As we trek our way through Amanda’s past, you had to know we were eventually going to come upon dancing. Anyone who knows Amanda knows that she and dance go together like peanut butter and jelly! To be honest, the reason she started dance was because I always felt cheated that I didn’t get to take ballet when I was little.
So, like the weak and broken vessel that I am, I convinced her she would love it, and signed her up for classes. What a lucky break for me that she actually did love it! Her dance classes started six weeks before she turned three. She looked so cute in her little pink tutu! Her dance bag was also pink, with little ballerinas on it, and she slung it over her shoulder like a pro! She took to dancing like a pro, too.
The first thing any tap dance class learns is “shuffle, step”. When you see professional dancers do this step, it’s a cute little flip of the ankle forward, scraping the toe on the floor, backward, and then standing on that foot again. Well, when Amanda did it, she swung her foot not from her ankle, but from her hip. More than once, with all the gusto she put into this little move, she threw herself off balance and landed on her tush! It never hurt, apparently, as she giggled, got up, and did it again. By the time she got to her first dance recital, she was able to keep on her feet all the way through “The Good Ship Lollipop”.
There was one point in her dance career that she almost quit. She had been dancing for three years, and about a month before the dance recital decided that dancing was boring, and she didn’t want to do it anymore. I tried to talk her out of it, but she wouldn’t give in. We told her she needed to finish that year, because her classmates were counting on her for the recital, and she agreed, vowing that she would never dance after that. Well, that all changed at the dress rehearsal.
During a break in the rehearsal, the teacher called up the girls that were getting trophies for having been at the studio for three years. Since Amanda had her first year of dancing at a different studio, she wasn’t getting one, and all her buddies were. She came to me and asked why she wasn’t getting a trophy, feeling pretty left out. When she heard the reason, she decided right then she would dance for one more year to get her trophy; but only one, then she’d never dance again. That was the last we heard about her wanting to drop out of dance. That one extra year was enough to get her excited again and begin her vision for worshiping God through dance.