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One morning I was sitting at my desk working until I heard some familiar classical music emanating from where Jerry was watching Netflix on the tablet. I turned around in surprise and asked him what cartoon he was watching.
“Oh that’s Nutcracker Tita Mel! he replied like it was the most normal thing in the world for an 8 year old boy to prefer a full classical ballet performance instead of ‘Man vs Wild’ .
Astonished that Jerry had not only found The Nutcracker but had obviously watched it enough times to know the full story, I suddenly realised what had inspired his recent leaps around the balcony, the trying to do the splits and the walking around on his toes.
After almost a year of Jerry’s imaginative ballet interpretations last week he told me he would like to learn ballet properly. So over the past few days we’ve made our way to Iloilo City (4.5 hours on the bus where Jerry vomits, sleeps, wakes up and vomits again) so he can attend classes at the Claravall-Gonzalez School of Classical Ballet.
I have to say I’m totally thrilled. I’ve loved ballet and classical music all my life and was greatly disappointed not to have had the opportunity to attend classes when I was a little girl. Growing up in a small town, after 1 year of Royal Ballet accredited classes the teacher stopped coming to our town. So you can imagine me hovering through the window taking pictures of Jerry doing his pliés and welling up every time he did something really well.
The little cutie looked for me during the whole class and afterwards relayed a postmortem of the entire lesson to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.
“I love it Tita Mel, I love ballet” he shouted excitedly.
So we’ve signed up for weekly classes (and yes the 4.5 hours each way on the bus too) and ordered black ballet slippers for boys to be sent down from Manila. The little bugger is super flexible and can almost do the splits already. And going to the city isn’t so bad either, I can get hot water out of a tap, salad ingredients and a massage for $7 so everyone wins really.
© 2017 Melinda J. Irvine
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