6 reasons I love being a dance mom

6 reasons I love being a dance mom

My daughter is a dancer. She has been dancing since she started preschool and she is now in junior high. Tights, leotards and ballet slippers have been in our world for quite a while. With my daughter’s latest round of ballet classes beginning today, I remember that I danced for one year, in kindergarten. I was awful. The dance gene did not come through me, which is why I’m shocked that I am a dance mom, and even more so that I love it.

Disclaimer: I’m not THAT kind of dance mom, the scary kind that you see on reality television. I am a mom whose daughter takes ballet, tap, jazz and sometimes hip hop at a local studio. We don’t travel or compete, but rather have found a studio and approach that satisfies my daughter’s passion for dance and my need for sanity and (an attempt at) a balanced life.

1. Dance takes place in a climate controlled environment.

Perhaps this tops the list because today’s forecast is for temperatures over 90 and high humidity. I’m grateful for the fact that both my kiddo and I will enjoy an air conditioned dance studio, just as I’m excited to not be too worried about bundling up to sit outside when the snow is flying. It’s also easy on our sunscreen budget, which is pretty high given my history of skin cancer.

2. Dance combines athleticism and art.

I realize that whether or not dance is a sport is a raging debate. When my daughter does hundreds of sit-ups, though, there’s not denying the athleticism required, especially as she moves up in levels and continues to challenge herself and what her body can do. But there is no denying that dance is an art form, as well.  Like so many things in life, it requires a combination of opposite yet somehow complimentary skills.

3. It exposes my child and myself to new kinds of music.

I’ll be honest, I’m not great about blasting the Spanish salsa music, continually cycling through a variety of classical music or being up on the latest hip hop. The exposure she gets to that wide variety of music, and the different cultures from which those genres come, is wonderful. I think it helps make her well-rounded.

4. The equipment is pretty manageable. ballet slipper equipment

My child tends to forget things. What tween doesn’t? I love that all the necessary equipment fits nicely in a dance bag. I’m accident prone, so I’m thrilled that our garage is still navigable. I may feel differently when juggling multiple costumes with all different kinds of tights, jewelry, hair pieces, etc. at recital time, but I’m far less likely to injure myself on those than I am tripping over a ball or stumbling on an errant shin guard. Hats off to the football parents who manage pads, helmets, cleats and all else. I couldn’t do it.

5. It has made her appreciate her body, every bit of it.

I know that this is not always the norm for dancers. I know that dancers have very high rates of body dysmorphic disorders compared to athletes in various sports. But, at this point in time, dance has promoted a healthy body image in my tween by making my child fully appreciate her body and what it can do it. It has taught her that she can push herself. She has learned that practice does make perfect, or at least possible. Moves she never dreamed of months before can become doable, or even easy, with hard work. Dancers think of each and every body part and how those parts move in concert. It requires appreciation for everything from strong core muscles to the position of a pinky finger. Dance has taught her that her body is strong, powerful, capable, beautiful and deserving of respect.

6. She loves it.

I’m sure I could write a similar piece about softball, soccer, swimming or any other activity if it was my child’s passion. But my girl loves dance, and I derive such joy in watching her do something that she adores. I also love that she enjoys sharing that passion with others when she is on stage. There’s a glow, a shimmery lightness, from her when she’s in her element like that. That is ultimately why I love being a dance mom.

When do you see that glow from your child?

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Filed under: Parenting

Tags: dance mom

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