Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hungarian Dance

Little A has finished the First Grade. I couldn't quite believe it, even when I attended the year's final Parent-Teacher Conference and verified that he did indeed accomplish the set work required by the national curriculum to move up to Second Grade.

In a week or so, he starts Summer School, a five week half-day academic and IEP programme to prepare for the coming school year. I understand this means no more taking shoes off in the classroom, more seated writing work and less floor-based play learning. I hope he matures enough to cope with the demands of the coming year, but have confidence that he will since he has pleasantly surprised us at every turn.

More importantly, he seems to genuinely love school. The first few days of the holidays he seemed at a bit of a loss, and one morning put on his uniform and got his school bag and lunch box and instead on going to school.

Another thing he truly loved was the end-of-term programme. This year, the school had on its staff the first licensed music therapist in the country, who would give weekly lessons to each class and private lessons to certain students, among them Little A.

Teacher B did an amazing job at the Christmas concert, which Big A and I unfortunately missed due to an out-of-town wedding. The end-of-year concert though, was an even bigger production. The increase in students meant the parent audience would no longer fit in the school's small car park. So a nearby convention hall became the venue for the school show.

Little A has long been obsessed with stage performances. He watches them on YouTube, but has been overwhelmed whenever we have tried taking him to children's concerts. But as a performer rather than a member of the audience, I hoped he would focus on the music and the dance rather than the inevitable applause which still bothers him but he has conditioned himself to accept.

Once the class had walked through the theatre and gotten familiar with the layout, three mornings of run throughs and rehearsals took place before the actual show. Little A's class was doing a Hungarian dance composed of 16 children, each little boy partnered with a little girl. It was a long piece of music, well over 3 minutes, and I was amazed that all the kids had the choreography down perfectly.

All the classes did an amazing job, but I was proudest of my Little Prince, as his female classmates described Little A when he first entered their backstage room in his "costume" of dark trousers, long sleeved shirt and black vest. He danced, he bowed, he did lose it onstage during the awarding of the certificates, but he calmed down soon afterwards, and no one is perfect.

So ends another academic year. Two down, eleven to go. Bring it on, Grade Two!

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