Family Dancing

Anneka is 2 1/2 and Aria is 4. The bell sounds of their names are reflected in their whisper running straight to the big girl barres on the far edge of the dance studio, where their little girl bodies dangle, feet pointed, knees in action. Their mother Erica tilts her head and sighs, knowing that bringing them to the center of the room will happen only after they've played the parts of the older kids they find so awe-inspiring.Today it is spring. We are greeted with sunshine and melting snow, even though the end of March, April, and perhaps even May could snow in store for us in our corner of southern Vermont. We celebrate by sharing our favorite spring things... jumping in mud puddles, pedaling around the airport on bicycles, watching things grow, and playing outside. We sculpt our bodies into flowers, bikers, and puddle-splashers, watching our statues come to life before dizzying ourselves with an extra run around the room."Birds they fly and birds they rest.Which pretty birdy do you like best?"We practice flight, exploring different wing shapes as we glide through space, and then find ourselves resting in different positions on the dirty marley floor. Our birds quickly morph into other animals as we perch ourselves on a tree to end our poem dance, which we repeat over and over again, finding rhythm in repetition.As Erica and I rub our hands together and place them on different body parts, quieting our bodies, little Anneka and Aria use their mother as a jungle gym. Erica tells me this is the most practical part of class - learning to find calm in the midst of chaos.