To dance or not to dance

For the past several months Riley has been in dance classes.  It’s been awful!  She needs 20 minutes to get her socks and shoes on.  By the time the first shoe is finally on, the 2nd sock has fallen off and gotten lost.  By the time we find the missing sock, the first shoe has gone AWOL.  Then the whole 3 minutes we’re in the car she’s complaining about being bored and wanting to be home and she’s tired and hungry.  Then we get to the school and when class starts… well… her teacher loves “her energy and enthusiasm.”  She spends more time running in circles until she falls down than actually practicing the routine.

Maybe dance isn’t the right activity.  I was absolutely positive that I needed to pull her out of dance after this season is over.  But then she had her first recital.  There was a tiny bit of stage fright while she was waiting but once she got on stage… How did she manage to learn the routine while she was running in circles???  She was amazing!  She completely nailed it!  I guess it soaked in just by being at practice every week but she knows that dance and she might forever start doing it every time she hears “Frosty the Snowman”.  She even hammed it up a bit and played to the crowd 🙂

Maybe she really does like dance.  Now I’m wondering if the problem might be that it’s a special needs dance class.  Would she possibly enjoy a more structured “typical” class more?  The special needs class is wonderful.  The teacher is super and I’m so grateful to her and the academy offering a class for our less-coordinated kiddos.  I’ll happily give anyone the information on the class if they’re interested!  But now I’m wondering if it’s the right class for my RileyBug.  Maybe she needs a larger class (there are only 2 students left now and the other is a teenage boy).  Or maybe more structure.

I sure wish it was easier to know what the right thing for her is.  So is it to dance or not to dance?  And if it’s to dance, is it stay with the special needs class or give her a chance in a typical class?  She is decidedly special needs but she surprises me every day with something.  I so wish I could know what was really going on inside her, what she’s feeling and thinking about something.  But, alas, she doesn’t know how to tell me.  She’s smart.  She’s funny.  She’s sweet.  She’s often polite.  Her teachers even tell me that she stands up for kids who are being picked on and helps the students with less verbal skills communicate (she didn’t start talking til she was 5!).  But does she enjoy dance enough to keep up the effort and expense?  Complicated little Bugaboo just isn’t that easy to read 🙂


Posted on November 29, 2011, in Autism, PDD-NOS, Riley. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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