At the end of every term, our dance school awards trophies to each class for dancer of the term and most improved dancer. Getting a trophy is a proud moment for a dancer and their parents.
My daughter is, and always has been, the best dancer in her class. That’s not just me saying that. That’s the view of the teachers and of anyone who ever watches their class in action. The only time she wasn’t the best was when she was in year 1 and it was a year 1 and 2 class.
My daughter is always there, right in the front and the middle of every dance (that’s where they put the best dancers). You just can’t take your eyes off her. She dances with more skill, energy and enthusiasm than anyone. She is amazing. All of the other kids will be watching her because they don’t have her incredible ability for learning dances and they know she is the one person who will never go wrong, so they copy her. (On the rare occasions she does go wrong, the whole class goes wrong!)
So when it come to dancer of the term, she IS dancer of the term. Every term. It’s not just her skill, it’s her hard work and determination, it’s the fact that she never misses a lesson. But our dance school doesn’t work like that, and rightly so. Dancer of the term is awarded for lots of reasons and it’s not just awarded to the best dancer every term, because that wouldn’t be fair on the others.
But you see my problem.
She’s getting more grown up now, but she still finds it hard not to win. She knows she deserves to win.
Every term we have to have The Talk. The one where I remind her that someone else might win it, that teachers choose people for lots of different reasons, that it’s fair for someone else to win it… She knows all of this and she understands it all. But she still finds it hard. She still fights back tears when she doesn’t win. I usually have to remove her from the room as quickly as possible, with her hands covering her face, when someone else wins the trophy.
‘Dancer of the term goes to someone who always gives 110%… ‘
It’s my daughter, it’s my daughter!
It wasn’t my daughter. It was someone else who gives 110%. And I looked at my daughter, and she looked fine. She wasn’t crying, she didn’t even look like she might cry.
She’s been dancer of the term lots of times before and I’ve always been very proud, but seeing her not cry when someone else got it, that made me REALLY proud.
When I congratulated my daughter on not crying, she pointed out to me that she never wins it at Christmas, she always wins it at Easter. So she didn’t expect to win. Easter, however, will be a whole different matter…