Lost in Translation in Ballet Class January 21 2012

This past summer, my daughter and I took a parent/child swim class together, but this week K, who is now 2 1/2, had her first alone lesson -- toddler ballet.

I dressed her up in her pink tights, leotard and little leather dance shoes. Pink is the required color for her age group, and I had actually bought a dance outfit of a different color. But pink on little girls does look divino, as much as we try to try to fight against having our girls boxed into a stereotype. Pink is soft and sweet and lovely. And those aren't necessarily bad attributes to have.

I had been talking up the class, but still, K had a mild case of mamitis when we walked into the class. But after about five minutes I managed to slip out. I was listening from outside, and peeking in from a nearby window.

"Wiggle your fingers. Touch your head," the instructor said. K followed.

"Now touch your shoulders." Uh oh, I thought. I don't know if she knows what that is. I've taught it to her, but I've taught her hombros, not shoulders. The teacher touched her shoulders and K followed. Well, if she didn't know it, she does now.

"Touch your knees."Rodillas, rodillas, rodillas, I'm thinking. I'm pretty sure she doesn't know knees. She's a little lost.

"Touch your feet!" And K does it.

And then they repeat: head, shoulders, knees and toes. And then it hit me. Duh, I'm so babosa sometimes. that little song we sing in Spanish that says, "Cabeza, hombros, rodillas y pies, rodillas y pies," is not really a song in Spanish, but a song in English that goes, "Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes."

So, maybe my daughter was a little lost in translation in class. But I'm going to try to stick to espaƱol as much as I can to build that vocabulary. English will come easy. It's the Spanish I have to keep chipping away at.