I Got Dance Fever

Time for me to eat my words.

You see, I have always worn the fact that I am a “boys-only” mom as a sort of badge of honor. “I wasn’t meant to have girls. I’m not a girly-girl mom.” I don’t mind dirt, and I can get used to the boogers and burps. I have built up a healthy immunity to potty jokes.

I’ve been especially smug when it comes to my middle sister, who is the mom of 2 girls. As I’ve watched her hand over check after check for dance lessons, shoes, attire, recital fees, and costumes (oh. the costumes!), I’ve secretly chuckled to myself. “I’m glad that’s not me! That’s why I have boys!”

As I’ve listened to the woes of extremely-thick-hair-that-will-in-no-way-stay-in-a-bun, I’ve thought of my boys and their short cuts that most days don’t even require combing (They may actually REQUIRE combing but just don’t GET combed.). “Whew!” I’ve thought. “I sure dodged a bullet there!”

Then it happened. All innocent-like, my sister mentioned last summer, “Hey, our dance studio is offering a boys-only class this fall. AND all boys’ lessons are half-price!” Ooh, that half-price offer touched a place in my heart. And poor Boy #2 wasn’t signed up for any activities, unlike his older brother. The bait was set, the line was cast—and I bit.

All season I did enjoy watching the four boys, ages 5 to 7, learn their hip-hop moves and figure out how to do a shuffle-ball-change in their cute little tap shoes. But I still considered myself apart from the other moms who brought their little girls every week, donning only the “approved” leotards and slippers.

Yeah, that is, until last weekend. Our first recital. And my transformation from mom-who-just-brings-her-boy-to-lessons-every-Thursday-at-3:45 to OFFICIAL DANCE MOM.

I offered to help backstage with the boys since there were only 4 in the class and one of the moms is also the teacher and owner of the studio. This meant I not only got to watch the show, I also got to be a part of all the backstage excitement. The prop checks. The quick changes. The air seemed to be filled with electricity! And watching the older students dance made me think that Dancing with the Stars had nothing on the 2008 Ankeny Dance Recital. I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better—until the boys finally paraded onto the stage. OH. MY. GOSH. No matter that they couldn’t quite remember ALL their moves. No matter that they had to sometimes watch their teachers who were secretly dancing with them on the sides of the stage. No matter that my kid’s shoe was untied. They were so stinkin’ cute hip-hopping to “The Gingerbread Man” and showing off their tapping skills to “Sharp Dressed Man.” They were the hit of the show and had young girl and mom alike hooting and cheering like Justin Timberlake himself was on the stage. Honestly, I think the boys could’ve just walked onto the stage, crossed their arms, and walked off and they still would’ve been dubbed the favorite. There’s just something about little boys in tap shoes.

So even though I told Boy #2, “It’s up to you whether you go out for dance again next year,” I did a secret fist-pump when he told me to sign him up. And I would have to say that the fact that boys pay half-price for classes in our studio, along with the fact that we don’t have to purchase elaborate costumes or worry about hair or makeup makes me think that having a boy dancer is the way to go.

However, seeing those 3-year-old girls parade onto the stage with their hair in ringlets wearing sparkly frilly costumes looking like little Shirley Temples DID make my uterus ache a teensy little bit for a girl.

For now, though, I will be proud to be the mom of a boy dancer. But will Boy #2 find himself wearing a pink tutu next year?

I make no promises.

5 thoughts on “I Got Dance Fever”

  1. My #1 summed it up when she told you at the dress rehearsal: “Now you’re one of us.” And it ain’t a bad club to be in. Although, you’re right that you lucked out and your “dues” are much cheaper than mine. 🙂

  2. Yes. This year was our first recital as well. I am not a “cryer”. I cried when both of my kids were born, but with #1, only because I thought it hurt so much that this would be our only child, which made me sad, and with #2 just because it hurt so much, period. I didn’t cry at our wedding, didn’t shed a tear when #1 went off to preschool (alhtough her dad had to stay home from work for an hour until he could stop). Didn’t think I would get emotional at a freakin’ dance recital. BUT when I saw #1 come on stage in her little white ballet costume with her hair all up, doing her moves in sync with the other girls, I cried silently in the dark. I think her whole life flashed in front of my eyes, the little baby I held and nursed now is up there in front of an audience, bravely dancing her heart out. No, I was not that excited about her being even in one class this year, but after the recital, I am hoping she will want to do ballet, tumbling, AND clogging next year!! I am also proudly a dance-mom convert!!!!

  3. Um, I signed my 5 year old up for beginning ballet this summer. Now I am thinking it might have been a bad idea. Money, outfits, tears. I don’t want to be the crying dad. I hope she enjoys it as she has already told me she wants to be on Dancing with the Stars someday.

    momof2dancers, is that a Holly Hobby? I so need a new picture!!!!

  4. turkeypants, I wish I could’ve been there! I’m sure I would’ve cried with you–both to see my little niece dance and because I know I’m never going to have a little girl to wear a little white ballet costume with her hair all up.

    dr. sprinkler, be prepared. Somehow, seeing your child on stage activates some hormone you never really knew existed. And I would say that Dancing with the Stars would be a much better reality show for your daughter to be on than, say, The Girls Next Door (because every girl dreams of being a Playboy Bunny) or Big Brother (Sorry if that reality show soooo yesterday. I’m not quite up on my reality TV.)

  5. Dr. Sprinkler, you’re close. That’s a HEATHER Hobbie. I guess since my sis (momof3boys) was a blonde, she got Holly Hobbie. Since I had “boring” brown hair I always had to settle for the sidekick.
    Oh, and DO let your #1 take dance until she doesn’t want to dance anymore. The first year we signed up, when my #1 wasn’t quite three, I was all, “We’ll do it for a year or two and then move on to something else when she gets tired of it.” Well, little did I know we’d be LIFERS. My girls don’t do anything else. Nothing. No sports. No church groups. (Sunday School a few times a month is enough I guess.) They both only want to dance. And I wouldn’t ever have it any other way. Because of them, I became “momof2dancers.” And I LOVE being a dance mom as much as they love dancing. You think you don’t care that much about your kid’s dance until suddenly you see them up on stage bravely performing in front of a crowd and that’s it! You’re hooked.

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