Thoughts On Becoming a Dance Mom

I was a dancer. From the time I was 6 years old…I just danced. My dance studio became my second home. I spent more hours of my week with dance friends than I did with school friends. My first kiss was at one of my dance recitals. (Incidentally, our relationship didn’t go anywhere. Turns out, he’s gay.) I had an immeasurable amount of respect for my dance teachers. I still do. The Larkins taught me so much more than just technique. They taught me some of the most valuable life lessons that are still with me 18 years later. The older I get, the more I appreciate how special  it was to have been a part of the Larkin dance family.
             
1983  
1995

So this fall, when my 3 year old was ready to start class, there was no question where I was going to bring her. She had to learn from the best. She would have to be a Larkin dancer. I was so nervous walking through those studio doors to sign her up…would they even remember me after all these years? How silly to worry. I was greeted with smiles and hugs and so many familiar faces. It felt like coming home again.

The morning of her first class my little girl walked into that room and never looked back at me. It was pretty clear that I was more nervous than she was. I’m not at all surprised that she has loved every minute of it. She absolutely adores her teacher, Miss Yvette. Tuesday morning dance class has come to be the highlight of her week. It’s been quite a new experience going through all of this as a mom. It fills me with pride to see how much she’s learned in just 9 months of dance class. It fills me with joy to see her dance every time she hears music play.

My husband and my parents like to joke that Anna’s dance is more about me than her. One morning my mom called. We chatted for a while, and then I said, “I gotta go. I’m getting ready for dance. I mean, I’m getting MY DAUGHTER ready for dance.” They love to tease me that it’s MY dance recital coming up…not my daughter’s. Hilarious…right? I’m sure I’ll never be able to make them understand. And truthfully, I probably deserve their ribbing. Part of it IS about me.

But it’s not about re-living my glory days. And I am NOT destined to turn into one of those obnoxious Dance Moms like on TV. (Although I don’t deny that I’m obsessed with  that show.) I’m just holding tight to the possibility that she might fall in love with dance like I did. The possibility that she might grow up and consider Larkin Dance Studio her second home too. The possibility that 14 years from now the pictures you see here will be on the big screen behind her as she dances her senior solo. I know from experience how much being a dancer can enrich a girl’s life. Maybe it will happen for Anna…and maybe it won’t. I’m holding onto the possibility.

All I know is, she stepped out onto that huge stage for her dress rehearsal the other night in that adorable yellow costume, cute little tap shoes and gloves looking so tiny…but she didn’t even bat an eye. She just danced. And I exhaled. After a year’s worth of preparing for this moment she didn’t cry, she didn’t run off the stage, she didn’t just stand there. She did great! And more importantly, she had fun. And she can’t wait to get back on the stage tonight for the big show.

One of my dance mom friends wrote about her own first year dancer at dress rehearsal: 
I know you probably won’t remember this, but Mom will never forget it.” 
I love that. I will never forget this. I’m soaking in every minute of this dance experience and hoping my daughter is doing the same. I’m am so grateful that I get to share this with her. 


Comments

  1. awww this is awesome! I can’t wait for my daughter to try dance and see if she likes it.

  2. Cannot wait until my daughter is old enough to try dance. I was also a dance mom. Cherished every moment of ballet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. My daughter loves that show too. Dancing wasn’t for her though…she quit early on and declared soccer was to be her thing. 9 years later, she is still in love with soccer. I think kids will find something that they love and we just need to let them follow their dreams. I hope your daughter loves dancing the way you did! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • There is a definite possibility my daughter might cash it in for something new down the road. I think I’m prepared for that. But also soaking in every minute now, while she’s enjoying herself. So cool that yours found her ‘thing’ in soccer! 9 is a lot of years!

  4. As a former gymnast, I totally get what you’re saying. I have my son in gymnastics for the same reasons you have your daughter in dance- you know how amazing it is to fall in love with something. She’s adorable. I hope she sticks with it! I’m stopping by today via the Sharefest.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by! And thank for ‘getting me.’ Fingers crossed your boy falls in love with gymnastics too!

  5. I think dance is a great way to teach so much more, not just dance. I did theater as a kid/teen and I loved it but it also taught me so much about hard work, determination and doing things you think you can’t do. Your daughter is adorable. We, I mean my daughter, (lol) has her 5th dance recital next Saturday, I love it too! Enjoy!!

    • Haha! Our, I mean, HER recital was last night…it went great! She had so much fun. You’re spot on with what dance/theater can teach a kid. It’s so much bigger than what’s on the outside. I hope you AND your daughter have a fantastic recital! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I came across this post via the Share Away Saturday Link-up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m also a dance mom with a 3-year-old and can totally relate. I danced on my high school’s dance team, so naturally I wanted my daughter to give dance a shot. I can only hope she’ll love it as much as I did and that I’m not being too pushy.

    Her 1st dance recital is in 2 weeks. Time to see a year of classes all come together!

    Best wishes from one dance mom to another. xo

  7. I always wanted to be a dancer. I mean, I dance – but just not formally trained. So as soon as my daughter turned 3, I enrolled her in ballet. When she had her recital last month, I nearly cried. Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from SITS

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge