Blossoming ballerina

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Our four-year-old made her dancing debut over the weekend.

Watching her dance, sing and twirl around the stage was one of our proudest parenting moments yet.

Our sweet four-year-old has come so far this year.

A year ago I’m not certain that she’d even set foot on a stage.

Historically, she has been shy, cautious and at times sensitive crying at the drop of a hat.

A lot can happen in a year though and this year has been a massive year of growth for her.

She is gaining confidence every day and I would even go so far as to say she is becoming adventurous and brave. There is no doubt that she is blossoming.

Her preschool teacher often marvels over how far she has come. She is leading play, contributing to classroom discussion, is assertive and building strong friendships. It’s a far cry from the first quarter of the year when she would cry on more day care drop offs than not.

Her swimming teacher is happy with her progress, relieved that the battle to get her into the pool was short lived. There are no more tears, just playful giggles with flashes of steely determination to get this swimming thing down pat.

Mothers from day care tell me how chatty Miss Four has become and even our favourite check out chick at Coles can’t believe she’s the same child.

While Dave and I are aware of just how far she has come, we still didn’t know what to expect last Sunday.

As we sat in the auditorium with parents and grandparents chatting merrily around us, my heart was in my mouth.

Would her shyness get the better of her? Would she cope without Teddy? Would she panic when the curtains parted and she saw a sea of faces staring back at her?

When the curtains parted, I watched her tiny face search for us in the crowd. She spotted us straight away (hard not to when I was waving at her like a crazed lunatic) and gave us a sweet smile. Tears of pride pricked my eyes and I thought my heart would explode.

The music and dancing began, but still she stood.

It seemed like she was standing there not moving forever. There was no sign of fear on her face, she was just caught in a moment taking in the audience. With a nudge from her friend she was snapped out of her trance and she shook her hips, pointed her toes and clapped her hands with the best of them.

On the drive home, I asked her if she was scared when she saw the audience.

‘No,’ she said simply.

And that was that. Not another word was said.

Later that day, she asked me when she can do the concert again!

Talk about a changed child.

Who knows if the progress we’ve made with Miss Four is simply to do with her becoming more confident with age or a result of the efforts Dave and I have put into encouraging and nurturing her or a combination of both.

We’ve always taught her to believe in herself and stand up for herself. We’ve listened to her concerns and allowed her to move at her own pace with gentle encouragement. We’ve given her variety in her activities with everything from rock climbing to high tea and we’ve exposed her to positive role models.

I’m sure there will still be times when she’ll hide behind me when we’re talking to someone new or she’ll protest when she has to do show and tell. That’s okay.

Whatever she does we are proud of the progress she’s made and the little individual she is becoming.

Well done, darling heart xx

Who/what has made you proud this year? Do you have a shy or sensitive child? How do you encourage them to step out of their comfort zone?

Linking up today with the ever-awesome EssentiallyJess.

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45 comments on Blossoming ballerina

  1. Josefa @always Josefa
    December 2, 2014 at 5:43 am (2 years ago)

    Oh she is just gorgeous Renee! Children are so unpredictable, PJ is quite confident and outspoken – yet at last years kindy Christmas concert he decided (either through shyness or cheekiness) to be the Christmas clown – he completely made a mock of the concert with his funny faces and silly actions – you can never predict what they are going to do or more so, why?!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:29 am (2 years ago)

      Lol. Oh no, PJ. Yep, you’re right they are very unpredictable little creatures. Every day is different πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    December 2, 2014 at 5:58 am (2 years ago)

    So my middle child is similar, I think we have discussed this before. And when he went on stage to do his Xmas concert which was three songs and then a dance AND a graduation ceremony he didn’t own the stage but he was so much braver and stronger than I imagined! Our babies are growing up. I love that she has come out of her shell and just in time for school x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:30 am (2 years ago)

      You must have been so proud, Em. My daughter didn’t own the stage either. Just her staying ON the stage and dancing the parts she remembered was enough for us πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  3. Lydia C. Lee
    December 2, 2014 at 6:09 am (2 years ago)

    Lovely pic – I also think it’s okay to have a bit of stage fright – most adults do too!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:31 am (2 years ago)

      Yes, that’s right. I used to do so many dancing concerts when I was a little girl. I don’t ever remember feeling nervous, I was just excited. To do it these days though, I would have major stage fright. I wonder when that change between no fear and fear happens ..

