With just one more week of practice, Namine’s jazz class is working hard to learn their dance.
There must be some universal law about how when you want children to do what you want, they do the exact opposite. That’s pretty much how the whole of jazz class went.
Normally, the girls in Namine’s class are not too distracted. Some are, some aren’t, you know how it is. Not this time, though. It was like none of them could focus. Well, except one.
Namine can get pretty distracted too, and sometimes this is painfully obvious when I want her to help out with her chores at home. But the few times I’ve seen her at therapy, she’s usually pretty focused. And in all the times I’ve accompanied her to dance — since I help her with some of the practice moves, I’m there every week — I’ve observed that she takes it very seriously.
I know why that is, of course; she’s explained it to me many times. She wants to walk. She wants to stand. She wants to run, to jump, to dance. And she wants to do it all without her walker, so in order to do that, she pushes herself. Her strong work ethic is never more obvious than when she’s in her walker.
The dance teachers wanted nothing more than to practice the dance for the entire half hour of class. Some of the rambunctious girls made that nigh impossible, but they did make it through their dance several times.
There are two distinct things that stand out in my mind, as I recall the evening’s practice. The first is when, about halfway through the thirty-minute class, several girls complained that they wanted to sit, that their legs were tired. The teacher said loudly, “No, no one is sitting. At all. Ever. We are going to stand, and we are going to dance!”
Namine looked up at her teacher, smiled, and nodded. The teacher looked down at Namine, realized what she’d just said, and told her, “You can sit if you need to.”
Namine just looked back at her, that grin still on her face, and said, “No, I’m good.”
The second thing that comes to mind was at the very end of class. There were perhaps two or three minutes left, and the teacher asked the class if they wanted to do the song one more time. She was met with groans, complaints, and loud “Nooooo”s.
But one girl stood up tall in her walker, leaning on one arm to leave the other arm free. She raised her arm as high as she could and yelled above the rest, “Yes, one more time!”