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Bees, birds and ballet

Picture Rogan Ward

Picture Rogan Ward

Published Sep 6, 2011


I went to the ballet last night.

Well, sort of. It was my niece’s school ballet concert and it was enchanting.

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It was called Down The Country Lane and featured girls (it is a girls-only school, after all) from Grades R to 7 dancing as birds, sunbeams, mice, wooland fairies and bees, among others.

My niece Gemma, aged six, was one of the bees, in a black-and-yellow striped costume and a proper bun and pink ballet stockings. She had wanted to be a sunbeam, as their costumes were so pretty but it was not to be.

The really little girls all have a designated older girl to dance with them in case they forget what they are supposed to be doing - but, between you and me, some of them still forgot.

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Were they in time with each other? No.

Were they all going in the same direction? No.

Were they all properly spaced? No.

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Were they all graceful? No

But they were all trying really hard and they were lovely.

Gemma fell over in last year’s concert (thereby pre-disastering herself) and was a very fluttery if slightly anxious bee. Mom, Dad, Gran and Aunt beamed all the way through her three minutes of fame.

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I came to parenthood late and by the skin of my teeth, and every school concert I go to (not to mention every kiddie birthday party) reminds me why I wanted it so much. It’s a chance to be part of what my sister calls “the fabric of community”, a chance to share love and fun and make memories. I am, as they say, ever grateful for this parenting life.

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