Being a Dance Mom brings so much joy!

This is the once-a-year post where I get to gush for a few minutes while my mommy heart swells with pride. Just bear with me for a moment and I promise I’ll try not to go on too long.

The truth is that being a “dance mom” is a role I never in a million years expected to play. I am 6’2″ and, having been tall and awkward my entire life,  have always lacked a certain grace and rhythm that other girls seem to have. I normally avoid dancing like the plague. I’m not joking when I say that clapping in time during church is a stretch. Not surprisingly, I married a man almost as rythmn-averse as I am, and we’ve spent many happy years together on the sidelines watching other people dance.

Last year, when Princess asked if she could take a dance class, Husband and I figured–given her unfortunate uncoordinated genetics– it would probably be good for her, but we certainly weren’t expecting great things. Our first year of dance was painful. I sat through that class, week after week, convinced she wasn’t learning anything, certain she wasn’t even paying attention. By the end of the year, I had sworn off dance forever.

As in all things, practice makes perfect.

And then a little miracle happened. In the midst of her first recital, a little ballerina emerged.

Life has not been the same since.

Our second year of dance couldn’t have been more different than the first. Princess went from the shy distracted girl playing on the sidelines to one of the more focused leaders of the class. She even added a second class to her schedule.

Trouble, after a year of watching her big sister, was allowed to take both classes as well, even though technically she was a bit too young. She never failed to entertain the rest of the class. What she lacks in focus she certainly makes up for in irresistible charm. No one is immune to that girl!

Dancing can build confidence in girls.

By far the neatest thing about this year was watching my husband get so involved. Of the two of us, he is definitely the parent who is much better at all the day-to-day routine type stuff. He’s the one who gets them breakfast, brushes their teeth, combs their hair and makes sure they help unload the dishwasher and feed the dog. Without him we would all be in sad shape.

So when it came to dance practice, he was truly the one with all the follow-through. He got them to practice. And practice. And practice. He recorded their classes so he could study the teacher, then learned the steps to all four routines to help them master it. And then he helped them practice some more.

Who knew I was married to a secret pageant mom? 🙂  (Kidding! Love you honey!)

And somewhere along the way, Princess began to actually look pretty graceful. She also got very good at learning to stay focused even when her sister was off to the side doing any number of goofy things, a skill that was put to the test during the show. (Of course for being just barely four, we think Trouble did just great!)

Oh, the show!

After all that hard work, it was showtime.

Each tiny dancer brings their own uniqueness!

And after a whole year of practice, I cannot even begin to describe the joy I got from watching my two little girls dance on stage. I thought my heart might actually burst. The rest of the world disappeared and I saw nothing but my two girls. One was completely focused; the other marching to the beat of her own special drum (and destined to steal the show.)  They couldn’t have been more different but I was entertained and awed and inspired by them both. And so, so proud.

Being a dance mom (or dad) brings so much pride!

Tiny Dancers create so much happiness!

{Trouble starts in the back row all the way to the right; Princess is next to her}

I love that they have this opportunity to dance. Yes, it is a significant investment in both money and time, but to me the benefits far outweigh the costs. I love that they are learning, at such a young age, the importance of practice and discipline. I love that they are developing grace, coordination, and self-confidence that will stay with them for the rest of their life.

Dance class can foster friendship.

I love that they have the chance to make new friends and connect with old ones. I love the encouraging culture of our dance studio that has the older dancers helping the younger ones, and that my girls have such wonderful role models to look up to.

So yes, while I never expected to be a dance mom, this is one role I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

Only 362 days until next year’s show…..let the countdown begin!

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Do your kids take dance or play other sports? How has it benefited them?