On getting home from work recently my 4 year old daughter decided she was going to show me some new dance step she just learnt from school. Excitedly, I reached out for one of her favorite Nigerian music on my iPod only for her to say she didn’t want that. Before I could figure out what she wanted she yelled “do I dear, I female dear….” excerpt from the movie Sound of Music already streaming from my movie box on TV. The surprise on my face couldn’t match the shock that was to be her next move. She one finger at the top of her head, her right leg knee jerked and then suddenly swivel. I’m like what the ……..??
I was finally helped out of my state of shock and confusion when her mother told me it was a new dance routine she just learnt from school called ballet. “ballet what” I remarked.”Ballet dancing Ugo” she retorted.”Like that movie” I smacked , “yes like black swan”. Oh well, I had no choice but to sit down and watch partly in admiration of my daughters steps as she strives to please me and in awe of what our school curriculum is these days as regards culture.
Back then pupils were had leisure classes called “cultural dance”. I didn’t recall anyone being taught how to dance ballet, or any other foreign dance for that matter. Why not another dance routine by the way? Ballet dancing? For African kids! I didn’t see that coming. Not the kinda stuff we blacks are made for I’d think. What happened to teaching these kids some Hausa steps, Idoma dance steps, Yoruba Batavia dance or even the world renown Atilogwu Dance? Not that I’d like my kid to indulge in some major acrobatics, but then even ballet dancing involves some acrobatics as well.
What has happened to our educational system? As usual the schools always have grandiose reasons for this. Like “we strive to ensure that our pupil are competitive with their contemporaries internationally by ensuring our curriculum is not only rich compliant with subjects in sciences and social sciences but are also diverse in it cultural perspective about the world within and around them”. All these grammar all for the sake of justifying the high school fees being paid.
Thankfully, a rouse of applause brought me out of my thoughtful inquisition. I gave my kid a smile of “appreciation” lest I draw the wrath of her mother. Welcome to the world of ballet dancing in my household.