Ms. Pat

I love a good story.
And my latest favorite goes a little something like this....


Ms. Pat Who Teaches Ballet and Tap

There's a woman named Ms. Pat and she teaches tap.
She teaches tap and ballet and how to swing side to side.
She lines up the little ballerinas and mine is at the end and mine begins to slide. Slide, side to side.
The end where I used to stand, 27 years ago.  With Ms. Pat. On the end. Side to side.
Yes, Ms. Pat who teaches ballet and tap.
So many years, teaching the smallest of classes to the most unprofessional of students.
And Ms. Pat taps. And Ms. Pat twirls and Ms. Pat passes out animal cookies.

Ms. Pat has large hair and Ms. Pat has thin legs.
Ms. Pat has a thick voice that curls at the end and Ms. Pat calls you "Doll" and "Sugar" and "Honey".
She teaches small and she teaches little and she teaches were no agent would visit or medals handed out.
But Ms. Pat teaches ballet. Ms. Pat teaches tap.

Parks and recreation classes are where Ms. Pat laces her shiny, black shoes and she wears a t-shirt and orange lipstick and dark, dark eyeshadow.  She smiles and signs you in and signs you out and says, "See you next week, sugar" and it sounds like she has been smoking for her entire life, perhaps more.

And her classes are fun and not so sophisticated and Ms. Pat sits on the ground and stretches with the little, pink, fluffy girls {and one boy} and lets them run around and pretend arabesque and be ballerinas for a few more minutes. Even if they're a bit late.


Of course, us parents can always, for a few minutes, wait.
Ms. Pat gladly teaches ballet.  Ms. Pat gladly teaches tap.

But Ms. Pat was once a dancer, even more than we know.
Ms. Pat was once on Broadway and Ms. Pat was always the star of the show.
She told me of stories of her old studio, yes. The one she owned and ran.  She owned a studio in Chicago and that is where the story really began.

For Ms. Pat was once a real ballerina. And she once was a real shop stopper. She danced and danced and was in show after show.  But of course...in this class....no one will know.

Because Ms. Pat let me in on a secret, when I asked why she doesn't teach at a fancy studio for kid dance stars.
She simply said..."Darlin'...kids are supposed to be kids. Don't press them all too hard."

And that is when I loved Ms. Pat much, much, much, much more.
Because she was right, after all....kids are kids for a short time, only. Let them only explore.
Don't push too hard, but twirl, twirl, twirl.
Don't make them stone.
But, whirl, whirl, whirl.

You are a gem, dear Ms. Pat. Dear Ms. Pat, who teaches ballet and tap.


4 comments:

  1. I love every word! If only more teachers shared Ms. Pat's philosophy!

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    1. Yes! She certainly made it fun for the girls-and that is exactly what I think is the most important!

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  2. Loved this!! You need to give the link to this to Miss Pat next week!!

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    1. I forgot to, but something tells me she will be doing the class again for years to come, so I could always find her!

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