Olaf, and the girl who couldn’t skip

For the past several weeks we have had the soundtrack to the movie “Frozen” pretty much on repeat in our houseand the reason presented itself on stage this evening in front of a vast sea of parents shining faces.

Our younger children, along with a couple of hundred friends, danced their way through an amazing show titled “Seasons”, staged by our local dance teacher, who the children named our goldfish after (“Wonderwoman”). You can guess which season “Olaf” made his appearance during, prompting sweeping “awwww”’s across the audience as a miniature army of the youngest children marched onto the stage with carrot noses, and buttoned bellies.

I smiled so much during the show that my face hurt by the end. I clapped so hard along with everybody else at the spectacular introductory number that my hands hurt.

You’re probably wondering why I’m making such a big deal about a kids dance show.

Well you see our children are adopted. Their early life has affected each of them in differing ways, but it’s most striking in our youngest, who suffered awful neglect and didn’t develop the early motor skills that most children take for granted. It has taken heryearsto catch up, aided and abetted by an army of names I cannot mention, and her own determination.

In the early days we were advised that any activities involving movement would help, so along with our own tireless efforts to walk to school, help her learn to roller skate, ride a bike, and swim, we enrolled her in dance classes. She’s never had the easy coordination of her friends, and she’s never remembered the routines too wellbut she has always been the most confident, happiest, and obviously proud of her peers when performing to an audience.

When she was very little, we realised the mountain we would have to climb when she didn’t learn to skipshe always trotted. The same problem shows up when you call for her attention from one sideher shoulders turn with her head it’s a classic sign of gross motor issues.

Anyway (getting away from the point of this essay I didn’t intend on writing) after five years of dance classes, without any provocation, a little girl skipped across our kitchen one night this week. Sure, the skipping was mechanical, and ungainly -but it was skipping.

So. Olaf. We have you to thank, along with the dance teacher, the school teachers, the brownie leaders, and the countless others that have helped, encouraged, and supported a certain little girl that we all worried so much about.

It looks like she’s going to be just fine.