Yesterday I had the distinct displeasure of being the one to break the news to one of our girls that she will not be traveling on tour. 3 children have received such news now... 2 because their visas were denied, one because she gets horrible shin splints when she dances too long. All three of them were amazing dancers and we really wanted to keep them on the tour. To all of them we are promising to take them on future tours provided we can work around these problems.
We gathered last night in the darkness of a Kampala power outage - me, Robert (director) and Constance (trainer) and Auntie Maria, the big mama of the home, called this girl to us, and hemmed & hawed for a bit until Robert coughed - Talitha, you do it. I nearly cried myself as I told her. She's one of my personal favorites too and I remember her from when she was in first grade.
The amazing this is how well she took it. She cried a little but then said she wanted to continue training anyway. We all agreed to let her train, and keep it a secret until she was ready to tell her fellow dancers. And I'm taking her shopping today for a new Christmas dress - small consolation but it will help.
As I write this (7:40 AM) the children are in the thick of training. I was awakened this morning by the slapping of their feet as they warmed up by running circles around the home. Sorrow may visit, but the beat goes on.