I have two daughters who are both in dance. They started at three years old and my oldest will be ten this year. They both absolutely love to dance and perform in front of an audience. They are always dancing. Always. Home, school, outside, church, even the grocery store. I can’t get them to stop.
So as I sit in a darkened auditorium for another 5 hours of dance rehearsals I see the other parents sitting and I think about what makes a dance mom (or dad)?
1. The first thing is a love of coffee and the fact that you drink copious amounts while sitting through lessons, watching rehearsals, or even at competition weekends.
2. As they learn, you learn. Ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, they all have their own terms and soon you will know what fairy skipping, arabesque, and hand springs are.
3. Each recital comes with a new routine, and embracing your inner Amy Poehler from Mean Girls you will be able to do their routine as well.
4. And during recitals you become an expert at applying make up to little girls who should never wear as much makeup as a drag Queen, but to be seen you cake it on them. And I have become proficient at taking a little girls hair (never been cut, hangs under her butt) and getting it into a ballerina bun in less than 5 minutes.
5. As a dance parent you cheer on your dance studio and you always have extras for the mom or dad who forgot Bobby pins or hair spray. We are all in this together.
6. The cost. You will find that dance parents are finding the least expensive dance attire, used is our best friend because NOTHING is free. Lessons, shoes, costumes, tights, hair pieces. There is always a cost that has to be paid. But we do it, for one reason only….
To see the amazing people we created get up on that stage in front of hundreds of people, smile and step, ball, change as if they had been doing it forever. And the enormous pride each of us feels when seeing our children do something that many of us would never be able to do.
For my two little dancers, I couldn’t be more proud of you both!
Be strong, be beautiful, be you