Ballet Observation Day

We have finished up another year of ballet. It was Emi’s first year at this particular school, and she did an excellent job. Her feet are very flexible and her jumps are great for her age. We are so excited to see how she does going forward. Emi is lukewarm on ballet. She is pretty good at it but doesn’t like it that much. However, we are going to tough it out another year or at least semester to see if she enjoys performing in front of a crowd. It will definitely be a challenge for her.

Here are a few little snippets from Emi’s last 3 year old class at the ballet academy. We are very proud of the hard work that she put in.

….and a little swimming for fun too.


Spring Ballet Gala

Continuing on the ballet theme. Last weekend, Mia performed in the spring gala for her ballet academy. It was one of those shmancy fancy things with a champagne reception before the performance began. I used to think that these things were so pretentious and try hard….but I’m secretly getting accustomed to these Greenwich ways. Now, I can hang out in the MidWest with the best of them, but I also appreciate celebrating all of the hard work that the girls put in (and the money the parents have spent) with a little bit of a pre-event party. Did we drink? No. But we appreciated the atmosphere.

For the performance, the girls danced to “Simple Gifts” which was also a song Mia played at one of her past piano recitals (we are having to put piano behind us for right now which makes us very sad). We were so happy with the choice. The dance was so pretty and energetic and showcased what the class had learned over the past few months. It made my heart happy. No other way to say it. Here are a few photos from behind the scenes and also a video clip of the dance taken by a friend’s husband.

Also, one of Mia’s teachers dances with ABT…and performs with Misty Copeland!! Yes, we are stupidly excited about that. I don’t care much about celebrities, but since Mia LOVES Misty….it makes us a bit giddy. Anyway, here are a few clips.

Ballet Graduation Gala

On Saturday (June 10), Mia was set to perform in the graduation gala at her ballet academy. Ten headed off in the morning to his competition, so the girls and I basically just had a pretty lazy morning. They played while I slowly got things ready. Around 10:00, we headed out to do some errands and then were back home by 11:30 to start preparing for the afternoon.

I got all of us looking presentable, and we headed to the theater at 1:00. We dropped Mia off at the dance studio, and then I decided to wait outside on the benches and let my date burn off some energy for the next 30 minutes.

The shoes came off as soon as she started playing.


Emi loves to dance and do all of the moves the older girls do. It is adorable.


After 30 minutes or so, we headed into the theater and made some small talk with some people that we know. I also looked at the silent auction baskets. They had some very nice things like a “Russian basket,” piano lessons, etc….but I knew it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to bid on anything because there would be an evening performance later in the day.

I was so lucky that one of the moms texted me a few photos from backstage. For this performance, I decided to watch the girls dance rather than help behind the scenes since Ten had to be out of town. Since we have zero family around, it is either me or Ten in the audience.

Mia is the tallest one of the group. Where she got these genes, I will never know.



Did I get pics of faces? Yes. But thy were just way too zoomed up of the other kids also….so decided not to share those. The performance was really beautiful. Mia’s group did a great job, and she performed very well.

A small bouquet of flowers from her teacher. We got her a small ball and bat. Ha.

She was very proud of herself. Great job Mia!


So, Mia has completed the earliest stages of the ballet academy and will be moving on next year to enter classes with the Russian teachers. Great job Mia!

I didn’t get video of Mia dancing, but this is just as good. Emi dancing to the music that she hears.  

Emi’s first dance performance

 On Friday (May 19), Emi had her first dance “recital.” At least, the school called it a recital. It was basically a parent observation day with a pretty backdrop and matching tutus….more on those later.

She is the cutest thing in pigtails.


Doing some ballet stretches before the performance.


Standing on her spot. She is seriously adorable.


The show was basically based on the idea that the girls were stars who liked to dance around a sleeping ballerina. Also, each dancer had the chance to perform a solo. Emi used hers as a chance to break from the group and come and give me a hug. The funny thing is, I whispered to Ten before it started that that would happen. 

At the end of the performance, we gave Emi a small bouquet of flowers. She was so happy to get these.  She has had to watch Mia receive flowers quite a few times, so this was a true special treat.


Loving her flowers. She held on to these for the entire ride to pick Mia up from school and to go home.


