Christmas decoration of holly berry and pine cone on white background.

Setting the stage for life

Watching our children grow through the performing arts

A few weeks ago, I had the joy of watching my daughter perform at her dance school recital that had been postponed since last June. She will graduate next spring, so this was likely one of her last performances with her ballet school and with the dancers she has been friends with since preschool. 

I found it hard to believe that this beautiful young woman dancing across the stage with such confidence was the same little girl in a purple tutu who skipped, twirled, and fell on her bottom at her first recital. Only four, she was mortified by her performance and declared with arms crossed and feet stamping that she was never going to dance again. 

By the time dance school registration opened that following year and she was the ripe old age of 5, she put the ordeal (that the audience thought was adorable), behind her and never looked back.

Watching my children perform on stage with dance, piano, voice, and choir has been one of my greatest joys as a parent. From toothless grins on stage during their first holiday school concerts, to music festivals and competitions, I have watched my children learn things beyond music notes and choreography that will resonate throughout their lives.

 From toothless grins on stage during their first holiday school concerts, to music festivals and competitions, I have watched my children learn…

In the feature, “The power of performance”, we meet three young performers about how taking to the stage has allowed them to explore and appreciate their individuality. They also share how their commitments foster discipline to balance their art and school-based education, plus sharpen their social and emotional skills and mental wellness management. It’s no wonder that a child with a foundation in the performing arts is often considered to be a well-rounded person. 

And behind every talented performer there is a teacher and a mentor. The Halifax area is fortunate to have a huge pool of talent who love to teach and foster a love for the arts with the next generation. In this issue, we look back at how the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts has been inspiring youth for over 100 years and has plans to continue long into the future.

We are now in the throes of the holiday season where we are used to seeing our children perform at annual school concerts — a time when all children have a chance to shine. These events will be a little different this year, but I am sure that our educators are finding unique ways for all our children to explore the joys of performing, knowing that when they do, they are helping to set the stage for important life skills. 

As we wrap up our final issue of 2021, we leave you with some great tips for a season that hasn’t quite returned to its normal self. Columnist Fawn Logan-Young shares her life hacks for a more economical, low-waste season — something that is on everyone’s mind this year and freelance journalist Katie Ingram gives us the remedy to supply chain woes and inspires us to get creative.

As much as I find it hard to believe that the holidays are here again, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I hope that you find some time to get outside and enjoy the lights, sights, and sounds, of Christmas.

The Our Children team wishes you and your family a holiday season that puts a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

Crystal Murray,

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