Okay, so it wasn’t a stage but Reid did have her first performance on Tuesday night at gymnastics. I’m not sure if the teacher had told them there would be anything special happening at class but Ken and I didn’t say anything for fear of instilling performance anxiety until we were on our way into the gym. The kids in Reid’s class don’t have the skills or memories to carry out any complicated routine but they have cuteness and energy in spades that more than compensates.
Reid and her classmates did a floor routine that was barely controlled chaos but I was so proud of her. She followed along (more or less ;+) and her little body is so strong and she is increasingly coordinated. They shook there sillies out and jumped and spun and did a few other manoeuvres that she has been practicing since we first started in July.
In the next section of the program, Reid walked carefully across the first balance beam, did her stork stand and remembered to do her motorcycle stance when she dismounted. Things started to unravel at that point because the teacher was far ahead. Reid and her buddies, the ones not being led by the teacher, started to wander and “fall” off of the balance beams. Finally the teacher noticed that 3 of the 4 kids were nowhere near where they needed to be and got them over to hang from the rings and then from the bar while doing a straddle. They crawled through a tunnel and slid down a slide as well but I’ve seen those things at home ;+)
I don’t think that I would use the word “controlled” in describing the chaotic atmosphere that prevailed during the trampoline performance. The teacher is a nice young woman but has yet to learn much in terms of class management. She focuses too closely on the child nearest to her and the others slide out of order. Still, it was clear that Reid has mastered new skills since her first gymnastics class in July. She can jump with both feet at the same time, can stay in place while jumping or move forward according to her desire. On one of the trampolines, Reid did a sit-jump or at least she jumped, sat and climbed up and repeated the process. This is one of Reid’s favourite moves. I like to watch anytime that she tries to do a jumping jack or variant thereof and she did one on the trampoline as well.
The kids did a series of movements on the floor – handstands, hanging from a pole, climbing to a platform and jumping, doing a star hold from the ladder, mounting and dismounting a little rise, swinging from a rope and a somersault down a wedge-mat. Reid tends to get her hands too far from the wall and her handstands look a lot like extreme pushups. Her upper body strength is certainly impressive. As recently as September, Reid wanted someone to hold her hand when she jumped from the platform but on Tuesday she jumped confidently and landed and then moved into a motorcycle stance. At some point, she’ll land *in* the motorcycle stance but that’ll come in time. Reid loves to do somersaults and the wedge mat accelerates her tumbling. There was also some sort of thing they were supposed to do with a little hoop. I’m not sure if they were supposed the put the hoop over themselves or rock back and forth while holding it. Maybe I’ll figure it out next session.
They finished with another floor routine that included twisting (read: wiggling) and attempts at jumping jacks and other movements that might have been mistaken for flailing if you couldn’t see the concentration on the kids’ faces.
I was impressed that Reid didn’t wave and call to us at us or come to see us in the middle of the performance. She mostly followed the teacher’s instructions, when she could hear them, and showed that she’d mastered new skills.