"The Stand-Off" (My Episode 2, Season 3 Recap)
Reflecting on this past week was tough. There were highs and lows - mostly lows. It was an exhausting, emotionally draining week. How do you grab the attention of a “maniacal” dance teacher? You take a stand… remove yourself from her presence long enough so she realizes exactly what she is missing. That is exactly what we moms were trying to do when we walked out of ALDC for our silent protest. We are a team (and yes I do include Abby in that), a family, our children were basically raised in this studio, and are not a replaceable commodity. Yes, there is plenty of talent in the ‘burgh and as we saw, throughout the entire country. Those girls and moms came from far and wide!
Were we afraid that Abby would make good on her threats to replace the team even though we thought it would be a huge mistake? Fear should not be an immobilizer though, so we went for it! We were doing it for Paige and Brooke, but also for all of our girls. This was our chance to take a stand and let Abby know exactly what we felt about her attempts to simply replace a part of that family. We did not even consider going to another dance studio…our loyalty is deep as is that contract Abby makes you sign!
It was a lesson for our girls as well. We wanted to let them know how to take a stand when you believe in something and that there are many different ways to do that. Most importantly, you have to determine what will make someone listen. Abby hates it when the moms talk, so we decided to stay silent, a silent protest to show her how we felt. I think that it really made a difference, given that Abby came out and asked us what was going on. She usually can’t wait to tell us to be quiet or something less polite! The fact that we did it together made all the difference and it taught our girls that we could take a stand together and make a difference. It’s true at the dance studio and in all areas of life. Sometimes you have to take a stand to address what you think is wrong.
It is tough to stand up to Abby because of her strong personality, abrasive behavior, and taunts. Although there was some doubt at times, I had faith that our decision was just and fair. We were acting as a team on behalf of all of the girls in the group. Doing the right thing is not always easy and at times you can be heard best through the strategic use of silence. It’s not always necessary to scream to be heard.
Despite our best intentions, the mall performance was not the best that the girls have ever done. As always, the effort was outstanding but the choreography (technique) was lacking. We know that the girls have the talent, drive and passion to dance. Every day we are reminded of how much they love to dance and to compete. They are committed to excellence and that shows in their commitment to dance. Given that we moms are not professional dance instructors, we could not provide our girls with dance education on our own….that’s why we went to Abby in the first place. Just as much as we believe that Abby needs our girls, our girls also need Abby.
Although the dance community has long recognized Abby’s talent, this competitive team of elite dancers has helped Abby and ALDC gain broader recognition. The relationship Abby has with our daughters is mutually beneficial, we have always known that, but it was made ever clearer after the mall performance. Abby helps our girls achieve at the highest levels and that shows just how good Abby is at what she does. You only have to look at our girls’ performances to see that they all benefit from each other and need each other. We can only hope that Abby begins to recognize and appreciate what our girls bring to her as well.
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