Sharing Through Performance

Maia the Munchkin FlowerAs the end of the school year approaches, so do the performances. At this point we’re not performance heavy, but there’s still enough to keep us busy on these last few weekends before summer.

On April 25 Keana had her “Notables” “thing” which was a chance for all the second-graders to dress up like a famous person in history they had been learning about, and share a short spoken piece about their person. Being drawn to strong women, Keana chose Sacagawea and was especially excited about the dressing up part. We borrowed some authentic Native American pieces from Grandma Jennie and even wrapped up a little baby to further authenticate the performance. Learning about Sacagawea was also a great experience for Keana to process a different culture and a different place in history and amidst the sharing of facts that she learned along the way, she often had lots of questions about why certain things happened and why they’re different (or the same) now.

This last weekend, May 11, Maia performed in the California Arts Academy production of The Wizard of Oz. Keana and Maia are both in ballet, but the performance-specific class was only open for Maia’s category by the time we enrolled in January. Grandma Linda and Grandpa Sam drove over from Sacramento and from Fresno, Tia, Grandma Jennie, and Grandma Bev were all in attendance.

For her little performance as a flower in Munchkin Land, there sure were a lot of extra rehearsals. Maia absolutely loved every minute of it—especially the extra rehearsals at different locations—but I’m looking forward to her having a bigger part in the future. I know she’s only five, but she is really drawn to performing and seems to have a lot of natural talent. Most importantly, she loves it. It also doesn’t hurt that the teachers she’s had so far have been very impressed by her and encouraged her (and Keana too) to really pursue dancing. So we’ll see. Gotta keep my competitive nature in check, but still try and make these opportunities available for the girls…and maybe give them a little push to get out there.

Unfortunately we couldn’t tape Maia’s performance, but you’ll just have to imagine how adorable she was and what a joy she was to watch. Sarah and I both got a little teary-eyed for sure. I don’t think it matters what your kid is doing on that stage. For that brief moment it’s as if there’s a single spotlight and mic just for them. I think it’s an important skill to have—being able to perform in front of an audience—and I think it’s a great way for kids to share something they create with other kids and adults. Definitely looking forward to more of this.

Next up: “Authors Night” at Keana’s school where all the students share a book they’ve written and illustrated in a sort of book fair, open to the school community. Always one of Keana’s favorite school events.