It’s been a while since I last popped in an Okinawan dance video for Lil’ K to watch. We have been playing the Light Classical station on Music Choice (channel 841 on Oceanic digital cable) and Lil’ K enjoys wearing her pettiskirt* and dancing ballet around the living room. Tonight, she specifically requested to watch a video of Hanayakara, a dynamic group of young dancers from Okinawa, children as young as 6 and the oldest was 19 at the time. I left a stack of Hanayakara videos on the DVD player and she kept saying, “hanaka” and reaching for the videos. (I know, “hanaka” sounds very close to “hadaka” which means naked in Japanese. For the record, we did NOT teach her that word!)
Her request came at a late hour (on the toddler clock) and I am loathe to allow her to watch television within an hour of her bedtime, but she was so enthusiastic that I was reluctant to deprive her, so I bent my rule. I am glad that I did. Sometimes you can miss making the greatest memories by being too regimented.
I popped in the video and Lil’ K was instantly mesmerized, taken by the music and the skillful dancing of those young faces on the screen. She has a favorite dancer, a 7-year-old girl whose movements and technique are so precise, it’s hard to believe that she is so young. (She’s the one on the screen in the photo at the top of this entry.)
Like all little girls, Lil’ K loves to get dressed up. On another occasion, she has raided the dresser where I keep our kimonos and happi coats. She pulled out her pink happi coat and handed it to me saying she wanted to wear her “kimono” so we could dance together.(It’s not really a kimono, but rather a happi coat but Lil’ K refers to it as a kimono.) It wasn’t enough for her to get dressed up, she wanted me to don a kimono, too. So I did, and we had a blast jamming to some Toru Yonaha on my iPod.
Even though I was hoping to squeeze in a shower while she was having some “screen time” with daddy, Lil’ K asked me to be her dance partner. How could I refuse her sweet request? So, we dressed in our kimonos and danced in front of the television together.
Hearing the music and dancing with my daughter made me realize how much I enjoy and miss Okinawan dancing. I started dance lessons at age 5 and continued off-and-on throughout my life. I don’t know when (if) I’ll be able to return to dance classes again, but I hope that I can instill a love for the art in Lil’ K. If she chooses to be a ballet dancer instead, I’ll be fine with that, too. It’s more important that she finds her own passion and pursues something that she will truly enjoy.
*NOTE: Pettiskirts are currently being sold at Costco for $18. They’re usually not cheap and I’ve seen them online being sold for as much as $50 each. Little girls LOVE them! I’ll have to snap a photo of her in the pettiskirt later.
Who is Champuru?Aloha, I'm Donna, known everywhere on the Internet as "Champuru." I was born and raised in Hawaii. I'm a Christian. I'm married to my best friend of 18 years, we struggled with infertility and successfully conceived via IVF (and by the grace of God!) in 2008. I resigned from my coveted "secure" government job to be a work-at-home mom to my 3-year-old daughter. Using my degree in Information Technology and the skills obtained in the marketplace, I started my own business. Now, I work from home, taking clients on a part-time basis, working in my PJ's while the little one sleeps. Life isn't always easy, but it's all good.