there’s glitter on my Northface.
i noticed it this morning.
as i was getting ready for this particularly chilly day, i put my jacket on, noticed the additional sparkles, and immediately knew where they were from.
the students have been asking me to help them work on their pirouettes. so, we practiced.
we talked through physics, placement, and technique. we did some strengthening exercises and worked through a few combinations of turns. i could see the dancers working hard toward their goals, falling out of their turns, but never giving up.
after a round of pirouettes was over, we took a short break before taking another stab.
the students gathered in a group over by the stereo, where i keep my things and where props are kept. they began to rummage through the props and ask me random questions about what was in my dance bag, as pre-teens do.
i went to pull their focus back to turns. it was important that we not lose track of time, get off task, or miss out on valuable training opportunities.
almost on queue, a timid “ms. sarah?” emerged from one student.
“can we use this hair glitter tonight?” she asked me, indicating to an aerosol spray can tucked in with the props.
i paused for a second.
my initial response was to say no, pull them back to turns, and remind them that we’re here to work hard.
but i stopped myself.
“sure!’ i said, “for anyone who can show me a clean double pirouette, you can have hair glitter tonight!”
why not, i figured. they had been working hard and would continue to work hard, just with sparklier hair.
so we practiced again, and i will say, with a marked improvement over the initial round of pirouettes — they did fantastically.
one by one, they would show me a double pirouette (or as close to one as they could get), and I’d spray their hair and congratulate them.
by the end, everyone was glittered and turns were looking cleaner.
“do you want some?” one student asked me?
i paused for a second.
my initial response was to say no, explain that i have a serious job during the day, and remind them to work on the next item.
but i stopped myself again.
“sure!’ i said, “throw some on there!”
why not, i figured. if they could work hard with sparkly hair, couldn’t i?
another student cautiously came over to take a peek at my hair.
she looked at me carefully. I could see the wheels spinning in her mind before she spoke.
“you’re a fun teacher,” she said to me.
“i try to be,” i replied back and adjusted my newly sparkled hair.
we completed the rest of our class, did our cool downs, i excused them, and we left for the evening.
i’m grateful to these students for teaching me that you can accomplish a lot and still have fun, that you can spread that mentality to others, and that you can work hard with sparkly hair.