Dance Mom Blues

I was miserable.

The windowless changing room at the local community theatre was crowded and hot, and my hair’s twist out was quickly becoming a thing of the past. The air was thick with humidity and excitement. Fifty girls scurried about, changing into multicolored sequins leotards and tutus. Stray green feathers and purple fringe littered the linoleum. Tap shoes clacked to various beats at a painful decibel. A group of ballerinas sang “Little Sally Walker” repeatedly for 10 minutes straight.

Whenever recital season comes around, I feel like Danny Glover’s character from Lethal Weapon – too old for this. The other moms in the room looked shell shocked. Maybe it was the heat, or maybe they felt just like I did.

Being a dance parent is a J-O-B, and it takes a level of commitment and God-given patience that I do not possess. There are five good reasons the Dance Mom Life is not for me.

1. I already have a job. Making it to a 4:30 p.m. dress rehearsal is no easy feat when I work until 5:30. Mini Me expressed an interest in competition dance, and there was no way we could swing it. Travel, extra classes, and additional performances don’t fit into our current schedule.

2. I have a toddler. Lil Ma is too young for dance class and too impatient to sit through a three-hour rehearsal, two-hour recital, or even a 15-minute parents’ meeting. I have to arrange for her to be elsewhere, and that adds more complexity and stress to dance events.

3. Hubby travels. A lot. We divide and conquer when we can, but Hubby’s job sends him out of town frequently.

4. Chaos makes me nervous. No matter how organized the dance school, there is bound to be chaos when you combine girls, glitter, sequins, and songs from the Frozen soundtrack. I can’t deal.

5. Recitals are long. Too long. This year’s recital has 52 dance numbers. I wish I were kidding. Mini Me’s in three performances, and the last one is about halfway through. When the recital is over, I’ll be running for the nearest bottle of Merlot.

But it’s not about me.


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I accept the title of Dance Mom because of Mini Me. She loves dance. And as much as I grumble about how much dance parenting stinks, I wouldn’t change it. (Well, that’s not totally true. I would shorten the recitals by about 35 dance numbers.)



4 thoughts on “Dance Mom Blues

  1. I am having the exact same struggle. It started with 2 dances and now she is on the Company team. Not only do I have to deal with the end of year recital, we also have competitions – but thankfully they are local (for now). My husband is willing to help, but since he is a man, they just won’t let him go backstage and help out It also doesn’t help that our dance studio owner is notorious for last minute decisions/instructions. We get costumes a few days before a competition. Hair choices are made in the same short timeframe and all it does is add to the stress.

    I find that the veteran moms at the studio have a better time of it because ultimately, the owner repeats her choices of hair, make up, etc…and they have millions of hair pieces already accumulated along with styles of ballet, jazz and tap shoes. Since I don’t have my arsenal, I have to shop every time I decision is made.

    This week is our company recital. I have to take Friday off of work for dress rehearsal, which for Ava begins at around 6. We are scheduled to leave at 5. The performance is Saturday. 3 acts. 80 performances. Ava has 3…one in each act. Wine is in order.

    The things we do for the kids.

    • Ok! My Hubby tries to help, but his travel schedule makes it difficult.

      We had to change dance schools because the last one was too disorganized, and I didn’t approve of the song choices. No 8yo should dance to Lady Marmalade.

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