I took my daughter to her first real tap class.
She had a few introductory lessons in tap last year--or was it the year before? At any rate, during that "baby" program, I noticed that she had an affinity for tap. When she danced her ballet routine, she looked like a typical kid going through the motions, but tap-dancing was an instinctive, joyful form of self-expression, even in her very basic steps. She did the moves with a personal style that came out of nowhere. It was the kind of thing only a mom would notice, but I was pretty sure that she was a tapper by nature, not a ballerina.
When I took her to the tap class tonight, I didn't realize that she would be joining a class of kids who had all been taking tap together for four or five months. The instructor launched into a high-energy forty-five minute lesson that included many intermediate-level steps that my daughter had never seen.
I was so happy to see my daughter's intense focus and self-discipline. She worked her hardest for the whole lesson, and did an impressive job of picking things up, considering her age and her lack of experience. She loved every minute of it and asked when she would get another lesson.
The class confirmed my impression that she has natural ability for this kind of dancing.
There's something wonderful about seeing a gift that is purely heaven-sent in your child. I have had no external influence on her talent or desire for tap-dancing. She requested the lessons, and I simply responded to her interest.
I've always worried about making her into a show kid, because I was something of a small-scale show kid, and that's not healthy. But I don't want to refuse her the opportunity to develop a talent. What I try to emphasize about the arts is that being a "star" is meaningless, despite what all the toys and TV shows say. I tell her that what brings true satisfaction in any artistic pursuit is being very, very good at something you have worked long and hard to master.
I also tell her that singing and dancing are great ways to have fun, but not a good job choice!