Sunday 13 December 2009

Jingle bells and reindeers

Yesterday afternoon, we attended the holiday performance in Ads' school. Ads had not given me any dope on what he was doing in the play, other than that he was a reindeer. The school had asked us to outfit him in a white turtleneck, brown pants and black shoes so that's what he wore. As it turned out, he wasn't doing anything much at all other than looking cute with reindeer horns upon his head!! Some 15 kids, all reindeers, marched in and jingled hand-held bells and that was it. Ads was nervous, we could tell, and jingled and jangled with no particular enthusiasm. Then they were sent off-stage to sit on the floor and that was it. I was taken aback because the rest of the 45-odd kids from the Primary classroom remained on the stage the whole time i.e. for almost 45 minutes. There didn't seem to be any good reason why the other 15 weren't on stage too, and allowed to do their thing. It seemed so unfair and I really wish Ads had got a chance to be in on the chorus or something. Even if he didn't sing, I did want him to get that exposure of being up there in front of a large group of people.
I would talk to his teacher about my reservations if I didn't know that we would not be around next year, so it seems rather pointless to argue. The teachers had told me a couple of weeks back that they don't "force" the kids to do anything, and the child has to "show" interest in performing. Well I think that a 4-year old might not necessarily evince enthusiasm at first. He may however, start getting interested in the whole exercise after a few days when he sees his friends practicing. Or, he could be a shy type (all the more reason why he should be brought out of his shell!) and might not volunteer to sing and dance. I used to be a painfully shy child but when I was 6, a teacher decided that I should dance on stage, and so I did. When I was 7 or 8, another teacher in another school decided that I would be perfect to play Red Riding Hood's mother in the class play, and so I did. These small beginnings led to a zeal for dramatics which continued to college-level and increased my self-confidence no end. The point is, sometimes you can bring a child out of his shell, or get him interested in performing, by giving him a little push - just a little push, not a shove. Why not?
That apart, the kids did a fabulous job, rendering Xmas favourites such as Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, Jingle Bells, the 12 days of Xmas and so on. It was a treat to watch how self-assured some of them were, and how cute all of them were!

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