Yes, I am a Dance Mom
Last month was an incredibly stressful time for me. I not only had a ton of client projects that were wrapping up, but it was also the end of the school year, time to figure out childcare for the summer, time to plan family vacations. However, the most stressful moment for me was figuring out how to get my seven year old daughter's waist long, thick, wavy hair into a proper ballet bun in time for her spring recital. I spent a whole evening doing nothing but watching YouTube videos trying to get the technique down without the need for a hair net. When I finally practiced my new skill on my daughter and got it right for the first time, I sent pictures to family and friends...not of my daughter, but of the perfect ballet bun I had created. The pictures went up on Facebook in their own album. I even tweeted a picture of my daughter's bun. That's right. I tweeted my daughter's hair.
Who had I become? Oh my God...a Dance Mom.
This was Emma's first year taking a class at an actual ballet studio, so it has been an eye opening experience for me as a parent. Not only was I surprised by some of the aspects of studying ballet at a studio such as the rules and the costs of extras like costumes, but I also was surprised by the atmosphere as the recital approached. Gone were the relaxing stretch classes in the room next door to where the girls learned ballet. Instead, the moms stayed in the hallway to discuss dress rehearsal times and pick-up schedules. How would the girls eat dinner? Would they miss their bed times? If they dance twice on Saturday including the grand finale at 10:00, will they be able to get up for church the next day?
The day of the actual dress rehearsal is when I realized the full impact of what it means to be a dance mom. For an hour and a half my son and I waited while Emma learned to walk on and off the stage and practice her dance once. In the meantime I saw moms frantically running with costumes and make-up, lists, dinners, homework, cell phones. In the end, the performance was fantastic, but don't ask me for pictures. There was no photography allowed, flash or otherwise. I'm just glad I got to be there! Each of the three performances played to a sold out crowd.
I will continue to allow Emma to take dance despite the Dance Mom/Pageant Mom/Stage Mom craziness because at least for now, she simply loves dancing. For the moment, our crazy was confined to my perfecting of the ballet bun and our navigation of the performance week chaos. However, when it becomes too much and I find myself saying things like, "Push the magic belly button and tuck that tummy in!", I think it may be time to re-evaluate how important dance is in our lives. I mean, in her life. The last thing I want is to become a Dance Mom permanently!