Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dancer, Turned Dance Teacher, Turned Dance Mom

It has happened... For many years, I was a dancer. Then after majoring in dance I became a dance teacher. After many, many, many  years of being a dance teacher, I have become a... DANCE MOM When and how does something like this happen?  Now don't get me wrong, I am not a "Dance Moms"  dance mom.  I am a dance mom who tries her hardest to behave.  Honestly, I am not even sure if my daughter's dance teacher knows my background.  BUT this trying to behave, be nice, and stay quiet is SO HARD. I often get a tad envious of the dance mom who does not have formal training or a teaching background.  This type of dance mom looks relaxed and calm.  She has such a peace about her.  It is probably how I would look if my daughter was in soccer or softball or any other activity to which I know nothing about....  Oh please, what am I saying.  You know, as well as I know, that if you know me I never look relaxed.  How is that for a relaxed sentence?! :) This past weekend, my six year old daughter performed in her recital for the third year.  The past years have not been successful for moi, "the dance mom".  The first year I realized 3/4th's of the way through the routine that I was watching the wrong child.  WHAT?!!!!  How could I make that mistake!  I remember getting very upset with my own mom when she video-ed the wrong dancer during one of my routines.  I am so sorry Mom, now I understand that it really is an easy mistake to make.  I remember I felt robbed; robbed of her first performance (insert throwing myself on the couch with my hand over my head).  I know that sounds dramatic but if you were a dancer, turned dance teacher, turned dance mom you would understand.  The second year was just as dramatic but for different reasons.  The girls entered the stage as part of the routine.  The first little girl in line tripped and it was pretty much a slow motion domino effect from there on.  I remember saying aloud that the music needed to be stopped, they were five year olds and deserved another chance.  Forget "the show must go on", these are babies.  I was devastated.  My husband held my arm as I sat there begging (quietly) for the music to start over.  Looking back, I think he may have been holding my arm in the event I started to bolt from my seat and take over the sound booth.  He must have recognized the crazed look of determination and control in my eyes.  It was as if he knew that I had already calculated the exact number of seat and stairs I would have to vault over to get to that sound guy....  He knows me well. :) So this year the normal thoughts went through my head.  As a dancer, turned dance teacher, turned dance mom you get these urges that feel almost unstoppable.  I will give you some examples, I have to muster up every ounce of self control not to jump on stage and run dress rehearsal myself.  I start to sweat and fidget.  One of two things will happen:  I will get a glazed look on my face along with very rigid posture OR I will appear to have some type of twitch but really I am just trying to keep from doing the routine myself... I also have the sudden urge to adjust costumes and fix make up of children who are not mine.  I feel the need to grab food and drinks and throw them out of the building a safe distance from all costumes. I have to keep all pens and notepads at home for fear of taking and then "giving notes" to unsuspecting dancers that I pass in the auditorium (probably don't know them either). I really, really, really want to wear the head set and stand on stage right while calling lighting and music cues. I have to bite my tongue when I feel like the routine needs to be run again, spacing needs to be adjusted, costumes need to be pinned, and maybe just maybe a mistake was made with who the teacher chose to put front and center... And finally, on the night of the show I have to remind myself to ONLY WATCH MY CHILD.  When you are a dancer, turned dance teacher, turned dance mom you lose the ability to only watch your child.  Your eyes zoom out to watch the entire group.  Seriously, it is like an auto zoom that just naturally happens.  Then when something goes wrong, even the tiniest little mis-step or incorrect arm placement and the auto focus all of a sudden zooms in.  It is so hard!!!!
This picture will forever be a favorite. 

So, you are probably wondering by now how this year's recital went.  I am glad to report that even though I did get hot and started to sweat, I didn't have near as many dancer, turned dance teacher, turned dance mom moments.  I watched my real daughter and she did an amazing job.  I was so proud of her and her perfect little dancer self.  It has only taken three years but I have made big improvements.  Now if anyone would like me to do their daughter's hair or make-up or even run their routines in the hall just let me know...I am more than willing to help! :) **This was meant to poke fun at myself.  I hope it wasn't offensive in anyway.  I am pretty sure that all of my dancer, turned dance teacher, turned dance moms know every emotion I just mentioned. :)

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