I haven’t been bringing Mini to her weekly dance class in quite a while but Papa had to work last Wednesday morning so it was an all girls affair as Mini Mini came along for her first ever class.
The class is not so much a dance class as a precursor for the same.Its run by an incredibly energetic lady called Miss Laurie and she combines music,nursery rhymes, dancing and even a little bit of yoga to make a fun class that the kids from 1-3 just love.
I used to dread bringing Mini as she seemed to be the worst behaved-she refused to sit by my side like all the rest of the mammies,daddies and kiddies,instead preferring to sit on the laps of other parents,much to their delight but the consternation of their own toddler.
Mini was the last to relinquish her grip on the toys that were supplied around the middle of the class even though everyone sang the “tidy up song”.
And then there was her non interaction with her surroundings,preferring instead to go a wandering around the room locating things she had no business touching such as dumbbells and other gym paraphernalia.
I was always a bit of an emotional wreck at these classes, trying desperately to get Mini to participate more,all the while feeling like everyone was silently judging my lack of parental discipline and also pitying my simple child for her lack of understanding basic instructions.
Note-I have no hard evidence that any parent was thinking this-this is just how my paranoid brain works!
So this week I was blown away by how well Mini has progressed.The key to learning for kids with Down syndrome is repetition. Repeat,repeat, repeat!Eventually they will get it! And as they are visual learners, they learn by initiation. So while Mini sill won’t sit with me for the whole class-lightbulb moment-maybe I’m just not cool enough??-she will happily sit in the centre of the circle and she performs all the actions to the songs and nursery rhymes! She also tidied up her toys with just a little bit on prompting from me.
There was still a little bit of wandering but no kicking and screaming when I brought her back to the circle. And she really impressed me with a brand new freeze game Miss Laurie had where everyone got up to dance and then froze when the music stopped. Watching Mini follow new rules and understand them perfectly was a really proud moment for me.
And as for Mini Mini?She absolutely loved her first dance class and was enthralled from start to finish. I can’t wait til she’s old enough and I can bring my two dancing superstars to class!