Dancing Queen, Young and Sweet, Only 13 Months.

Today is Olive’s 13 month old birthday.  For her first 12 months, I’d post a picture on her month-birthday on Facebook, wishing her a good one.  But as babies grow into toddlers, they become much harder to snap photos of!  Olive is constantly in motion.

A rare moment of lounging.

Speaking of her locomotion, the girl simply LIT UP the dance floor before my class yesterday.  Every other Tuesday, I take her with me to the Women’s Building for my ODC Rhythm & Motion dance class for the warm-up, after which Joel fights his way through 50-70 dancers to come collect her.  Olive has been going to this dance class since she was in utero, and I think she feels totally at home there.

For the first few months of her life I actually wore her while I danced, and she flapped her arms and legs in time to the music.  Now she has graduated to a stroller, where she sits and has a snack and is wide-eyed at all the sweaty dancers and their flailing limbs.  But I get there early to get a good spot and chat with my dance friends, and she is allowed to chill with us while we stretch.  However, she takes that opportunity to show us HER moves.  She does this hilarious chest bump, with her arms over her head, a spin-tastic twist that almost lands her on the ground, and a salsa-esque torso shake, worthy of a flower in her hair.

At first she was content to dance alongside me, but now she has found her inspiration in our teacher, Dudley.  She crawls right up to him where he’s stretching and copies everything that he does, following him around the room if he changes position.  When he leaves to get water she cries and takes off after him.  He mused yesterday that perhaps she knows his voice from all the time of hearing him in class, as a fetus and then as a little one.

Anyway, her moves are incredibly fun to watch.   She loses herself in the midst of all those people and does a full-body shake, not caring that they are all looking at her and chuckling.  I am one of the gigglers, shaking my head at how adorable and free she can be.  I hope she never loses her wildness, retaining a sense of who she is no matter who is around.

So, today, this post is just for her, toasting the joy she brings to my life.  When I render my list of complaints about this life, she makes nary a one.  Happy 13 months, baby girl.

*Update: Here’s the pic Dudley snapped with his phone of Olive “teaching” the class!  Next time we will get video of it, for sure…

"Arms up, people! Why are you all standing there giggling? Extend!"

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