I apologize about how far away J is in these photos. I really could have gotten closer to watch, but the actual chairs were all the way across the room from him, and I just wasn't willing to sit on the floor for an hour and a half just to get better shots.
He's still the only boy dancing at this level, but a couple levels behind him is a younger boy who is very serious about ballet as well, and who also happens to be homeschooled. Not surprisingly, he and J have already bonded. They're also in Modern class together, which is nice for both of them. And behind them are a couple of adorable little boy dancers who are just starting out -- we've all got our fingers crossed that they'll be bitten by the bug and become serious about it as they get older. Would be so much fun to have enough boys to justify a "boys" class.
The class sinking into their splits. This always makes me cringe. But I see such difference at this level, even though there was only one girl in the class with a true ground-touching split, most of these kids are very, very close, including J. You'll also note what a shorty J is in this class -- not only is he on the small side anyway, but he's also a bit young for this level of class. This is the level where the girls start to go en Pointe.
Which is why it was important for J to start private lessons this semester -- the girls take an extra pre-pointe class, and, lacking a specific boys' class, J needs time to develop the skills specific to male ballet. I've really seen a huge jump in his technique these past couple of months, and I know the privates are at least partially the reason. It's nice to see a return on our investment, since, as you can imagine, private ballet lessons do not come cheap.
Best part of getting to sit in on his classes is always the same thing, no matter what level or age he's at -- the huge smile on his face the entire time he's working! It always makes me teary to see him involved in his true passion. (I have the same reaction watching Zoo Boy do Karate.)