Ballet on the Beach?

I’ve done a lot of things on the beach.

When the kids were younger, we’d spend hours and hours digging.  It didn’t matter what I was digging for, as long as I had a shovel in my hands, the girls were happy.

I remember making holes so big the entire family could sit in them – mom, dad, and all three kids.  We had sand-made chairs, couches and occasionally a table.  My kids would request bureaus and refrigerators.  “How about a Duncan Fife couch dad, like the one Great Grandma has?”  To them, there was nothing I couldn’t construct out of wet, salty sand.

“Dad, make the hole deeper!”

“Dad, the moat for the castle is too small.”

I felt like I was on a chain gang.  At the end of the day I’d take three Alleve and hit the sack by 8 pm.

This year was different.  The kids are older, spending more time on their own.  What they want to do now is sit in a chair and Instagram their friends all day.  My, how times have changed.  You know, I actually sort of miss the hard labor.

This year on the beach, I didn’t dig.  No, instead, Michelle spent one afternoon teaching me her ballet moves.  Naturally, DJ had her iPhone on the beach so was able to capture the moment for posterity’s sake.


As long as they keep asking, I’m pretty much up for anything!


Port Your Bra

Annie Dance

Did you know that King Louis the XIV of France loved ballet?  He established the first official school for the dance, known today as the Paris Opera Ballet.  That’s why all of the dance terms are in French.  I know that because over the past two weeks, I’ve spent five hours observing my daughters’ dance classes.  It happens every May, parent observation days.

It should have been seven hours but DJ told me she’d do a grande jete on my head if I showed up to watch her dance.  After the other five hours, I think I could have taught her class.

When I picked DJ up after her observation day, she said, “There were some other parents you knew who were there.  You really looked bad for not coming.”

At that point I wanted to jerk a knot in her echappe!

One afternoon I observed from 5 – 7 pm.  I hadn’t had lunch that day and was starving.  The ballet instructor kept tantalizing me:  “Everyone, it’s time to fondue.”  But no food ever came!  She’d say “Saute!”  Again, no food.  It was dinner time, why would you say we were going to fondue and then not produce?  I was about to start gnawing on the ballet barre!

Her words were confusing to me.  At one point she started talking about their underwear:  “Port your bras” or something like that.  How do you port your bra?  Wouldn’t we need to be on the coast?  She kept calling for “Sue-sue,” but she never did come.  “Run to John,” she yelled several times, but there wasn’t one boy in the class.  Who was she talking about?

The woman is a good teacher, but I don’t think she’s that smart.  She doesn’t even know Pig Latin.  For some reason, she didn’t want us to know she was telling them to balance so she tried to disguise the term like a parent would in front of a young child.  But she got it all wrong.  Instead of dropping the first letter and putting it on the end, “alancebay,” she said, “balance-a.”  We all knew exactly what she was talking about.  Em-barr-assing!

I’m thinking about opening my own studio next fall.  But we’re going to use regular words that normal, English-speaking kids can understand like:  squat,  poke your toes out in opposite directions, jump like a duck, make the shape of a Krispy Kreme doughnut with your legs.  And when we talk about food, there will be some.

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