I've had many mom's ask me (in the real world) why we chose dance for our girls, and how we chose the studio we are with. On some level I'm always a little embarrassed to tell them whywe chose dance. When I say it out loud I always fear it will sound materialistic to others, especially those 'non' dance mom's. But here's the reason:
[caption id="attachment_982" align="alignright" width="300" caption="June 2011 dance recital"][/caption]
Ballet helps makes you graceful. A dancer moves with grace and purpose.
However, I always feel the need to add that it's a skill. It can be a talent. Dance keeps them active. It's also a discipline, something I believe our children (not just mine) are lacking today. It's something I wished, badly, that I had pursued as a child/teen.
And obviously, we have them in it because they enjoy it.
Most dance mom's I've talked to feel the same, but I always fear that if/when I say, "Ballet dancers are graceful and hold themselves so well," I'll get a judgey look. Like, "That's the reason you chose dance?" Well, yes. And the others I listed.
But here's what I don't say, unless specifically asked:
Our girls will dance until they are 12, regardless of if they like it.
But I believe it is that important to build these skills, this discipline. During Violet's first year of dance we decided that at 12 they could stop if they wanted. That 12 is an age where they would be making good enough decisions to stop dancing if they weren't enjoying it.
Thankfully, both girls enjoy it immensely, are eager to get to dance and constantly want to add more classes. But can you imagine the parenting dilemma I'm going to have if one of them decides that they don't want to dance any more? Because, honestly, I'll be heartbroken. I love watching them dance, and I love how they enjoy it. If that changes . . . . well.
After that question, the next one is always, "Why did you chose this studio?"
And I always answer the same, with no embarrassment: It's the best. 'Our' girls go to California every year with Dance Excellence and win awards. 'We' have dancers on Broadway and in commercials, etc. I love how Mrs. A runs her studio. She means business - this is a discipline. The girls are expected to wear certain clothing, come prepared, have their hair neat and off their face. Mrs. A is also the nicest, most loving dance instructor. Sarah bloomed with her as a teacher. Mrs. A knows every student's name, and their parents by site. This studio is also careful about the song content (no sexy songs for the little ones, and I've only seen one tad racy routine for the Seniors. And it was beyond amazing.), keeping the little ones 'little' and not overworking their bodies. I cry at the recitals every.single.year because without fail there is at least one dance that is so well done I'm overcome by the beauty of it.
These reasons are all great reasons for choosing our studio. My reasons for having the girls dance? Well. Some I know would disagree with them. Right now they work for us.