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The last dance

May 24, 2010 - Erin O'Neill

This year was a year of firsts for my daughter: first dance class, first ballet slippers and tap shoes and learning to skip for the first time. The year of firsts culminated in the first recital on May 23.

Over 100 Marietta Dance Academy students, from preschoolers to high school seniors, performed for a packed house at the Marietta High School auditorium. The music was energizing and the little faces beamed with pride from all the hard work that they had put in all year. Overall, it was a very enjoyable show. I think there were not many dry eyes in the place.

The end of the season is a little bittersweet, though. Personally, I will relish not having to rush to get dinner, get my 4-year-old dressed, search for a parking space and get to rehearsal on time.

But this year went by too fast. My child grew two shoe sizes since September and to watch her trot off backstage on her own to find her place with the other girls without so much of a glance in my direction, well, it almost broke my heart. 

Needless to say, time goes by very quickly and we must cherish each and every moment.

But I would be remiss if I didn't mention exactly how important I feel it is to have a child involved in something like this. There is so much to be gained from allowing your child to express themselves artistically.

And there is nothing that shapes a child's self-esteem more than looking out to find their loved ones smiling back at them through tears of joy. No matter how independent a child thinks he or she is, there are still those times when they need reassurance.

To me, that is what makes a good role model. A parent who is invested in their child will help them to become a kind, decent and compassionate adult, whether they be adoptive parents, single parents, same-sex parents, grandparents or foster parents.

If you care enough to plant the seed and encourage your child, you will see them blossom into incredible human beings.



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Marietta Dance Academy students take a bow at the end-of-year recital on May 23.


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