When I was growing up I loved watching ballerinas dance around in their tutus and tights. They looked so elegant, so graceful.

Like many little girls, my daughter also fell in love with watching ballerinas. She’s been asking me if she could take classes for about a year. Finally, we caved, and signed her up for lessons. She had her first class last week and throughly enjoyed it.

Biracial ballerina

I had plans to buy her dance ware at a kids consignment store but the last-minute sign-up didn’t give me enough time to run down there. I coughed up $22 for tap shoes, and luckily found tights and leotards at Walmart. I also got ballet slippers there but after checking out the other girls shoes, I realized Lil’ J’s are more bed-slipper-like than dance-slipper-like.

During class all the other moms waited in the hallway and watched from the windows. I sat inside the room and took photographs. Apparently you get a “first class pass” to staying in the room and watching your child perform. I took full advantage and busted out my DSLR.

Balance beam

The other half of the class I stood in the hallway and watched with other moms. A couple told me about their favorite teachers, some mentioned the variety of classes their daughters are enrolled in, one bragged about her older daughter’s special talents. For a brief moment I felt like I had stepped into an episode of Dance Moms.

I was an extremely competitive child growing up. I still have waves of a competitive spirit now and then,and occasionally I can feel a tug of it regarding my kids’ skills. I try to stop myself before it can boil over, but sometimes I worry the older my children get, the worse I’ll get.

Ballet class

As I watched my daughter practice in class I felt a shift in my attitude. Instead of watching how she did in comparison to other dancers, I watched the smile on her face grow brighter. The joy in her expressions, the bounce in her jump, and her studious look while her dance teacher taught her a new move.

I have a feeling this is just the first in a series of lessons I’m going to learn about parenting among other parents. I think so long as I continue to feel repulsed every time I watch Dance Moms I’m probably doing ok. The day those ladies start to seem sensible to me is the day I’ve started down a dark road.
"graceful" ballerina

Tags: , , ,

7 Responses to “Resisting the urge to become a dance mom”

  1. Camjay says:

    Love it!!!

  2. Lindsey G. says:

    Oh Jenn! She is absolutely beautiful in her little dance clothes. Just like you, I’ve been worried to death about becoming one of those Dance Moms. Sophia has been doing ballet/tap for a year and I had so much fun watching HER FACE rather than her steps – sure, I take pride when it looks like she’s dancing along with the teacher, but those smiles and “thumbs up” between dances let me know that she loves it so much and so do I!

  3. Kiar Shaw says:

    There is definitly a fine line to be walked! Our middle son is extremely gifted at sports, and made his Allstar baseball team this year. I have to really watch my own attitude at practices, reminding myself he is 9 and this isn’t the Major Leagues, when he bobbles a play or drops a catch. We expect our kids to do their best, to play hard, but most of all, to enjoy what they do. If he came to me and said he didn’t want to play anymore, it would be heartbreaking. But we would let him make that choice. Because it’s not about us, it’s about him! (There is one caveat, however! Our kids MUST finish out a season of whatever the sport is, because they have made a commitment to their coach and teammates. It is bad form and terrible sportsmanship to quit halfway through, IMO) we have applied this theory to baseball, football, softball and soccer. So far, we have had two children decide they would never play soccer or baseball again, but found other activities they excell at. (We have 5 kids)
    You have the right mindset, to not become a stereotypical dance mom! Those ladies are scary! (I’m sure they are nice away from the studio, though!)

  4. ajira says:

    Yay for resisting the urge to become a dance mom! My friends (and some family) are always urging me to sign up my kiddo for modeling but I always tell them I’m afraid I’d turn into Joe Jackson- ‘Dance, boy, dance! Don’t you stop singing, now!’ lol. So I completely understand.

  5. In case you do you can get in touch with client service and give
    your answer within the couple of hours.

    Here is my homepage; tedswoodworking plan

  6. google says:

    My partner and I stumbled over here different website
    and thought I may as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.