      Reply
  4. Caitlin
    December 2, 2014 at 6:58 am (2 years ago)

    Oh that’s lovely hearing how much your daughter has blossomed. It really makes a mother’s heart burst with pride, doesn’t it? And well done you – I know how much parenting it takes to help build a child’s confidence. You have every right to be proud.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:32 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Caitlin πŸ™‚

      Reply
  5. Fashionista
    December 2, 2014 at 7:35 am (2 years ago)

    Awww, she is so cute! We are lining up for our thirteenth dance concert this weekend and regardless how accomplished, beautiful and graceful the senior girls are, it is the littlies that steal the show every time.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:33 am (2 years ago)

      Wow! 13 shows. You’re an old hat at this game. I hope our girls stick with it that long πŸ™‚

      Reply
  6. Jayne
    December 2, 2014 at 8:02 am (2 years ago)

    Well done Ava!! Can’t wait to see the video of your wonderful dancing xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:33 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Aunty Jayne. It was so cute!

      Reply
  7. Tonia Zemek
    December 2, 2014 at 8:24 am (2 years ago)

    Aw, this is a lovely post Renee and what a lovely mum you must be. Your little ballerina sounds like she has found her rhythm. You’re right on pointe too, I’d say. (stopping by via #IBOT)

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:34 am (2 years ago)

      Lol. You’re so funny, Tonia πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad
    December 2, 2014 at 8:43 am (2 years ago)

    She is a cutie! We have a shy-ish four year old too and kinder has worked wonders for his confidence this year. Isn’t it amazing how much self confidence they get from it? It’s really beautiful to see the growth and change – a real reward as a parent. Just think how much her confidence will grow each year and what kind of ballerina she will be in say, five years time? She will be a shining star, no doubt! x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:35 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Vicki! It really is amazing watching them progress, grow and mature. We are so lucky to be parents πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. Robyn
    December 2, 2014 at 9:24 am (2 years ago)

    What a lovely post Renee. My middle girl is very similar and she is a different child now to what she was when she started Kinder at the beginning of this year. So proud of her too. xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:35 am (2 years ago)

      I bet you are, Robyn. They just make your heart swell, don’t they?! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. Kathy
    December 2, 2014 at 10:18 am (2 years ago)

    So glad she is blossoming. Little Yang is similar (although he is not dancing YET, as much as Miss Yin’s dance studio would like him to join their ranks). We were worried about his confidence swimming, and just in the last couple of weeks he is totally getting it – dive bombing, somersaulting and even back-flipping in our pool. His language is getting there too, and he’s certainly talking enough. So many changes and so much growing up at 4 years old.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:43 am (2 years ago)

      There sure is, Kathy. I think these kids of ours are really coming into their own. That’s so great that Mr Yin is throwing himself into swimming. I can just imagine him doing backflips in there. Wouldn’t you love to see him in a ballet performance too! Just gorgeous.

      Reply
  11. Bec @ Seeing the Lighter Side of Parenting
    December 2, 2014 at 11:07 am (2 years ago)

    Oh that’s so exciting! Congratulations Miss 4:-) My Master 4 is shy and sensitive – he’s blossoming in social areas now but there’s still no way we’d be able to get him on stage! #TeamIBOT.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:44 am (2 years ago)

      All in good time, Bec. They like to surprise you these kids πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Twitchy Sharon
    December 2, 2014 at 11:59 am (2 years ago)

    It sounds cliche of me to say this but these are the priceless moments we will best remember, after the memory of all the hard work fades away (begins at the labour, really)! Well done to your girl and we have been in exactly that place too. Just had our third concert in a row and it gets better all the time, bless ’em.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:45 am (2 years ago)

      Oh how lovely, Twitchy. They sure are the moments we will remember best. I can’t wait until the next concert πŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. Erin
    December 2, 2014 at 1:10 pm (2 years ago)

    I believe it is both. I have an anxious child and have poured simply lots of energy into him, but maturity itself has played a huge part too. A different child:)
    Just made me smile to read your precious one’s story:)

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:45 am (2 years ago)

      Yes, I think it must be a combination of both, Erin. Ah we’re so lucky with these kids, aren’t we?!

