On this special occasion, I’d like to share some stories I’ve collected from dance moms, dance teachers, and dancing moms. I hope they brighten your day!
My son is almost 2 years old. When I was pregnant with him, I taught classes in ballet, jazz, and tap nearly every day. My youngest students loved to pat, kiss, and hug my belly! As he grew within me, I often wondered what he felt and heard as I chassé’d, balancé’d, and skipped around the room! I’m still not certain, but there is no doubt that he is a very musical little guy that loves moving! From the time he could sit, he would bounce to a beat. He sways and swings to music, and he even tries to copy the b-boy moves he sees on Hip Hop Harry. I adore watching him move and should he ever show an interest in formal classes, I relish the thought of being able to support him in that endeavor.
One of my fellow Twittermom Dance Moms, Tracey, is also a dance teacher. She shared an endearing story with me that I think most moms will appreciate!
I had a very shy child in one of my preschool ballet classes. It was so hard to get her to participate in the routine or to even learn it. When recital time started and it was her time to go out on stage. She looked at me and said, “But Miss Tracey, I’m scared.” I knelt down to her and said, “Do your best smile and have fun and remember you’re the star!” She stood there with her head down. The curtains opened and her eyes got so big. She stepped in front of the class and did the whole routine! (I didn’t think she even knew it!) The music stops and she’s blowing kisses bowing to the audience screaming “Hey, Mom! Miss Tracey said I’m the star!” I will never forget that as long as I live..the power of words.
Chips Off the Block
A good friend of mine, Suzanne Gerety, is a mom entrenched in the dance biz – she helps her own mother run her very successful dance studio and she runs DanceStudioOwner.com, a great site that provides the necessary tools SO’s need to operate a thriving business (you can read more about the site here). Apparently, she is rubbing off on her children!
My 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter love it when I play the tunes on my iPod. We dance around the kitchen and my son looks at his reflection in the dishwasher and he says he’s a ‘hip-pop’ dancer [yes ‘pop’]. Too cute. They particularly love the revival songs from the kids movies including “I like to Move it’ from Madagascar and “Kung Fu Fighting” from Kung Fu Panda. Watching them dance together is not only a highlight of my day, but they really think they’re putting on a show and ask me to sit in the chair and watch.
From Babes to Ballerinas
Twitter pal, Catherine (@cpmomcat) is a long-time dance mom. She shares two of her favorite “ballet mom” stories:
My daughter was performing as a Polichinelle in the NYCB Nutcracker and, of course, we were not allowed to video tape. A classmate’s grandmother snuck a video during a performance, but her eyesight was so bad that she recorded my daughter instead. So, I had a nice video of my daughter with only a small twinge of conscience.
My three daughters studied ballet, and while my two older daughters loved every minute of it, Sarah, my youngest, dropped ballet in favor of horses. Being the youngest, she was dragged along to rehearsals, etc. and at one photo session, one of the four little Swans was delayed and the photographer was about to leave. The A.D. came over to us and asked if Sarah would put on a costume and her sister’s pointe shoes and pose with the three young swans who were waiting, worried that they would not be photographed without a fourth. He assured us that going up on pointe would not be necessary, that she was almost the exact right size and, of course, my daughter agreed to help out. After several lovely shots with four little swans, and lots of praise for retaining her good posture and technique, Sarah turned to the A.D. and said, “So . . does this mean I’m in it?” The entire room burst into laughter, but that didn’t bother Sarah. To this day, she claims that she could have leaned the dance and could have performed it the next day! That was the first and last time she had pointe shoes on her feet – I wish I had a copy of those photos.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Melsmomma at DanceMom.com offered this story from the trenches:
During my daughter’s first year of competition 7 yrs ago, on the morning of a competition in Raleigh, NC, I was taking a shower at the hotel while my daughter was getting dressed. I was all soaped up and trying to shave my legs. I reached out to grab the shower bar to steady myself, my hand slipped, and I fell backwards… out of the shower… in all my glory… onto the floor. It made quite a large thud! My daughter ran to the bathroom, opened the door and saw me laying butt naked on the floor. She put her hand over her mouth and tried not to laugh as she asked me if I was OK. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt, although I could have died! I asked my daughter not to tell anyone and of course, she did… EVERYONE !
To make matters worse, later that morning at the competition, while trying to apply my daughter’s fake eyelashes, I accidentally glued one of her eyes shut! A mom got it undone rather fast. Then during lunch, I walked over to the corner to a fast-food restaurant to get lunch. While walking under a group of trees, a bird pooped on my head! My fellow dance moms decided I was bad luck that day!
Still My Baby
Another DanceMom.com user shared this with me. I think it eloquently sums up the mix of pride and joy and bittersweet emotions all moms experience as we watch our little ones grow. May you enjoy a wonderful Mother’s Day with your young dancer(s) and your families!
Last night I was watching my daughter’s ballet class (from the window so she couldn’t see me). They had learned a new combination, and she was waiting for her turn to go across the floor. As each girl went across, my daughter was watching and marking it from her place in line. About halfway through her wait, she let loose with a huuuuuge yawn which reminded me so much of how she used to yawn when she was 2 years old. So cute! But what cracked me up was that she just kept right on marking all the way through this gigantic yawn. It was the contrast of advanced-level semi-bored robo-ballerina vs. sleepy-head little girl ready for bed. After I got done laughing, I just wanted to hug her.
She’s officially a senior in high school as of today, but if I watch carefully I can still see my baby once in a while.
Thanks moms, for sharing your stories!
Do you have one you’d like to share? Place it in the comments below this post!
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.