Do you have a little one that has just starting dance lessons? If you’re new to the world of being a dance mom (no, not like the show) some of the rules and gear can seem a little overwhelming. My little girl has been taking ballet for 4 years now (and she’s only 6 years old) yet I still feel like I gain new insight every year!
Not only have I been a dance mom for a few years now, but I have the unique perspective of being at a studio that my mother-in-law and sister-in-law own and run (Bountiful School of Ballet). Having them as a resource has definitely helped ease me into the whole dance scene, which was a completely new experience for me.
Inside Tips for First Time Dance Moms
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Over the years I’ve picked up a few helpful bits of knowledge that I hope can help ease you into being a dance mom.
Buy Stock in Bobby Pins
You may think I’m joking, but the fancy hair-dos the kids wear will require a plethora of bobby pins to keep it in place. While you’re buying stock, maybe add on hairspray as well.
Nudies and Thongs are Not What They Seem
I remember the first time my daughter was talking about her nudie, I was like “say whaaaa?”. It’s essentially just a flesh colored leotard that goes under costumes and such. Foot thongs are used more in contemporary dance than ballet, but they go over your feet, not your bum!
Kids Develop at Different Rates, It’s Okay
Don’t compare your child’s progress to the other kids in the studio. Or even if you have more than one kid taking dance at the same time, don’t compare them to each other.
Make sure Dad and Brothers Treat Dancers and Performances with Equal Respect as They Do Soccer and Football Games
It kind of seems like a no-brainer, that dance is just as important of an activity as any other. But it’s easy sometimes for the dudes in the fam to brush it off as something not “sporty” enough to be that important. The dancers typically work just as hard, and gain just as much value, as if it were a more widely televised team sport. Therefore you need to make sure they show your little dancer just how (equally) proud they are of her accomplishments.
Dance is a Hard, Slow Process, Trust the Process
I’m sure you’re anxious to watch your little ballerina glide gracefully across the stage with beautiful poise and positioning. But that is not something that happens right away. And it is not something that happens on its own. Just remember this, and don’t get frustrated if you feel like your little one should be further along than they are.
Also remember, they are still learning valuable life skills along the way. So even when there’s no apparent physical progress yet, there’s a whole slew of lessons they are picking up on.
Trust the Teachers
Many times parents cannot see the intrinsic things that teachers pick up on. Sometimes it can be hard to hear your child is not ready for the next step. Or on the flip side, you may not see the same skill level the teacher does. Just trust them. There is a reason they are the ones teaching the classes.
Which brings me to my next point.
Do Your Research On the Studio Before You Start
You want to make sure it’s a good fit, and fits the needs of what you are looking for. There are many different styles of studios with many different priorities. And different styles of dance will teach different lessons. Here are a few things to consider when signing your child up for dance.
I don’t want to get into a philosophical argument about which is best, (though my in-laws that own the ballet studio would love to if you’re ever interested in such conversation)- but just know that a studio that focuses on memorizing a routine for a competition, will have different benefits than one that teaches foundation and the classics.
Proper Dance Tights Don’t Need Underwear
I don’t know why I had a hard time with this one. Maybe it’s because I, personally, can’t stand wearing regular tights without underwear. But apparently it’s not necessary with dance tights.
Do Not Pass Down or Wear Used Leather Dance Shoes
As tempting as it may be to use someone else’s dance shoes, proper leather dance shoes mold to the foot and should not be passed down. Once the shoe has molded to the original foot, it could be not only painful, but harmful to the hand-me-down recipient.
Jennifer Ostroski is a full time mom, full time wife, with a full time job, and a full time life, that she loves to keep very full. She has two kids, one husband, and a Labradoodle. She created The Search for Imperfection as a way to offer realistic (sometimes semi-green) parenting, eating, and homemaking tips to help busy parents navigate life and embrace imperfection. You can also find her onFacebook, Pinterest, Instagr
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