  7. mazowieckie says:

    Everyone loves what you guys are up too. This type
    of clever work and reporting! Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to
    our blogroll.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

About Jennifer

On the air, I'm a part-time news reporter and anchor. Off the air, I'm a full-time wife and mother documenting my life in extraordinary ways, and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making beautiful memories with my beautiful babies.

My Youtube Videos

Words From The Heart

Featured Posts

 iphone photo backup  photo photo-series.png365 baby photo project  photo Featured-posts.png  photo 20-minute-ruffle-dress.png


I've decided there are few things in life as adorable as watching a kid discover snow for the first time. My Texas kiddos froze their butts off but had a blast in Utah making snow angels and tubing. Of course in true paparazzi fashion I got it on video. New #ontheblog link in bio! #HeresToFirsts #MakingMemories #letitsnow
So very thankful for these three. And a rare family photo we captured today! #happythanksgiving
He's got snow in his fro! Today was the first time my kids saw and experienced snow and it was magical. We went tubing and again! was this guy's word of the day. #HeresToFirsts #makingmagicalmemories
These two... #icanteven. And yes, getting this picture was as torturous as you can imagine. My fam is trying something new this Christmas. Details on the blog. Link in bio!
Every year we pick out a new @hallmark Ornament. 2015 has been the year of Disney for my family. Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and in two weeks, a Disney Christmas Cruise. I could think of no better ornament than Mickey ears to be our family's keepsake on the tree this year. And it even sings! (My son quickly realized this... Oh boy) ?. #keepsakeit. #promo
I had no idea my husband would be such a hot Hook ?. #happyhalloween
This week I'm shooting a photography course on photographing children. Coming soon to a website near you! ?
This *may* be my favorite shoot to date. Lil' J was as playful as ever embodying her current favorite princess. All of the photos are now up on the blog. Plus a Q&A with Lil' J about the process. Link in bio. #dressupwithj #princesstiana #disneyside
It's a shame I'm her mom. This girl loves to cook SO much and I do not. But I'm resolving to make this something we can do together. Her bright, excited and happy face makes the kitchen much less gloomy for me. Check out these peanut butter banana bites she whipped up for her and her brother after school. Our new post #ontheblog! #peanutbutterhappy #makingfoodfun #ad

Find me on Google Plus

Best-of Motherhood Stories He Says / She Says Pre-Baby (TTC) Pregnancy Week by Week
Discussing love with your children
That Time My 5-Year-Old Schooled Me on Love
Are All Kids This Obsessed With Losing Their Teeth?
Dinosaur train
A 3-Year-Old’s Birthday Party Dilemma
Family History for Kids Family Traditions Interracial Marriage Mixed Hair Care Multiracial Parenting
When natural hair goes wrong: Sometimes strange things get caught in your hair. Nothing tops this.
Yes, I’m Black and No, You’re Not Colorblind (and That’s OK!)
When your biracial daughter says she wishes she was white: How to stay calm and work through the situation.
Do Little White Girls Ever Wish They Were Brown?
Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and a tutorial for how to make a vision board to help all of your dreams come true! What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!
Start Your 30’s The Right Way: How to Host a Vision Board Party
365 Ideas Home Video Tutorials Journal Prompts Photo Backup & Printing Tips Photography Tips
Selfie with sleeping kid
The Best Moments Aren’t Always Pretty
Cherish 365: The days are long but the years are short. A project to making moments last and cherish every day.
Knowing When to Cherish a Moment
Interracial family
Why the Cherish365 Project is My Secret to Impeccable Patience
Family Videos Keepsake Inspiration Love Letters Photo Series Questions For Our Kids
Selfie with sleeping kid
The Best Moments Aren’t Always Pretty
Cherish 365: The days are long but the years are short. A project to making moments last and cherish every day.
Knowing When to Cherish a Moment
Interracial family
Why the Cherish365 Project is My Secret to Impeccable Patience
Creating With Kids (DIY) Disney Family Travel Making Food Fun
How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!
Train Room DIY Wall Train Tracks
Things to do on a Disney Cruise
12 Things I’ll Do Differently on Our Next Disney Cruise
Disney gift bag and stocking stuffer craft.
Easy DIY Disney Gift Idea: Baymax Bubbles and Chocolate