A bright red bow

Once a week for six weeks last summer - 2008 - I took my 5-year-old to pre-ballet class at Ballet Austin in downtown Austin, Texas. While she danced, my 3-year-old and I wandered the building, peering in studios to see what was happening.

Ballet Austin has a magnificent, second-floor viewing area that overlooks its largest studio.
Floor-to-ceiling glass lets you see every inch of what's happening below.

We loved to watch teens and college-age students in a musical theatre dance class down there. Every week, their instructors were pulling out classic and original choreography from some of Broadway's biggest shows past and present -- Gypsy, Grease, A Chorus Line, RENT. The kids were having a blast -- and I noticed, so were the teachers. In fact, I couldn't take my eyes off them, it was like watching a behind-the-scenes Broadway rehearsal. They were so good. Even my 3YO knew it was special -- every week, that's where she wanted to wander, to go and "watch the big dancers."

By the third week, my own longing was clear. I felt physically restrained, sitting there and watching the kids dance. My head started trying to follow the choreography, my hands mimed small movements. I mentioned this to another spectator, in passing, and she said, "You should do it -- they have classes for adults, you know. You're still young."

I LOVE the gift of perspective -- with a bright red bow on top.


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