On the day of her exam, I did as I was told. Bring her to the studio an hour before her scheduled exam and then LEAVE. No pretending to need to use the restroom to catch a glimpse of your child getting her hair done. No claiming you forgot something so you can get a peek at how cute they look in their exam dress. No. You just have to be patient and wait.
One of the hardest things for me to do is wait. It was hard for me to wait to see Isabella in her exam attire. It was hard for me to wait to hear how she felt about it, to ask her is she showed Miss Sandy her dimples, to see if she remembered her posture and her turn out. But that is what we had to do following the big Exam.
Thankfully, I am getting better at waiting. As the years go by, I learn how to preoccupy myself so the waiting doesn’t seem as bad. But what really helps make waiting bearable is that good things come when you wait. Sometimes they take days, other times months. Sometimes it even takes years of waiting. It seems like torture, but it is almost always well worth the wait.
We only had to wait a week to find out how Isabella did on her very first ballet exam. Having taken dance exams myself, I wanted her first experience to be a positive one. There were times where I had to bite my tongue when it came down to corrections. I had to pick and choose what I thought were important things that she had to work on, and things that I know she is physically able to achieve. But more importantly, I didn’t want to become an annoying dance mom that knows everything and has a critique about everything. That would spoil the experience for the both of us. Your first exam should be fun, so we worked very hard on a few things together, and the rest was up to her.
A week after her exam, the two of sit in the studio office waiting to hear how she did, much like I did with my own parents during my dance days. We sit and go over her marks with her teacher (who just happened to be my teacher when I took this very exam). She goes over what each section and mark means. She goes over the examiner’s comments. Then she shows her what she earned – Honours. I don’t think it registered to her right away what that meant. Then she shows her the certificate with the purple sticker. Isabella definitely got it then. The smile on her face was priceless, absolutely priceless! I wish I had a camera so I could capture that look forever. But that is what this blog post is for, so I can remember that big smile with her big dimples forever. And so she can remember her very first ballet exam.