Saturday, 4 July 2009

Bollywood beckoning?

As I have recounted numerous times, Maya loves dancing with a passion. Her latest thing is to open an imaginary present and then ask me to dress her in its contents: a ballet dress and ballet slippers. All pink, naturally. Once dressed, she jumps up and pirouettes round the room with wild abandon. Because of her love of dancing, when I heard about a Bollywood dance class going on for 3-7 years, I jumped at the opportunity. Maya too seemed very excited about it and off we went.

It all started really well...on came the music and she jumped up and down and vaguely followed the prompts of the teacher. But after about ten minutes, she suddenly walked to the back of the room and started playing with the puzzles, just like that. Obviously I didn't want to push it so we stayed at the back playing while the other kids strutted their stuff, gently asking every so often if she wanted to join them again. But of this, Maya was absolutely certain. She just wasn't interested. A little while later, we went in to another room at the back where there were other toys but we could still hear the music. And suddenly, being alone she jumped up and threw herself into an energetic dance. "Oh!" I said. "Do you want to go back and dance with the others?" Maya declined. "But you love dancing, Maya." Then she looked straight at me and with a very grown-up, clear little voice these are the exact words she responded with. "Yes, but I love dancing at home." And that said it all.

Maya is a private, independent little person. She dances to her own tune and she dances on her own terms. I could be wrong, but I don't think Maya is ever going to be performer. But the fact that she derives so much pleasure from dancing alone is more than enough. In fact, it's brilliant.

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