What is a Dance Mother?
What is a Dance Mother or Dance Mum? She is a very special breed of parent. They go above and beyond for their dancer (and even to the back of Bourke if that is where the comp is). The words Dance Mum may bring to mind a scary creature preening her star dancer and then arguing with her teacher. These are not your average dance mothers. Some can be a little scary, but over all they are pretty awesome.
Taxi driver – this is where most dance mums spend alot of their time, in their cars, driving to and from dance. See previous blog https://www.focusondance.com.au/eisteddfod-week-one-lots-to-learn-at-our-first-eisteddfod/ .Dance is a discipline and to do it well, you need to do it often. It isn’t unusual for a dancer to be at classes 3 or 4 times per week. I have some of my students who have acro class at one place and then have ballet at our studio, on the same day. Different times of course. They require transportation from one place to the other. Teleportation is not yet an option.
Dance mothers help out dance mothers. If a child needs a lift somewhere and their own parent can’t do it, there will be another dance mother who will take them where they need to go. Dance mothers are great at multi-kidding. This term relates to the fact that in a dance school, we often see mothers sort of adopt another child when needed. All dancers are taken care of by all dance mothers. This is contrary to the popular belief that dance mothers would trip another dancer to prevent them competing against their child and beating them. These are dance monsters, not mothers.
Costume co-ordinator – whether they make it themselves or source it on-line, dance mothers are great at sorting out dance costumes. When I danced, mothers sewed all the costumes. I remember my dance mother sewing tutus! There were many hours involved. Now we can buy costumes through wonderful costume companies like www.weisman, Stage Gear or Studio 7. At concert time, I love it when a dance mother offers to help with costumes.
Not only picking out what dancers wear, they will come along and measure dancers. As I am not a sewer, I trust others to get this part right, so costumes fit properly. It is great to have help with head-pieces as well. If it was up to me, all dancers would have a scrunchie in their hair. So boring.
Great friend to the dance shop owner. Dance mothers are on very good terms with the local and not so local, dance shop owner. They see them at certain times of the year. These are at the beginning of the year, when their dancer has grown out of everything. Exam time, when new tights, shoes etc are required and concert time. There are also birthdays and Christmas – dancers love dancewear for gifts. You may not think this is much, but each time a dance mother walks into a dance shop, the $$$$ adds up quickly. There is never a time they leave a shop with just a pair of tights.
Hair and Make-up
Hairdresser and make-up artist – as mentioned in previous blog https://www.focusondance.com.au/eisteddfod-week-one-lots-to-learn-at-our-first-eisteddfod/ a course in make-up artistry is essential for a dance mother. The alternative is to be friends with someone who is. Though once again, there will be helpful dance mother who is an expert hair braider who will offer to help out. You can always count on a teenager to help with false eyelashes and make-up.
All this costs money of course. So a dance mother is a financier as well. I have often heard Mums say they only work to pay for dance. For some this is true. Dance mothers put their child first. Whatever they need for dance, they will manage to get. Most dance mothers I know, don’t have a new outfit every time I see them. A visit to the hairdresser comes when it is absolutely necessary.
Dance mothers are great jugglers. Jugglers of time, money, children and anything else they need to organise. You try getting three kids to different activities, in three different places, on the same day and at the same time and you are still at work! Miracle workers come to mind. Did we mention teleportation – why is this not a thing yet?
Support Team Leader
The most important part of being a Dance Mother is being your dancers number one fan. Dance Mums are the best support team there is. They are there no matter what. They turn up wherever they are needed. Dance mothers will clap and cheer for their dancer the loudest they can. They don’t care if their dancer wins a trophy or places in a comp, they just care that they are there to see them dance.
Dance Mothers can be great critics. They spend lots of time at dance concerts, classes and comps, they get to know their stuff. They can tell their dancer what they need to do to improve. It may not be totally correct technique wise, but they can be very helpful. They know their dancer. Dance Mothers have strong opinions with regards to dance adjudicators decisions. Dance mothers are always right. What would that adjudicator know?
Sometimes a dance mother needs to remind their dancer of everything that goes into them dancing. They need to make sure they aren’t wasting all that. Dance mothers need to see their dancer doing their best to justify all that goes into dance.
What does a Dance Mother want in return?
To be a Mother of a dedicated dancer takes up lots of energy and time and money and patience and money and time. To see your dancer improve each time is what they need. Watching a little dancer grown into a wonderful performer is something every dance mother wants. To see their love of dance grow with them is a wonderful reward for all that time and money and hours of your life you will never get back.
Thanks to all our dance mothers for all you do. We dance because we love it and we can because of you x
Hope you all had a lovely Dance Mothers Day.