• The Reluctant Dance Mom

My Life as a Reluctant Dance Mom

Growing up, I found my place on the softball field and basketball court. I thrived on playing hard and fast, and bruises were a sign of leaving it all out there. I also had a certain level of toughness to me, and I admittedly equated dancing with girls obsessed with frills, makeup, and little else.

I even let these ideas carry through to my pregnancy, when I found out I was going to have a little girl. A girl! She’d be a softball star, just like me, and will be adorably dirt-covered and barefoot in the backyard. Most of all, I wanted to instill a level of bravery, tenacity, and “be who you are!” into her rapidly developing sense of self. I swore that dancing and tutus and glitter would not be a part of my daughter’s story.

How. Wrong. I. Was. — in the best possible way!

My daughter is brave. She’s tenacious. She knows exactly who she is. And she leaves it all out on the stage. She thrives on glitter, makeup, frills, and most of all: DANCING. Hmm, looks like she is exactly like me after all!

If you’re like me, you were wary of the other dance moms at the studio and concerned that you wouldn’t fit in. Again, the stereotypes I had in my head were wrong! After befriending so many wonderful dance moms, I’ve learned that not many of us anticipated this life for ourselves. At our studio, the dance moms are stay-at-home moms, lawyer moms, engineer moms, architect moms, police officer moms — yet here we are, applying orange lipstick on our little girls before a recital!

We can all have a good laugh about how we ended up researching tights and makeup brands, and how we learned to navigate the intricacies of the Perfect Recital Bun.

But most of all, we sit back and smile as we look on at what our daughters are accomplishing. They’re learning to work as a team, learning to perfect their feet placement, understanding how to lift each other’s spirits, and most of all, having the time of their lives. That’s what it’s all about!

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