When Rosie turned four Sherlock decided to sign her up for ballet classes. They made a big to do over it and went shopping for several different leotards, tights, and tutus and one special pair of little ballet shoes. Come Monday morning, she was nervous but she hid it well as her papa got her ready for class. Her hair wasn’t quite long enough for a bun, but Sherlock put it in a high ponytail with loose curly tendrils hanging down here and there. Once she was ready, he couldn’t contain himself.
“We must take a picture and send it to your daddy at work.” Rosie beamed. She stood in first position just like her papa had shown her and left him snap a few pictures. Sherlock sent them all to John who sent back comments such as ‘look at our little girl she’s growing up to fast’ and ‘beautiful’ as well as ‘have fun at class and behave yourself’. (The behave yourself was for Sherlock.)
Sherlock texted back and informed John he would be the model parent and honestly, John couldn’t disagree with that because when it came to parenting Rosie, he took it very seriously.
It was in the cab on the way to class that Rosie began to get nervous. “Papa, what if everyone laughs at me or what if everyone is better than me?”
Sherlock hushed her, “Rosie, you will be just fine, all the little boys and girls coming to your class today have the same fears, but you will all start at the same pace and learn together. There is nothing to be afraid of, and if you make a mistake, you practise it again until you get it right. Besides, you also have a bit of an advantage, your papa can help you practise at home remember? Papa took ballet when he was young like you.”
She giggle, her eyes going big, “I can’t imagine that.”
“Well if you like, I will give you a demonstration someday and don’t forget who showed you how to do the first position.”
“I thought you just looked that up online to make me feel better.”
Sherlock feigned surprise and then kissed her on her forehead. “And look, here we are dance class.”
Sherlock paid the cabbie and they got out of the cab and headed into the building. Upon entering the class, they found all the parents chatting in a small group with their toddlers clinging to their legs afraid to let go. There was only one little boy and he looked terrified. Rosie marched over to him and said “Hi I’m Rosie, what’s your name?”
He bashfully replied, ”Evan.”
“Well Evan, you can sit next to me because I’ll tell you a secret, my papa used to practise ballet when he was our age and he says we will all learn together and have fun.”
Evan smiled brightly and Rosie giggled and Evan’s mom mouthed thank you to Sherlock and he just nodded and took a seat in the back of the room as the teacher called the class to order.
The teacher was a bright young girl who quickly took control of her class and had them stand in a circle holding hands and then sat down. The children raptly paid attention and did as instructed as she took them through moves that had them stretch properly.
They started by sitting with their toes out in front of them and flexing their feet front and back while saying hello and goodbye to their toes which drew giggles, but it was effective. In not time they had the move down.
The next move, their feet stayed in front of them, but this time they used their arms to stretch. She had them stretch their arms tall like they were reaching for stars and then once they had an armful she would tel them to bring them back to their chests only then to throw them up in the air again.
They moved on to to concentrating on their legs, where they put their feet together and knees out to the side and then she had them bend forward towards their feet to stretch. After they sat back up, she had them flap their knees up and down and wave their arms and took turns asking them what color butterfly they were, Evan said blue and Rosie said purple and there were a lot of yellows and pinks and oranges from the other girls. So they had a whole rainbow.
The next stretch required them to lie on their stomachs and up with their arms while their legs and hips remained on the ground. After a couple of ups and down, they did the second part of the exercise where they were to take their right arm back and try to grab their right foot and then switch and do the left. Some children got this and some did not but the teacher assured them by practising here and at home, they would surely get it in no time.
Now they were ready for the last stretch. They sat on their knees and curled into a small ball. Then they stretched their body upward becoming very tall, all the way up and then back down again into a small ball. They did this several times.
By the time she got them standing from this exercise, the kids had her complete attention and half the class had was over. She began to take them through the positions. She ended up making it through all five with the kids mimicking her and some did well and others would need a lot more practice and then at the end of the class she finished with a few cool down stretches and released the children to their parents who had been quiet the entire instruction time watching.
Rosie grabbed Evan’s hand and ran over to Sherlock, “Papa, did you see us? How did we do?”
“The two of you did wonderful as did all of the other girls in the class.” Sherlock said loud enough so they could all hear. He remembered back from his days of class some children didn’t get any praise because their parents didn’t care or pay attention or even stay for the lesson.
“So can we come back for more lessons?” She asked as this had been a free lesson designed to get the children interested in dance, he crouched down in front of her, “this is a commitment and you have to come to all the classes and practise the assignments the teacher gives you, this isn’t something to take lightly.”
“I know papa, I will. I’ll come to all the classes and practise at home and you can help me when I get stuck,” and then Rosie turned to Evan. “Evan, will you be coming back?”
Evan looked up at his mum and asked if he could, “If that’s what you want honey, we can even come on the same days as your new friend here so you know someone.”
So between Sherlock and Evan’s mum, they decided Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 worked best and signed them up.
Rosie was delighted as she was putting her coat on and telling Sherlock she couldn’t wait for her daddy to get home from work so she could tell him all about ballet class and show him some of what she learned. Sherlock smiled at her and they walked down to catch a cab.
When they got home, Sherlock made her lunch while Rosie practised the new things she had learned in class today.
John was in for an earful when he would arrive home from work tonight.