Monday, January 23, 2012

Dance Class Dilemma

Cate confuses me - a lot.  She loves to dance, twirls around all the time (and has ever since she could walk), and pretends to be a ballerina.  So it was the natural thing to sign her up for dance class.  I found a dance studio with a special program for children with Down Syndrome.  I thought it would be great for her because she'd get the dancing she loves without the strict positioning and with that extra little bit of help.   Cate has been attending since September.  The class is great, there is a teenage helper for each of the kids in the class and they do dance but they also do things like pretending to be animals and other fun exercises that work on strength, balance and coordination.  Every Saturday morning she loves dressing in her adorable ballet outfit, she is happy heading to class, frequently hops and dances into the studio, and she loves to put on her ballet shoes when we get there.  Then we step into the dance room where she clings to my leg and does not want to let go.  This is a totally un-Cate-like behavior.  I've been dropping her at daycare since she was 6 month old and therapy sessions multiple times a week since she was 3 - she never pulls the guilt trip on mommy routine I've seen from so many kids.  But for some reason as soon as she sees the helpers, she changes her mind and doesn't want to dance.  I don't think its a being shy thing, this is a kid who yesterday asked a stranger at PetSmart to sit down with her and look at the cats - and the lady did.  She loves to dance, she loves the studio with all the mirrors because she literally pulls me into it, but for some reason she doesn't seem to like the class itself.  We figured out a couple weeks ago that she was telling them she had to go potty in the middle of class every week - going into the bathroom then coming out 5 minutes later.  Interesting part about that is that she can't take off & put on her leotard by herself so who knows what she was doing in there but it wasn't going potty!  I stopped that one by making her go potty before she goes in and making sure her buddy & the teacher know she just went.  Now we are dealing with a scene every time I try to leave her in the room to go out to the waiting room - this week it even included tears.  She also ended up in time out this week because she sat down and refused to get up in the middle of class.  They said after the time out she was fine and participated.
So my dilemma is I don't know how to help her.  I asked the teacher if next week I could sit down with Cate's helper and learn a little bit about her and take her picture so I can try to talk her up to Cate.   That is my only idea and I don't think it is really going to help.  We can't quit now, we've already paid for the costume and recital fee for May.  Funny thing is that if you ask her if she had fun in dance she almost alway says yes and when we get home she wants to show daddy what she did in class.
That girl is just a rascal!
first position
second position


just doing her own thing!

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