One of my favorite things about being a "musician," as opposed to a "performer" (I alternate between the two, depending on the gig), is the laid back role of being in the background. When I play for ballet class, the focus is on the teacher and dancers and no one really notices that the music they're dancing to comes from the pianist in that dark, aloof corner. I love it. I notice things that no one wants me to, or thinks I can, almost like being behind a two-way mirror.
The Saturday beginners' class is filled with about twenty four-year old girls in pink tights and leotards with their hair up in glittery curls and buns -- and one little boy. He keeps to himself. While the others are chattering and carrying on, he remains attentive to instruction and mimics the teacher's movements with precision and focus. Often the instructor will catch herself abruptly, "Okay girls, move to your --- and boy --- move to your left," with an apologetic glance to the young boy who never seems to notice or care. He simply works diligently with his tongue poised between his lips in concentration.
Today he performed his plie combination with predictable attentiveness and care, when something on the floor caught his attention. He broke from his text book "first position" and knelt down to pick up...a stink bug. With a mischievous grin he held the squiggly, secret treasure in his hand for the remainder of the combination.
In ballet, dancers perform combinations first to the right side, then do a 180 degree turn, or soutenue, and perform the same combination on the left side. The unsuspecting girl in front of him did her abrupt soutenue and was met with a very unwelcoming stink bug in the face. She let out a soft shriek, very uncharacteristic for the disciplined atmosphere of ballet, while he swiftly dropped the bug and stifled his giggles, then played innocent and finished his combination.
All of this went completely unnoticed by the instructor who continued counting at a machine-like pace. Only the boy, the girl, myself, and the stink bug knew what happened. And I felt myself stifling my own giggles. Boys will be boys, even in a woman's world.
Other adorable ballet inspired posts:
The Beginner's Class
A Dance for Every Ballerina