I confess I never intended on being a dance mom. Especially after seeing the show and all of the drama that came with being a dance mom. But when my oldest daughter walked into the dance studio to register for her first class she looked at the trophies and said, "I'm going to win one of those." I smiled and told her that I was sure you had to dance for a long time to win a trophy.
Three years later she was on a dance team. The year after that her little sister joined her. I confess that for a long time I was a reluctant dance mom. I supported my kids but I wasn't all in. I didn't want the girls to take more than the required classes. I rolled my eyes at the makeup and didn't own one piece of studio gear.
I confess that sometime after recital a couple years ago on the way home, late at night, what my oldest daughter said really got to me. The entire way home she thanked me. Don't get me wrong, they say thanks all the time for rides to dance, new shoes, new costumes, etc. But at 8 years old I knew she got it.
She showed gratitude for the fact that we could be going on European vacations if we didn't have dance. She thanked me for the opportunity to do something she loves that makes her feel so proud of herself when she works hard and masters a new skill. She's grateful to be with her friends and share these experiences with them. After that conversation things changed.
I confess that I broke down and bough the Dream Duffle that I should have bought years earlier. Who am I kidding, I don't know what we did before we had it!
I confess that I can do makeup on my daughters about a million times better than I can do my own.
I confess that during this ballet routine to "Somewhere Out There" I tear up every time. And I might also tear up when Ellie does her lyrical dance.
I confess that when people say "our Dance Family", we really mean it. These kids are close and the moms (and dads!) are, too. Having two kids on a dance team can be a logistical challenge but I can always count on the other moms to help one with a quick change while I'm trying to watch the other on stage.
I confess that I love watching them on stage. And if they ever decided to stop dancing - which is a decision we evaluate every year before they make a commitment to the team - I would really miss it.
But really, if being a dance mom means supporting your kids and being so proud of them you could burst? Then I'm proud to be a dance mom.
We got home from Nationals late last night. Madeline's Mini team places first overall for tap and second overall for hip hop. Ellie's Intermediate team placed second overall for tap. All of their dances won their categories. Now we have a month off until the new season starts in August. These girls are counting down the days!