As soon as our little girl Madi was born I dreamt of seeing her on stage. I began dancing at the age of three and naturally just thought she would love it too.
From a very young age it seemed the dancing gene had passed down with Madi moving to and obsessed with the interactive acts Hi-5 and the Wiggles.
I took her to her first dance class at around the age of two. She wasn’t completely interested but I didn’t think more of it at the time because she was still quite young.
Unfortunately, things didn’t improve and only got worse from there.
She wouldn’t join in with the group or listen to or follow instructions and she was far too distracting for everyone.
For the first few weeks at the beginning of each year we would try and try again but it just wasn’t working out and it was heartbreaking to watch.
At home it was so clear that she loved it, but she just could not cope in class.
So, a few years ago now back in 2017, after more knowledge and understanding, my local dance teacher and I decided to create an all abilities dance class to see how that would go. With dimmed lighting, lower music volume, smaller class size, adjusted structure, free dress and no expectations. It ended up being just a one on one class with Madi, her teacher and I and she really began to improve!
We chose a familiar song that she knew from a movie she loved, True Colors from Trolls, to hopefully create a routine to dance to and possibly even perform at the end of year concert.
The three of us danced on stage together, a priceless moment in time!
She wore a basic cotton dress and no proper hair, make up or shoes. We wanted her to be as comfortable as she could be all things considered.
The following year 2018, we decided to give tap dancing a try because of her love for Emma Wiggle and it was a slower and more structured form of dance. Her best friend was also keen to join in with a small, young group of beginners.
Completing two routines, dancing in one with myself and the second all by herself with the other kids. She wore proper costumes with a little bit of make-up, hair and shoes. Performing on stage at the end of year concert once again.
This year she has continued to improve progressing to tap dancing with girls her own age and with no assistance from me. She insisted I sit to watch in class and not get up to help her at all. She performed two more difficult routines with her peers in full costume, hair, make-up and shoes, dancing in two big shows on the one day.
At times she can still be distracted and overwhelmed and may not put on the perfect performance at the show, but she is dancing and doing what she loves!
It took a long time and a lot of hard work to get to this point, but it’s been totally worth it all! Again, it’s taken time, steps, tolerance and a supportive team to help us achieve this dream.
Her teacher is very inclusive, understanding and thinks outside the box. She is patient, persistent and never gives up on us.
It is still so surreal and extremely emotional but is an absolute dream come true!