Before becoming a parent, I vowed never to be one of those moms. You know, the ones who live vicariously through their children? The ones whom decide that their child has more potential than any other child and push the little tyke way past heir limits. I imagine it all starts innocently enough. You notice a little spark of talent or an instructor gives your child the perfect motivational compliment. Then, the next thing you know, you are shuttling your child to all kinds of lessons several times a week while on the phone with your child’s newly hired talent agent.
This week, my daughter attended her very first dance class. I use the term “dance” loosely, as it was more rolling on the floor, tumbling, and twirling in circles. I thought it would be cute to dress my daughter in a little pink leotard and white tights, as I love a good theme.
As it turns out, my idea was not novel as every other toddler in the class was dressed in a pink leotard and white tights. I did not, however, get the memo about the ballet shoes. The class description said nothing about them, but yet all the other little girls had their feet adorned with pink ballet slippers. I felt terrible. Why didn’t I think of ballet slippers?! Epic parenting fail.
To add insult to injury, it turns out that all of the other two-year-olds in the class have already received dance training. Their slippers were scuffed and they knew every dance move before the direction was uttered by the teacher. It was the first day of class and my daughter was behind and shoeless.
Then, the teacher instructed the moms to guide our tiny dancers across the room on their tippy-toes. As it turns out, my daughter has a hidden talent for walking on her tippy-toes! The other moms all marveled at how she pointed her toes. (If she had been wearing ballet slippers, this mind-blowing talent might never have been discovered!)
I beamed from the praise. My mind started reeling with all my daughter could achieve. Obviously, she will become a Prima Ballerina. Although, the life of a ballerina can be particularly grueling, so maybe just a few tours with The Nutcracker brigade and then…embark on her second career on the high wire in the circus? The circus?! With those scary clowns?! Okay, back to ballet. She can dance for the New York City Ballet..no the Paris Opera Ballet! After a brilliant career, she can retire and become an instructor. There we go, I had it all planned out.
As I slowly floated out of my reverie and back to reality, I glanced down at my daughter. She was dancing and giggling, twirling her Olaf doll round-and-round. This is why I enrolled her in dance class. I wanted her to have fun and see her smile. I did not care if she had rhythm or a hidden talent for tippy-toe walking. If she only ever dances with me in the kitchen as we prepare dinner, I will consider myself one very lucky mom.
*If you do not have a desire to become a dance mom, but want your tiny dancer to look the part, I found some great pieces on Amazon and Zulily. Yes, I had an epiphany and decided not to force my daughter into a life as a Prima Ballerina, but it turns out she has an exceptional love of tutus, as demonstrated by her unwillingness to change out of her leotard for nearly twenty-four hours. The following are affiliate links to the items I purchased (and my daughter loves):