Thursday, 4 December 2014

Dancing Divas

Beginning of 2007 I got a flyer in my letterbox, and I picked up the phone to make a call. Little did I know that that flyer would change my life forever. This might sound a little dramatic, but it is true!

I made the call. What sold me on the dance school was when I asked about how they dressed the girls for concerts (the word "prostitute" may have been used) the teacher new exactly what I meant, and reassured me that the costumes used were all age appropriate.

A week later all three girls started in the same class.

A term later, Buglet moved up a class, and the Pixie tried a shorter class.

8 years, three studios, two name changes, and countless hours of dancing later we are still there, Buglet is a student assistant teacher, and we still love the studio. The teacher kept her word. I was cursing her this year for the amount of accessories involved in the costumes (I was in charge of the quick change room) but her costumes have remained age appropriate.

Buglet wanted to do dancing, and I thought it would improve their confidence and hopefully help them be more coordinated than me. It never crossed my minds that they would actually be good at dancing. Turns out that they are good.

The teachers are so much fun and the atmosphere is so lovely that even I have given a few classes a go! I tried tap for the first time two years ago and it was so much fun. I love the clip-clop of tap shoes. I totally suck at it. Buglet is in the adult tap class now and she thinks I should come back and do it with her. "It will be fun Mum. You can stand behind me so you have someone to copy and then we can practise together at home". I suspect if I take her up on this offer the in-house tutoring there will be a lot of stress involved for me.

So there you go. I have traveled a path that I never meant to start on.

The fun and the glamour ......

Things I have learnt about being a Dance Mum:

  • Find a studio where you love the atmosphere. You will be spending a lot of time there.
  • Label everything.
  • Help where you are able to help. It is fun being a part of the team.
  • Smile.
  • It doesn't matter if you stuff up, just keep doing your best.
  • Develop a hobby that you can do while sitting and watching for hours. I knit teddies. One year I ended up with my own mini-craft group going with some of the sisters of girls in Buglet's class.
  • Deal with the fact that your children may develop skills you can never hope to gain.
  • If they have adult classes. Give them a go! It might be fun. And it is setting your children a good example.
  • You can tape your boobs to hold them in place. You may tear skin when you take the tape off. I have not tried this, but I have seen the evidence.
  • There are many types of dance stocking.
  • Do not cover yourself in glitter the weekend before important meetings at work. You may not be able to avoid incidental glitter, but self-applied glitter should be carefully thought out.
  • If you find the right place, it isn't just your dance school, it is your dance family.

.... and the hours of hard work.

Things the girls have learnt from being dancers:
  • Confidence.
  • Dedication.
  • Hard work.
  • Fitness.
  • Decision making and impact of your actions.*
  • Strength. Of personality as much as body.
  • Team-work.
  • Fun.
*Buglet has had to make big decisions after (non-dancing) injuries. Including deciding not to dance last year, and not dancing on pointe this year. When she couldn't dance I was so proud of her for instantly volunteering to help back stage. She's also danced in a concert with a broken tail bone (Doctor said it wouldn't make it worse, I did check!). Buglet has also sat through many classes learning by watching when injury has meant she can't dance.

The big thing I learnt this year was that being Buglet's mummy gave me lots of "street" cred with the Tiny Tots. Somehow I managed to end up dealing with several of them backstage at concert. A "do you know Buglet? Well, I am her Mummy" seemed to mean that I was instantly trusted. Yep. I feel a milestone has been reached, I am just not sure what one.

  • I am definitely not qualified to give medical, fitness or dance advice.
  • It is doubtful I am qualified to give parenting advice, there is still time for me to stuff up.
  • I am not even allowed to give legal advice without supervision.
I would recommend finding more reliable sources for any advice of any nature.

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