14 Things All Parents of Dance Kids will Totally Understand

I didn’t choose the Dance Mum life. Actually, I purposely avoided it for years and years and years. But my daughter’s insistence that she was going to dance, come hell or high water, eventually overcame my strong hatred for applying eyeliner on a nine-year-old.

So voila. Here I am.

A closet full of glittery costumes, a dresser full of tap shoes and tutus, and an entire drawer of ruby red lipstick that, I swear, will stain any fabric that it comes within 10 meters of.

children ballet concert

Now, I know I’m not the only parent out there who has a child obsessed with dance. Or cheer. Or anything that involves intense training, multiple costumes, weekend competitions and, of course, highly catchy music that remains in your head for hours.

So, to all the parents with dance kids, here are 14 things you’ll know to be true.

You know you’re a dance parent when…

1. Sequins haunt your home. 

Sure, those outfits that come with an entire Spotlight warehouse full of sequins that sparkle and shimmer in any light are pretty.

Except when you find them all over your house, car, closet, everywhere.

Worse than Christmas pine needles.

mum central
Source: Bigstock

2. You force them to dress up as ‘dancers’ every Halloween and Bookweek. 

The upside to the excessive sequin outfits? Never needing to buy them a Halloween costume again. Heck, Bookweek is sorted too.

“But, mum, I want to be Little Red Riding Hood.”

“Tough luck dear. Ballerina, cheerleader, dancer, ice skater – those are your choices. FOREVER.”

3. You could literally fill up a swimming pool with the number of bobby pins bought, lost, found and attempted to be swallowed by the vacuum cleaner.

And not one of those kidney bean-sized pools either. An Olympic-sized pool.

4. You pick up in your PJs.

The older they get, the later their practices are. We started at an appropriate 4:15 ‘tiny tumbling’ class. 45 minutes and we’re out the door, back home at a decent hour.

Now? 6:45 pm drop-off. Yes, drop off. 8:15 pm pick up. You better bet your butt that I’m doing the pick-up in my Pjs!

What week-day sorcery is this??

5. Two words: Top Knot.

Not only have you mastered it, but you’ve got an assortment of hairstyles you can pull out of your bag of party tricks now. Ballet bun. French twist. Dutch braid. Pfft. As long as you’ve got hair spray and a swimming pool of bobby pins, you’re good to go.

dance parents know to be true
Dance hair, don’t care. Source: Bigstock

6. Your daughter’s dance wardrobe needs its own postcode. 

Jacket, jumper, button-up shirt (because you absolutely CANNOT lift a jumper over the perfectly positioned donut bun), tights, more tights, bummies, more bummies, crop tops, singlets, T-shirts and then, of course, 85 bows.

Do dancers need it all? Absolutely not. But here I am. Wondering why my child dresses like a mini Olympian and I’m still wearing pajama pants from 2003.

dance parents know to be true
So. Many. Bows. Source: Bigstock

7. You take family holidays… to dance competitions. 

Most family holidays now revolve around a weekend of watching your kids perform.

Hey, you’re leaving home, you’re booking flights, you’re staying in a hotel. That counts as a holiday!

8. Your daughter has better posture than most. 

“Shoulders back, tummies in, butts in…”

dance parents know to be true
Source: Bigstock

9. You’ve perfected the fine art of not blinding your child in the eye with eyeliner.

But, let’s be honest, it took a lot of YouTube videos to get to this stage where you can perfect a feline flick without even making them flinch. Bonus points for upper and lower lid.

10. You know how to spell and pronounce the word “Eisteddfod”

Heck, you even know what it means.

11. Your child does the ‘dance count’ whenever they hear music. 

“Five, six, seven, eight.” 

12.  “Mum, can you carry my stuff”? 

You may look like a human, but, in the dance world, you’re more of a glorified camel, with a backup supply of hair spray and jazz shoes.

In charge of carrying your daughter’s makeup bag, gym bag, and costume bag, making small talk with the other donkey dance mums also assigned to this role.

13. You still get incredibly nervous on dance days.

“Please don’t fall on your head, please don’t fall on your head.”

14. But you also wouldn’t trade it for anything.  

Sure, you have spent a small fortune on body glitter and annual ‘dance photo’ shoots.

But she loves it. And watching her do her thing – the passion in her eyes, the pride when she takes that stage – well, it’s the greatest feeling in the world, isn’t it? So that’s why we do what we do.

Sure, we may not have chosen this Dance Mum life. But it chose our kids.

And, let’s face it, it’s better than watching them play cricket.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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