I remember my daughter’s first competitive dance performance. I was a nervous wreck for days ahead of time! The funny thing is that I wasn’t the slightest bit concerned about Alessandra’s performance; on the contrary, I was so worried about my role in the whole thing! What if I forget her costume or dance shoes? How can I get her to stay still during make-up time? What if my shaky hand drops the mascara wand and it smears all over her face?
The best piece of advice I can give is get yourself a dance mom mentor. She’s the ‘been there, done that’ woman who has a big bag filled with emergency items and a positive attitude that carries her fellow moms through the stress of competition weekend. She also has the best snacks to get the moms through the day — and the best wine for us to imbibe after our little dancers go to bed.
I asked my best mom friends to give my readers their advice on getting through recitals, competitions, and hours at the dance studio. Take it away, gals!
The Biggest Lesson I Learned
“Well, no diss to dancers, but from my years of playing competitive softball and basketball, I just had, like, zero appreciation for dance, performing arts, or dancers. I kind of knew how hard it was from trying Pilates in high school, but now that I’m watching my daughter and her commitment and dedication and being around dance more, I just appreciate dancers in a whole new way now!” – Tara
The Best Part About Being a Dance Mom
“I like watching my daughter smile as soon as the music comes on or just seeing her face light up as she tries something new in dance and works to achieve it. I also like learning more about the dance industry . . . I had no idea that you could major in dance in college or work in theater and have a career with benefits!” – Erin
What My Daughter Has Learned
“My daughter enjoys being able to be around other creative girls like herself. She feels very appreciated at dance and being with other dancers. Also, her confidence is amazing. She gets a little nervous during performances, but overall she thinks nothing of getting in front of tons of people in a huge performing arts center and doing her dance . . . I could never have done that as a kid!” – Annie
My Dance Horror Story (P.S. We ALL Have One!)
“Ugh, red lipstick! My daughter was small and really wanted to wear red lipstick to her class like she’d seen the older dancers do. I said no for a lot of reasons, but she decided in the lobby of the dance studio to throw such a fit that she barfed EVERYWHERE!!! It was so gross. After I helped clean up the lobby, we both went home and just sobbed together because we were so emotionally drained. Now, we can look back on it and laugh. Every time we see red lipstick, we pretend to barf now. Advice in this situation . . . just be sure to clean up after yourself or your dancer, haha!” – Rachel
The Best Piece of Advice for New Dance Moms
“Just have fun with it. Who knows how long dance will be their passion — maybe forever, maybe a few months. So, be ready to support your kiddos as they explore so many fun activities in their lives.” – Jennifer
Take it from my smart mom friends: Have fun with your daughter’s hobby, sit back and enjoy her personal growth, and of course always bring disinfecting wipes wherever you go! What’s your best advice for new dance moms?