Emi did such a great job. She definitely is a hesitant kid when it comes to doing things indepently, so it was a great experience for her.

Now, the tutus….they cost an astounding $45! Ridiculous considering one mom said she had the exact same one….and it cost $12.  Such a ridiculous price that they required us to pay….and fwiw I did tell the owner that I thought it was an excessive amount to pay.

Anyway, here are a few clips from the performance.

Surviving the Week

We have finished up what I hope will be the toughest week of our summer. Mia attended an intensive ballet program at the Greenwich Ballet Academy, and we are all so happy that it’s over! Parking was really horrible, and I had to arrive 30 min before drop-off and pick-up to find a parking space. So that means Emi and I had about an hour to kill before driving back into NY to pick up Mia. So tiring. Not to mention that Emi still had her pre nursery class to attend, both girls had swim lessons on different nights, and Mia still has lessons at our local dance school. Howver, Mia had a great time and LOVED the class. We are so happy that she had a wonderful time, but we were all so ready for this weekend; and I have lots of catching up to do at home.


Mia on day one of her five day intensive. Every day from 9:30-12:00.


The first morning I took Emi to Bruce Park to play. She had so much fun but spent most of her time in this sand nest.


Slides are everything to Emi right now.


On Tuesday we went to Emi’s class and just had a really easy time  playing, singing, and doing art projects. We love this class and our teacher so much.

Emi scooting up front for story time.


Making a surprise box for art time.

We also managed to swing by Emi’s new classroom for the summer. It is so bright and colorful, so I’m hoping she loves it as much as her current class.

On Wednesday after we picked up Mia we had to get Emi to her swim lesson. She lives for diving for toys with help and jumping off of the side of the pool.  

Too cute.


On Thirsday, Mia had her swim lesson. She is working on the butterfly right now and it’s pretty amazing to watch. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics because my camera was full.

Other little pieces of this week. We did have to eat out 3 times to survive the long week. One of those days we headed to Fuji Mart and grabbed a few things.

California rolls for Mia, Ebi fry onigiri for Emi, and obento for me. The girls also picked out a box of chocolate cheeseburgers for themselves.

We are also gearing up for summer camps and camping over here, so I have been slowly piecing together everything we need.  

New thermoses for the girls, a lantern, water bottle bag, soap saver bags, and a Gakken workbook. We love Gakken for Emi because the activities are really short snd colorful.


Some games to keep the girls busy during downtime, toilet cleaning stuff, and popcorn.

We are also getting ready for some summer festivals. Ten sent the girls new yukata and jinbei. Mia loves dressing up in Japanese clothes and was very excited to get these.    

My favorite and Mia’s too.


Lots of pink for Emi.


These I have to hide or will be literally broken in under 5 munutes.


Anyway, so we are now enjoying the weekend! I will say that Mia has decided to continue with ballet…totally not my preference….but we will support her choice for this year…and I’m going to publish without proofreading…so be kind.


This summer we tried something new. We signed Mia up for ballet. I envisioned little girls standing at a bar following their teacher’s instruction and looking adorable.


Now, some of that has happened, but let me just be honest with you. Ballet with 2 year olds is 100% pure chaos. I mean utter chaos. It is literally like being in a room with 8 little wild animals that are just bouncing off of the walls. I swear my blood pressure is through the roof for a majority of the 45 minutes, but I just try to sit back and enjoy it. The teacher assures us that her yelling French words while the girls run around like lunatics is beneficial for their development as dancers…In my honest opinion, I HIGHLY doubt it.

But then again, there are moments…small slices of time…nanoseconds….where the girls are actually following what the teacher says, and it then becomes the most beautiful little class you have ever seen.


They practice their stretching on the floor. Here we are gracefully painting a rainbow.


We dance around the room with our little fairies. This is always a hit with the girls.


Sometimes we get to wear tiaras and pretend to be Cinderella and dance around with flowers.



Here Mia is just landing from an oh so fancy leap. She loves jumping and bouncing around. It may be one of her favorite parts of the class.


We look in the big mirrors and admire just how cute we really are.


Overall, I am so glad that we were able to have this experience this summer. I think it gave Mia a chance to be a bit little girly for a change, but for all of you thinking about signing up your toddler for ballet…I highly suggest waiting a year or two.