Dance class was difficult for Namine this week.

This week’s dance class saw the girls starting to learn their Christmas dance. As expected, there’s a lot of arm-waving as well as dancing. Up until now, Namine has been content to stand up in her walker for the dancing and kicking, and sit on the floor for the arm movement — since she can’t stand up without supporting herself with her arms.

Namine’s walker has a detachable seat. It’s useful in therapy for when she needs a brief rest, because she’s able to quickly push herself back up into a standing position. Early on, Namine decided that she wanted that seat detached.

When she was in ballet two years ago, Namine did much of her dancing on the floor; she wasn’t strong enough to stand in her walker for extended periods of time, and she wasn’t able to stand at all without her braces. When she wasn’t on the floor, she was in her wheelchair.

Now, however, things are different. Namine is stronger, and her feet can now bear weight without her braces. Since she can dance in her walker, she prefers to do that. But last night was more up-and-down than previous classes, and it was hard on her arms. (But you try doing push-ups and pull-ups for an hour, see how you feel.)

But difficult or not, sore arms or not, Namine still worked hard. Near the end of jazz class, the teacher had them doing “freeze dance” — where she would pause the music while the students were dancing, and the class had to stay still where they were. A couple times Namine was mid-kick, but she held it there during the pause.

The teacher did something else new last night: she let each student lead them all in ballet arm movements. But the teacher didn’t pick who went next; she let each student who’d led pick the next one. I was a little slow to pull out my phone for this, but at least I got the tail end of Namine leading the class.

After class, Namine told me that she wanted to attach her walker’s seat again. It would make it easier to stand up and sit down, and she’d be able to do so much faster as well. I told her that sounded like a great idea, and that I’d make sure it was attached for next week’s class.

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