      Reply
  14. Toni @ Finding Myself Young
    December 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm (2 years ago)

    I would be scared of being on stage and having a heap of strangers looking at me, I don’t know how the kids do it. Mind you having said that I would’ve loved to do dancing when I was younger so I hope bub wants to get into it when shes older.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:46 am (2 years ago)

      I’m sure she’d love it, Toni. By the looks of it she has just the right personality for it πŸ™‚

      Reply
  15. Maxabella
    December 2, 2014 at 5:07 pm (2 years ago)

    Is there a better bit about being a mum than seeing our sweeties come out of their shell and shine? My kids are half over confident / half totally anxious and it’s a balancing act for sure! x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:47 am (2 years ago)

      I bet, Bron!! You’re right. There really is nothing better than seeing them shine πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  16. Hugzilla
    December 2, 2014 at 6:25 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh man, what a gorgeous little girl you have. She sounds a lot like my youngest, who is only two. My eldest is the complete opposite. He is in his element being the centre of attention (it can be exhuasting, yes) and will confidently walk up to anyone and start talking. I wish I could bottle it and sell it.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:48 am (2 years ago)

      Lol. I know what you mean. Isn’t it crazy how to kids from the same family can be so different?!

      Reply
  17. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    December 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm (2 years ago)

    OH that’s gorgeous! I remember when Miss (now 9) was 4 and made her dancing debut. She broke her arm three weeks before the concert and she wouldn’t even go on the stage at dress rehearsal. That moment she walked out on stage on the concert night still brings tears to my eyes! Fast forward five years and she has blossomed into a little star. She was one of the leads in her drama concert, one of the lead dancers in her dance concert last weekend and makes her singing debut this weekend! She’s still shy and introverted but has grown to understand herself and move past her fears to get to the part she loves the most – being on stage and performing. Kids are such crazy, complicated but the most beautiful things aren’t they?

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:49 am (2 years ago)

      Oh they sure are, Jodi. Your daughter sounds so similar to mine. She is so passionate about dance. There would be nothing that could stop her getting up on stage with her friends πŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  18. EssentiallyJess
    December 2, 2014 at 9:10 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing this Renee. My Ava can be very shy and withdrawn, but I’m also seeing her slowly come out of herself. Her progress in swimming this term has been amazing. I’m hoping she will be at the same place as your little girl soon. xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:51 am (2 years ago)

      That is brilliant, Jess. It is a real work in progress. One day she can be outgoing and chatty and the next she can be introverted. They are fascinating little creatures xx

      Reply
  19. Emma Fahy Davis
    December 2, 2014 at 9:18 pm (2 years ago)

    Awww too cute! It’s just incredible watching their little personalities emerge as they grow, I’m so glad dancing has been such a positive force for her πŸ™‚

    Reply
  20. Amy
    December 2, 2014 at 10:41 pm (2 years ago)

    Ah she is so beautiful and well done her! It’s so nice when they blossom like that. My daughter is 12 now and a little dancing queen she just loves it. You must be so proud.

    Reply
  21. Carla from My Yellow Heart
    December 2, 2014 at 10:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Bless, what a cutie. Loving watching mine grow too and come into their own little personalities. We had a real battle with confidence with my eldest too when it came to starting 3 year old kind, but she’s now really happy and settled. It’s so amusing watching her interact with her classmates. I watched her sit between 2 boys after class and listened to her utter “hey you two, what you up to?!!!” Can’t wait for the teenage years not!!! x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:52 am (2 years ago)

      Lol. That is so cute! Don’t you wish you could be a fly on a wall at daycare? πŸ™‚

      Reply
  22. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    December 3, 2014 at 10:03 am (2 years ago)

    What a gorgeous little dancer you have there!!! Such a sweetie! I loved ballet when I was little too! xx

    Reply
  23. Grace
    December 3, 2014 at 11:00 am (2 years ago)

    Oh, Renee! She’s a little trooper! I can just imagine your heart bursting with pride. These are the moments, eh? Looks like she liked that little taste of the spotlight too! Watch out! x

    Reply
  24. Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    December 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm (2 years ago)

    What a beautiful little girl you have. That photograph brings back so many memories of my own daughter at the same age. She loved dancing and fairies! It’s wonderful to see our kids grow and blossom isn’t it! My little girl is now a 19 year old young lady who is confident and very independent πŸ™‚

    Reply
  25. Jess - Peachy Keen Mumma
    December 3, 2014 at 5:29 pm (2 years ago)

    Renee – you had me with tears in my eyes, I’m sure they wouldn’t be there if I wasn’t a mum. I totally understand the heart bursting. I feel like everyday I am thanking God for my sweet boy. He is so outgoing and social and I love how he says hi to everyone and blows kisses to anyone who gives him the time of day. He is scared shitless to be left with out mum and dad though so we are working on that. We went out quite successfully on Saturday night so hoping for more of those nights…

    Reply

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