My middle daughter took her first ballet and tap exams last week. The children had been practising their routines for a few weeks and were well prepared and the build up had been kept as low key as possible.
But this didn’t stop my daughter from worrying about them. A few weeks back she point blank refused to go to her dance class and literally dug her heels in to the ground, so determined was she. I didn’t force her to go because I know how much she normally enjoys it, but I was determined to get to the bottom of why she was so insistent.
It turned out that she was worried about the exams because she didn’t know the routines. Logic didn’t even come in to it when I suggested that it would be better that she went to class so that she could practice them. She was also worried about the fact that she would have to wear her hair in a bun and she thought that this wouldn’t be possible because her hair is too short.
My daughter is a natural worrier and I knew there was no way I was going to convince her that everything would be fine. So I promised her that I would contact her teacher and let her know my daughter’s concerns, so that she could help allay them.
I already knew that the exams would be conducted during normal class time and that one of the teachers would even come in with them to help start them off. I also knew that the girls would go in to the exam as a group. But I was never going to be able to convince her this on my own. A quiet word from the teacher and a few more practices was all it took though and by the time the day of the exam came around the nerves were completely gone.
In a way it’s good that she got the wobblies early on and got it out of her system because it meant that on the day she really enjoyed herself. And of course the teachers have years of experience doing hair and could perform miracles with any style or length. I had to take a photo to show my daughter the result and she was more than pleased!
A happy, smiling girl and her friends went in to their first exam and an equally happy, smiling girl came out at the end. I’m proud of my daughter for overcoming her fears and having the courage to take this exam. She’s learnt a lot about herself by doing it, not least that she is a competent little dancer, but also that she is a lot braver than she believed.