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Letter: A Grandfather’s Dream

To the Editor:

Education has so many facets. A few days ago, I took our granddaughters to City Center Ballet’s Clara’s Dream. After the performance, I asked two principal dancers, magnificent in their tutus, for a picture with our granddaughters. The dancers are 17-year-olds from Hartford and Lebanon high schools. As I was readying my camera, these two young women put their crowned heads together, quietly conferred, and then snapped into perfect ballet poses on each side of the little girls in red dresses.

My wife and I have seen performances of the American Ballet Theatre. We’ve been to several performances at the National Paris Opera Ballet. Paris’ gaudy opera house, the Palais Garnier Theater, couldn’t be more different from the Lebanon Opera House physically, architecturally or culturally. But there, at the City Center Ballet, on a Saturday afternoon, we saw ballet in which the dancing, costumes, sets and choreography were just as moving as what we have seen at world-class venues. And it was not only the way the whole corps of community teenagers danced that impressed me but also the attention that these two dancers gave to a grandfather’s picture. Part of the training at City Center Ballet must be “complete the move, hold it until finished, and then prepare for the next move.” No giggling; no goofing. Confer. Prepare. Execute. Because that’s what happened with my picture.

Isn’t that a facet of education — using activities such as ballet to help students learn a variety of skills for the lives they are growing into? I volunteer to take photos at dress rehearsals of City Center Ballet. Clearly showing through my lens is the sparkle of the educational facets of determination, training, preparation, execution and completion. But is there any sparkle quite so bright to a grandfather as the eyes of his granddaughters, perfectly posed with two dazzling ballerinas?

Dan Grossman

East Thetford