It’s important for kids to know when to work hard and when to let go and be a kid.
Both Jessi and the kid she watched, superstar, Derek Masters, learned some important lessons in The Baby-Sitters Club Season 2 Episode 4.
Jessi had been practicing ballet since she was three years old. Anais Lee, who portrays Jessi, is also classically trained. It was so much realistic to cast an actual dancer for these scenes.
It’s hard to go from being the big fish in the little pond to the little fish in a big pond. That’s how Jessi felt when she transferred to the prestigious ballet school in Stamford.
She thought she was still good since she had been accepted, but she was struggling with her jetes and other steps.
It made me wonder had I been the best because I loved to dance or did I love to dance because I’d always been the best?
It’s rough being 11 years old. It’s between being a kid and a teenager.
During this episode, we met Jessi’s family for the first time. They were supportive of their daughter’s dreams, even though she didn’t believe it.
It analyzed Jessi’s relationship with her mother. Those mother and daughter relationships can be complicated when since she wanted to support her daughter, but she has two other kids to take care of too.
She often had to show tough love to push Jessi to follow her dreams.
Like most preteens, Jesi felt her parents didn’t understand her and her passion for dancing.
Jessi so wanted to impress the older girls in the club with her dancing.
She was tired of constantly being late to meetings because of the traffic from Stamford to Stoneybrook.
She hated that she was going to be left out of the next group babysitting event because of her winter recital.
Jessi never showed it as much as Mallory did, but she cared about pleasing the older girls just as much.
Mallory: Wait until you guys see Jessi dance. I cried when she was in the Nutcracker.
Dawn: What time is the show? Maybe we can do both.
The only thing that cheered Jessi up was watching Derek Masters, the most popular TikTok and YouTube sensation under 10 years old.
Jessi felt a kinship with Derek. His dad took Derek’s career seriously, too seriously we found out later.
But originally, Jessi appreciated talking to someone about callbacks and auditions.
She felt someone else understood her language, even if she wasn’t in Derek’s league.
An audition is an audition. My dad says your job is to walk into that room and show them what you’ve got. When you’re the best, they sense it.
Jessi made the mistake of getting inside her head. We can all relate to letting our fears getting the best of us and failing an important test or audition.
That’s what happened to Jessi. She felt so embarrassed she was only dancing in the corps de ballet and not the lead role.
The Baby-Sitters Club thought she’d be dancing the lead role and she was embarrassed to admit she’d failed.
Jessi felt was invisible to Madame Noelle. It crushed her pride.
Since Derek was struggling with making his newest video, Jessi knew he’d understand. He was the only person she felt she could be totally honest with.
I’ve been dancing my whole life but now what’s the point?
While it was great Jessi trusted Derek, it was a horrible idea to take career advice from a kid. He thought she should try to get endorsements and fame from TikTok too.
Mary Anne was the last person I’d have thought to bring as backup, but Jessi thought since Mary Anne convinced her lawyer father to let her dress cooler, she’d be a help.
No one could crack Mrs. Ramsey. She practiced that tough love and called her daughter out on being a spoiled brat.
Jessi: You just don’t understand.
Mrs. Ramsey: I do. You didn’t get a big part in your winter show and you’re not the center of attention anymore so you want to throw years of hard work , discipline, and focus away.
Jessi’s worst secret was out. She didn’t have a lead role. She tried to do damage control and was relieved it was sweet, shy Mary Anne that found out.
It soon became apparent that both Jessi and Derek forgot how to have fun with what they were doing. All Jessi did was practice dance to earn a role. She’d forgotten why she loved doing it in the first place.
When Derek didn’t book an audition, his dad seemed more disappointed than he did. Derek needed some downtime to let loose and just be a kid.
When they spent the day dancing and eating homemade ice cream, it was the first time either of them had smiled in ages.
Jessi learned that if you exhibit joy when you dance it shows in all your movements from your fingertips to your toe points.
If she was having fun, then joy radiated on her smile too. No one could take that moment away from her.
Jessi would have other opportunities to audition for another lead role. . For now, she could appreciate being an icicle in the corps de ballet and that experience.
She made a beautiful elegant dancer, and again, it paid to have an actress playing Jessi that could actually dance on pointe.
Jessi also learned how much her friends supported her, even if she didn’t have a lead role. This was such a pivotal moment of acceptance for her in the group.
It was such a Mary Anne thing to do. Mary Anne is so sensitive and cares about others fitting in.
She would be the one to initiate the entire club and their babysitting sitting charges coming to watch Jessi in the recital.
Mary Anne: Don’t get mad. I know you didn’t want us to come.
Stacey: You were amazing!
Mary Anne: I know you didn’t want us to come, but I wanted everyone to see what a star you are and that we’re going to show up for you no matter what.
Hopefully, Jessi feels like more of the group now and doesn’t feel the need to exaggerate her role in future shows now that she knows she’s accepted for who she is.
Over to you, TV Fanatics.
How important is it for kids to still be carefree and be kids?
Doesn’t Anais Lee make a beautiful dancer as Jessi?
Chime in below in the comments.
The Baby-Sitters Club is streaming now on Netflix.