A friend told me about a girl in another ward in our stake who does dance classes out of her home for girls ages 3-8. We got lucky and there was actually a spot open in the 4-5 year old class when there is usually a wait list, so Clara got to do a ballet/jazz dance class this spring and they had their recital the same day as Clara's preschool graduation.
Clara says that she doesn't want to do dance anymore and she always grumbled about going, but every time I picked her up she was so happy and told me how much fun she had and how much she loved it. By the end of the season, her attitude had somewhat moderated and she didn't complain as much about it but still says that even though she had fun she doesn't think she wants to do the Christmas show. I wish she would because I can tell that she loves it - I think what she doesn't really like is that it is more disciplined than gymnastics where she still gets to kind of do her own thing and there isn't a memorization component with repetition yet. But man, when she got on stage for her recital, she just shone (says her mom with stars in her eyes). For reals though, her smile was so big and genuine and you could just tell she was eating it up performing on stage. Which we really weren't sure whether she would enjoy or not - I was even prepared for her to get nervous and decide not to go on stage last minute, but she was totally comfortable and went right up.
Afterwards she got purple flowers (she was thrilled!) and we took her picture with a friend from church who is a little older than Clara and who Clara really looks up to.
And then a week after her recital, we got an email that Clara's dance teacher had learned that there was a spot open to perform at the Alameda County Fair and wondered whether the dancers would be interested. So she got to dance one more time on an even bigger stage with probably twice the amount of people in the audience. It took me WAY back to my days in a kids performing group called Showbiz Singers when I was in probably 5th grade through 7th grade. Again, she had a great time and had a huge smile the whole time she was on stage, and not just a performing smile - like a real, genuine, "i'm-loving-this!" kind of a smile.
Afterwards we took advantage of our free admission and free parking and bought a few tickets to go on some of the rides (the girls were in heaven) and get cotton candy. Then we ended by walking around the animal stalls to see the cows, sheep, goats, and pigs. It's a decent fair, but so expensive if you have to pay for the ticket and parking too! (Adults are $12 each and parking is $10!)
And now, for your viewing pleasure, a video of each of Clara's numbers in her dance recital. I think you will be able to pick her out but she is on the far right in the front in the first dance (Somewhere Over the Rainbow - she runs up at 00:12 seconds into the video), she is on the far right in the back row in the second song (When Will My Life Begin - she leads her row in at 3:41) and she is in the back right in the finale number with all three classes (When Can I See You Again - she gets to her spot a little bit late around 5:35 and she is right next to the blond Annie dancer. I die over her cute hip sways in this routine, which was her favorite of the three.).