamarink or Dance, Little Baby.  Perhaps it was context—since I was paying for a ticket and observing a choreographed show on the Capitol Theater stage, the movements ceased to be common, and instead took on an element of artistic expression.  But I doubt it.  I think I was thrilled with the art of the dance because, as part of the theme of the show, I realized just how magical it is to lift a baby into the air and see the smile that emerges on her face.

Of course, I also marveled at my daughter, now almost a teen, dancing up on stage.  It seems only yesterday she was one of those babies.  My challenge to you this week, as you’re in Kindermusik class with your little one: take a moment and absorb the artistry of what you’re creating.  Allow that moment to carry you through some of the more difficult aspects of parenting, and wonder at the delight that we can take in dancing with our children.