Baton twirling has become a major extracurricular activity in our household lately. Emerald starting twirling a little over a year and a half ago. Sapphire, always striving to keep up with her big sis (and in many ways doing just that) began following along in Emerald’s class, much to the delight of the group’s leader, Ms. Christy. Last January, Sapphire finally got to start twirling officially and Emerald began taking private lessons to start performing solos.
Emerald has always been a performer, but with other activities, she wasn’t so interested in attending class or practicing the skills — until just before the show. Baton is a total other world for her. She practices every night and can’t wait to go to class every weekend and her private lesson every other week. She has come so far in such a short time and she beams every time she gets the chance to show her stuff.
This past Saturday, the girls performed at Emerald’s school’s fall festival. It was Em’s big debut of her solo. She was sooooo excited and sooooo determined to nail it. She practiced extra hard every night for the last few weeks. And since we had plans Friday night to attend Sapphire’s preschool picnic, which meant she wouldn’t have time to practice at home, she asked to bring her batons (she twirls two at once for part of her routine) along to practice at the park.
She wanted to practice as soon as we got to the park, but Mean Mom 🙂 asked her to leave the batons in the car until after our picnic dinner. She ate very little, so excited to get her batons out . . . but she had to wait until we were all finished. Finally, she was allowed to go get those twirling sticks and run through her routine about half a dozen times in a grassy area close to the parking lot and pretty far from the action (with her biggest cheerleader, me, sitting nearby and playing her music on my iPod).
After a short while, a couple of girls wandered over to watch. Then one of them asked her to go play on the playground with her, so we put up the trusty batons and off she went.
Later, after her friend left and as the crowd was thinning out, she asked me to get the batons out of the car again so she could practice some more. Not being one to tell her she can’t practice (isn’t that like telling her she can’t clean her room??), I trudged back to the car to fetch the batons. Practice soon turned into a small show (with most of the people who were left at least periodically glancing in her direction) and then impromptu baton lessons as a few other girls (most of them very close to her age) watched in delight and asked her to show them how to do some tricks. Emerald was in heaven and was a very good teacher. She also had a ball.
When Saturday morning arrived, both girls were very excited. Sapphire was practicing her favorite trick non-stop (the girls get to do a favorite trick when they are introduced) and Emerald was very pumped. She warmed up at home by running through her solo routine three or four times and then again at the school. She was ready.
What a fabulous show all around!! I think Emerald is glad her first ever solo twirling performance (along with the accompanying jitters) is behind her, but she can’t wait for the next time.
Here are my beautiful twirling gems warming up before the show:
What did y’all do this weekend?