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dancing queen

Moving for the Joy of It.

by Amber on June 2, 2012


“Mommy, why do you exercise?”  Tori asked, touching my still-sweating forehead.

“Well, because it makes me feel good.”

“You like to run on the treadmill?”

“I do. I like it a lot. Plus, it’s good exercise.”

“I exercise when I go to dance class,” she says, forehead furrowed as she tries to wrap her head around the concept.

“Yep, you do. And it’s fun, isn’t it?”


And with that she gets up and starts leaping around the room.

“I move my legs like this,” she says, kicking her leg behind her.

“And shuffle step, and jump and TWIRL!” This last is shouted as she spins around the room.

I laugh. “You sure do love to twirl!”

“I do, I do, I do! Exercise is fun!!

I love that she has this attitude about exercise. She doesn’t see it as work. It’s not something she has to do. She dances because it feels good. Moving feels good. And it’s fun.

It makes me feel like maybe I’m doing something right.

I won’t lie. I started moving for all the usual reasons. I needed to lose weight. I needed to get healthier. And, more than anything, I needed to set a good example for her.

And when I first told her that I liked to exercise, I was flat out lying. I hated every second of it.

But in the tradition of fake it till you make it,  I’m discovering that I really do like to exercise. I’ve been getting on the treadmill lately not because I have to, but because it feels good to move – especially after a long day stuck in front of a computer.

Once again, that little monster of mine has taught me (or forced me to learn) a valuable lesson. Moving is fun.

I hope she never forgets it.


The First Dance.

by Amber on January 5, 2012

If someone asked me what Tori’s first words were, I would probably say it was, “I want to go to dance class.” That’s not true, of course (I think it was “no”), but it’s definitely been on her mind for a long, long time.

And since the majority of her most fervently wished for wants and desires are remembered for no longer than a week or two, I knew this one must be serious.

That’s why, on a very recent, suspiciously mild January night, I found myself bumping down a rutted road, past construction barrels and road closed signs toward the holy land—her new dance studio.

She burbled at me from the back seat, so excited that she lapsed into Tori speak—a language of which I have only a rudimentary understanding. When we arrived, she nearly flew from the car, dragging me by the finger through the brightly lit entrance.

Then she was off, bounding into the wooden-floored studio, leaving me smiling awkwardly at the other parents outside.

She wasn’t dressed right. Highly organized momma that I am, I forgot to order her tap shoes. And it never even occurred to me that she might need a spiffy pink leotard or sparkly tights.

I cringed with embarrassment when I realized my mistake. But she? Appeared not to care, not even a little bit. Instead she dived right in, doing her best to tap heel-toe, heel-toe, and wave her arms in the air.

Being Tori, though, she found it impossible to stay in line, and often bounded out into the middle of the room. Then, being the bossy little thing she is, she dragged a reluctant little dancer into the action, holding the girl’s hands until she seemed to feel more sure.

In other words, she took to it like, well, a ballerina to a tutu.

When the class was over, she seemed reluctant to go. In fact, she threw herself to the ground in the middle of the dusty parking lot and begged to go back to dance class.

Being the heartless mom that I am, I instead bundled her into the car and listened to her screams all the way home. It was enough to make me wonder if my over-stimulated little girl was really ready to tackle dance class.

That was before I spent an hour and a half putting her to bed, listening to her chatter about tap shoes and dancing and frog hops.

She’s going back, alright. And next week, she’ll have her own pair of shiny tap shoes and tutued leotard.

It’s my job to make her dreams come true (while I still can), after all.


My Little Dancing Queen.

July 3, 2011
tori dancing

Tweet When was the last time you danced for hours? When you threw all your cares to the wind and just grooved to the music? I don’t know that I’ve ever done that. I’m simply not a dancing girl. But Tori? Tori’s got rhythm (as much as a toddler can), and loves to sing, dance, […]

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