Grab the dance bag, check that ballet shoes and tap shoes are packed, pick the kids up from school, rush to the dance studio, drop daughter off at dance class, run son to soccer, run a few errands, rush back to soccer and dance class to pick the kids up. Sound familiar? Moms are really busy! Your kids might not know it yet, but one day, they will be very thankful for all you do for them. It means more to them than they even know yet.
I asked our dance teachers to write a little about the role their mothers have played in their dance careers. So moms, here’s the proof that what you do matters. It matters a lot! Your kids just might not be able to articulate it until they are grown.
From Ms. Michelle:
My mom was a single mom who worked two, sometimes three jobs to provide for me and my sister. Even though money was tight, she always found a way to enroll us in dance classes. She knew how much we loved dancing and made that sacrifice willingly. She happily watched countless made-up shows that my sister (Ms. Bridget) and I created in our living room. When she got home from work, we would hand her a homemade “ticket” to our show and lead her to her seat (the couch). We moved the coffee tables to the wall to create a “stage” and proceeded with the show. We did this almost weekly!
In high school, I won a scholarship to a convention at a dance competition. At the convention that summer, I realized that most of the other dancers were more advanced than I was at the time. I was so discouraged. My mom wouldn’t let me continue to feel down. She told me to go back in there and try my hardest. She then told me that when we got back home that I was old enough to drive myself to more lessons. If I wanted to improve my dancing, that was up to me. At that time, I started teaching younger classes to pay to take more classes and began driving out of town to further my training. She taught me a very valuable lesson on that dance trip. Feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t help you realize your dreams. You must be your own motivator to realize your dreams. I’ve carried that lesson with me throughout my life.
She never questioned my decision to study dance in college. She came to every performance to cheer me on. She has always been my biggest supporter. She was there at our groundbreaking ceremony to help me celebrate building our new dance studio, and I know she will be there smiling proudly when we celebrate the grand opening. Thanks Mom for always believing in me and teaching me to follow my dreams! – Michelle
From Ms. Bridget:
When I was only 14 years old I decided I wanted to open my own dance studio. Can you imagine what you would think if your 14 year old came to you with this? Most parents would say, “Nice idea or maybe someday.” My mother said, “Great, when are you going to start?” A few short months later I had opened the first Center Stage. Her early help in recruiting students and support made that first studio, with a 14 year old owner, very successful. My mother’s support, dedication to my success, and anything is possible attitude is truly contagious. Thanks Mom for being such an amazing inspiration to me and having such a huge impact on mine and Michelle’s dance careers. – Bridget
From Ms. Eve:
From a young age, my mom was always there for me. She worked a lot of hours, and there wasn’t always money for a lot of extra curricular activities. Somehow she put me through year after year of dance lessons, and year after year of recitals, costumes, etc. She’s one of the only people that truly understands how passionate I am about what I do. I think that’s because she’s been with me since the very beginning. Thank you Ma! – Eve
From Ms. Tori:
For Carol Zimmerman, AKA, Supermom
There is possibly no way to communicate how important my mom was to my dance career. I’m sure many daughters have said this, but I believe with all my heart that my mom is a prime candidate for the best mother on the planet. I admire her so much and we are so close that she was even my matron of honor at my wedding. In short, my mom rocks! I could have wanted to be a hat maker, and astronaut or even a professional kite flyer and she would have supported me. Instead I chose the performance route and she was totally behind me. As mothers do, she did encourage me to get a degree, which I’m very glad I did. But never has there been a bigger cheerleader for her daughter than my mom watching me on stage. From driving me all around El Paso for various studios, to those obnoxious pincurls to get my soldier wig to stay on during “The Nutcracker”; from several exchanges due to poorly fitting pointe shoes (skinny foot, wide metatarsal, etc.), to a half-inch splinter in my foot that had me out of commission for quite a while since it had to be surgically removed-she has been a trooper. And then, when I was able to drive myself around El Paso to various rehearsals, she got the call informing her that I’d never made it to my second rehearsal that day because I was in a car accident and was in the hospital (no major injuries, except to the car). Yep, she got through that too. My mother has withstood tears, injuries, broken hearts, awards, successes, innumerable auditions, lead roles, chorus roles, crazy schedules, expensive costumes… I could go on and on. So many of my memories of dance include my mom cheering me on from the wings, yet I don’t remember a single time she complained about any of it. As I write this I realize I owe my entire dance career to my mama 🙂 -tori
From Ms. Ally:
I am so thankful for my mom, who passed her love of dance down to me! I am also incredibly thankful for the countless times she drove me to practices and auditions and made sure that I felt encouraged and supported! Her love and support has helped me achieve more goals in my dance/cheer career than I could have ever imagined! – Ally
From Ms. Carla:
My mom enrolled me in dance at the age of 3 and I’ve loved it ever since. Not until I have become a mom myself can I really appreciate the sacrifices she made for my dance career – juggling the family’s schedule to get me to class and rehearsal, sometimes 7 days a week; the hours of sleep lost at night sewing numerous costumes and pointe shoes (and you can’t forget all of the needle-pricked fingers); and tolerating the non-stop dancing down the grocery store aisles, no matter how crowded it was. The support and encouragement she provided over the years helped foster a gift in me that continues to make me smile every time I step in to the studio or on to the stage. While I’ll never be able to say it enough, thank you Mommy! – Carla
From Ms. Karen:
I am so very grateful for my mom since day 1 of my dancing life. At age 4, my gymnastics coach suggested that my long legs were better suited for dancing and the very next semester my mom had me enrolled in my first ballet class. That is when dance just clicked for me! There was 1 year when there were so many things I wanted to do, my mom told me something had to give, and I chose dance. After a year away from it, I ended up dropping everything else and returning to dance. But I always appreciated the fact the she encouraged me to try whatever it was I wanted in life in order to find out what I was really passionate about.
When the end of high school was in sight, my family had the “if you could do anything in the world, what would you want to do” talk. I said “be a professional ballet dancer in New York City.” My mom replied “ok, then let’s do it.” I of course had to explain the training I would have needed as a child to do that, to which she replied in true mom fashion “but I think you are the best dancer I have ever seen.” After we settled on a college career in dance, my parents never asked me to consider something else and even used family vacations jumping from 1 campus to the next so that I could find the right one for me. No school was out of question.
While teaching in college, my mom would travel with me and my team to Chicago for competition. It always felt so good to hear the girls call her Mama Julie. And even now that we are so far away, every time my mom visits she asks to see the videos from my students’ performances.
I don’t know where I would be without the support of my mother. She never tried to persuade me in to pursuing a more lucrative or stable career, never stopped telling me “I was the best dancer she had even seen,” and never stopped being the woman I look up to and admire still today. Thank you to my mother, and all the good dance moms, for all of their love and support. Happy Mother’s Day! – Karen
From Ms. Carrie:
Thanks to my mom who not only worked to pay for all my dance expenses, sewing costumes, doing hair and makeup, and driving me to classes, competitions, and other performance… but for sharing my love of dance! For sticking by me, cheering me on, and for participating in the mom’s competing group. And most importantly, for never giving up on me and believing in me when I decided to change majors in college to receive my bachelor’s degree in Dance instead of Engineering. – Carrie
Here’s proof of what real dance moms do for their daughters. They support them every step of the way. They believe in them and teach them to believe in themselves. They help them realize their dreams. So, Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful dance mamas!