Move over Abbey Lee…no, seriously, move to another planet.
If you think that every dance mom is a “Dance Mom” you would be mistaken, because dance moms look like this too:
They do smile and enjoy watching their child ENJOY dancing!
It’s our first year dancing with the team at A Step Above Dance Academy and it is my oldest daughter’s fourth year dancing.
Here’s what I learned from my first season as an official dance mom:
The Makeup is OKAY. Seeing young girls “dolled up” conjures up those creepy pageant baby doll images and I understand why it sets people on edge. I understand why moms AND dads cringe a little as they look at their baby girls and flash forward to their teenage years with a swipe of a mascara wand. But I also understand performance. I’ve stood on a stage in more make up than I would EVER be caught on the streets wearing. It’s not just “part of the business.” There is a reason for it. The bright lights of the stage wash everyone out. And we perform as much with our faces as we do with our bodies. Makeup is the way that we can enhance the features of the face so that expression can be seen despite the lights–even from the back row of the auditorium. So I’ve come to terms with the Barbie-esque make up.
I have more respect for our studio and teachers. I’ve always been happy with them. Especially the no-nonsense tumbling instructor who really means business and doesn’t take any crap from the kids. Some parents go into mama-bear-mode when their kids get some tough love from their instructors. But, I personally like that they expect more from these girls. Raise the bar, I say, and the kids will rise up to reach it!
At competition I saw just how easy it is to push right over the line when it comes to sexualizing and forcing these girls into some grown up role…I wouldn’t even call it “grown up”–unless you are growing up to be a stripper. Song choice and choreography and costume choice go hand in hand in hand. And I thank my lucky stars that I have found a studio that wouldn’t send my nine year old on stage in a glittery barely there bikini with a plastic snake draped over her shoulders to gyrate to Paula Abdul’s “Cold Hearted Snake.” And if they thought about it, I would definitely have something to say. Thank you for keeping it age appropriate. I only wish I could un-see some of the shenanigans I witnessed from other studios at our competition.
So how competitive is it? I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the teams are pretty evenly matched. They are competing in age groups and skill levels. So similar ages and skill levels are put against each other, but they may not dance back to back and depending on the size of the competition there might not be another team to compete against.
So what is done in that case? Well, from my primitive understanding, each team starts with, let’s say, 300 points and then points are deducted for various dance infractions. And then their total score is measured against a standard that equals a silver, gold, platinum, double platinum and in some cases a crystal (the top award). So the teams are competing against each other but they also compete against themselves. At one competition their dance could receive a platinum and then at the next they could kick it up to a double platinum for instance.
The first time I saw this quote, I fell in love. I immediately told my girls. It would be easy to look at the other dancers and fall down a rabbit hole: I’m not good enough, I’ll never be that good, I’m no good. I don’t want Jordan’s (or any of my girls’) joy for dance to be robbed by their constant comparison of themselves to other dancers. Jordan has come a long way from the five year old bopping slightly out of sync to The Jackson Five’s “ABC” and I’m excited to see the dancer she will be tomorrow.
It makes me take a step back and think about life as a writer and blogger. All too often, I tend to compare myself and our blog to other blogs and writers and sometimes I let myself slip down that same rabbit hole: I’m not good enough, I’ll never be that good, I’m no good. And then I have to remember where I came from and how far we have come with our blog.
And I’m excited to see the writer and blogger I will be tomorrow. I won’t let comparison rob my joy.
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