A few weeks ago, Livia went for a Tahiti dance trial class at Tahiti Dance Fitness. The particular one she attended was meant for toddlers aged 3 and up and it was every Saturday at 3pm. I came to know of the class from Meetup.com, which is a great place to find activities for parents and kids.
Livia was only 2.5 years old at that point, so I spoke to the leading dance teacher, Ms Beatrice Caisson that our little girl loves to dance since she was a baby and she’s fully toilet-trained and I just wanted to see whether she would enjoy dance class. Ms Caisson was really nice about it and allowed us to join the class but she was a bit disappointed to know we were only doing a trial class because you know with me and the triplets and my husband’s shift work we were not be able to make it to class every week. So a trial class, just to do something fun for the day will suffice.
I prepared Livia in advance the day before and told her we were going for dance class. She was really excited and kept bugging me about going to dance class all night and all morning. I didn’t know how to dress her for dance class so I figured something comfortable probably will do, so I chose a tank top and shorts.
The class was somewhere off Clarke Quay in an old building. My friend accompanied me and Livia since my husband had to stay home with the triplets. The dance studio was really spacious, and there was even a section with sofas and chairs for parents to sit and watch. The dance teachers introduced themselves to me, they were all dressed in shirts and sarongs. All the kids were also donning sarongs, which I guess came with the package when you signed up for regular class.
There were about six kids of Livia’s age, and I guess they were a lot older because Livia was the shortest among them. She blended right in as usual and played with them a bit before class started. Then one of the teachers led the class in warm-up, and I can’t remember now but they taught the girls to recite certain messages of empowerment. The one line I remembered was, “We must be nice to others and nice to ourselves,” which I think is a really great message for little girls to learn.
Then they did some warm-up movements and I could see Livia was a bit confused and struggled to follow. Like most toddlers, she had difficulty paying attention but she tried her best to copy the movements by looking at the teacher and her friends around her. Sometimes she would just stand there and stare. Then Ms Caisson took over and she taught them the Hibiscus dance, and Livia was really getting into it. I thought it was hilarious that she didn’t know how to shake her hips. One of the teachers stood directly behind her to help her with her movements because she was new to it. At this point, I wondered if maybe Livia was indeed too young for dance classes.
Then they played some games, learnt more dance moves, shouted more positive messages about being strong, and the classes ended in 30 minutes. It seems really short but honestly, as I was sitting there watching three teachers try to get all these toddlers to participate and not run off or remove the dance props, it felt like a very long half hour.
I asked Ms Caisson later on if maybe Livia was a bit too young and I expected her to say yeah, bring her back when she is older. Instead she gushed about how great and attentive Livia was, and how she did such a great job trying to participate. Since it was her first time it was simply amazing that she stayed the entire 30 minutes because typically most new students would have difficulty focussing and following. She told me to encourage Livia to dance and practice more, and she really, really wanted us to come back for regular classes. I told her you will have to wait for my triplets to walk because right now there was nobody else to care for them if I brought Livia to class. One of the shortcomings about raising multiples without help! So we promised her we will come back when things got easier for us.
The whole experience was really positive. Livia enjoyed herself and weeks after the class was over, she kept asking me about going back to dance class. I feel a bit bad about it but I told her one day we will go back.