I love dance moms. No, I don’t mean the reality TV show. Those moms give real dance moms a bad rep.
I love and am grateful for moms who, in addition to everything else they are juggling, look at their child and ask, “Do you want to try ballet?” I’m grateful for the time spent researching which dance studio would provide the best experience for their child. I’m grateful for the willingness to drive to the lessons, often with siblings in tow. I’m grateful for the time it takes to juggle, and rejuggle schedules as the dancer progresses. I’m grateful for the willingness to manage the skill of a ballet bun, and get comfortable with pointe shoe lingo. I’m grateful for the attendance at often long and certainly less than thrilling dance recitals. And I’m grateful for your applause.
(Picture: From the doorway, my son at age 12 at a dance class in Taiwan. Going to class was over a 5 hour commitment for both of us: nearly two hours to class on the subway and bus, 1.5 hours for his class, 15 minutes to grab dinner from a convenience store and shovel it down before a nearly-two-hour standing-room-only return trip on public transportation during rush hour.)
When your dancer’s needs aren’t being met, you let go of convenient car pools and drive past other dance schools to get your child to the one that meets his needs better. You are excited to be part of the process. You volunteer to help when needed. You sew costumes, mend tights. You show up on time and bring your dancer on the off-day when she isn’t in the mood. You ask her about class, you listen to his triumphs and heart-aches. You plan family vacations around summer dance camps. You do it all for your dancer, while also supporting your family’s soccer player, swimmer, and singer, etc.
I asked recently on an online dance forum how dance educators could meet the needs of dance parents better. I was shocked and dismayed to see several dance educators express thoughts that were in essence, “Not a single person at [my school] cares about the parents or their needs.” Of course, a successful dance school cares for the progression of the dancer, but that is ONLY made possible with parental support, and Ballet Aligned hopes to NEVER take dance parents for granted.
Thank you for all you do! Thank you for your commitment to helping your dancer become the best he or she can be. Thank you for choosing Ballet Aligned to be part of your dancer’s journey! If there is anything we can do to support you as you support your dancer, please let us know!