Bryn Gallagher: Hope from a baby ballerina

Bryn Gallagher

You learn a lot when you spend every Wednesday in a room with a bunch of little pink-clad, three-year-old ballerinas-to-be. 

          1. As soon as one kid has to go to the bathroom, the entire class has to as well.

          2. Rain makes little kids crazy. 

          3. The fluffier the tutu, the bigger the personality, the less the listening skills. 

          4. Patience is a job requirement.

          5. Anything can be fixed with a band-aid or a sticker.

The most important lesson that I have ever learned, however, didn’t come from a whole room of baby ballerinas. It came from a class of six, a group of two, and one particular little girl aptly named Hope.

Hope worked hard in every class; she would repeat, “ow, ow, ouch,” through all of the stretches. One thing that her three-year-old coordination just couldn’t grasp was skipping, but she still worked on it.

There was another girl named Sara, let’s just say she wasn’t the sweetest girl in the world. She did not like Hope, but they were exactly the same size.

Of course, in the ballet world being the same size translates to, “this is who you are going to dance with for the rest of your career (or at least until you grow).” So, in every single class Sara and Hope had to hold hands and skip across the floor just like everyone else in the class.

Sara, who at this point was just irritated with the whole thing, in her best diva voice said, “I don’t want to dance with her, she isn’t the best in the class.” Clearly that was not okay, so we resolved that she didn’t need a partner at all, in fact, she could sit down.

Sara’s lip started to tremble, her eyes began to water and one soul-splitting solitary wail filled the room. While this little girl was sitting and sobbing about how she needed a partner, I stood there thinking, “what the heck am I supposed to do with this?”

Hope knew what to do.

Within an instant she was at Sara’s side patting her shoulder and saying, “It’s okay, I’ll dance with you, and we can be friends and there won’t be any more meanness, and we might not get along all the time but it’s ‘okie dokie’ because we’ll be friends.” Sara stopped sobbing and they finished the class together.

So, essentially, in this dog-eat-dog world, when someone puts you down remember this: maybe all this world needs is a little Hope.

What do you think?