Posted: Apr 19, 2012 3:04 PM
At my three-year-old daughter’s insistence, I signed her up for dance class. Despite my concerns about skimpy outfits and little girls in makeup, she loves to jump and twirl, and I thought it might be great for her to socialize with other kids her age since she’s always home with me and her older brothers.

On our first day of ballet and tap, I was certain the other moms would be like the Dance Moms on Lifetime. They would totally know that we were new and that we knew nothing. The kids in her class are only three years old, but, in my mind, they’d all been going since they learned to stand. Did I dress her right? How do you even know which ballet slipper is for the right or left?! And I was sure that I would be the only unshowered mom still in last night’s yoga pants.

The real reality

I soon discovered that dance class is new to a lot of preschoolers and their parents. These dance moms were just like me! They looked like they’d just rolled out of bed and were not primped and made-up for a reality TV show. There was no crazy dress code other than the obvious dance apparel and shoes, and next to me on the bench, one of the ladies -- also in last night’s yoga pants, it appeared -- quipped that she didn’t know which slipper went on which foot and it didn’t seem to matter, either. I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Dancing can be fun

Ballet ShoesMy daughter’s dance teacher is sweet and kind but is also great at keeping her in line. Their class does perform in a recital at the end of the semester, so it’s not all fun and games, but she teaches them in a way that makes learning exciting and engaging.

If the whole experience was uncomfortable or unpleasant for my child or myself, we would be out of there!

Dance moms can be friends

One of the most unexpected benefits to enrolling my daughter in dance is that I find myself looking forward to going each week -- maybe even more than her. I enjoy the conversations with the other moms and have actually made some new friends. I have yet to sense any sort of competition. We whisper excitedly when the group is actually working together on a routine, and we giggle when our kids mess up. Often, I’m sad when the hour is up, and I need to finally ask the other moms for their email addresses so that we can hang out on non-dance days.

I’m proud to be a dance mom and I’m so happy it’s nothing like that TV show!

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