FIRST IN A SERIES.
I can honestly say I saw it coming. Last year watching my daughter during her recreational dance recital was when I realized that she was getting good as a dancer. Her timing was on, she had great expression, she knew the routine inside and out. It looked natural, not forced and not boring, she was into it. It was good, really good. At that moment I leaned toward my husband and said, “she’s ready for the next level of dance.” To which he replied, “I agree, what is the next level?” And without making any eye contact I replied, “competition dance.”
Maybe because of all the stories I’d heard or the amount of time and commitment I knew it took but I had been apprehensive (until then) about getting my daughter involved with competition dance. I didn’t want her getting overwhelmed or feeling she wasn’t good enough. You know, start comparing herself to other girls. At this point in her life, she’s going on 10 years old, finishing fourth grade and having fun. I didn’t want her having to deal with such stress at such a young age.
Over the summer, everything changed.
It happened while we were at her allergist appointment. Her doctor’s daughter goes to the same dance studio that my daughter goes to. We had started talking about what dance class she takes, how often she dances blah blah blah. That’s when her doctor mentioned how her daughter had been in competition dance in a pom line. Side note: pom team = dancing to a routine with pom poms. Her doctor continued sharing how much fun her daughter has and how much she loved being on the pom team along with all of the friends she’s made along the way.
That was all my daughter needed to hear.
I immediately could see her wheels spinning. She looked across the doctors office at me, and said, “Mom, can I try pom too?” As much as I wanted to tell her to run the other way, I told her that we would talk about it. I wanted her to know the difference between recreational dance and competition dance. It needed to be made clear this type of dance was a serious commitment. She couldn’t be “too tired” to dance or wasn’t “in the mood.” Competition dance is a financial investment, a serious commitment on her end as well as our end. I had to make sure she understood that.
We never looked back.
That day we went straight from the doctor appointment to the dance studio. I asked, “How do we go about getting into competition dance?” Anyone interested in being on a competition dance line needed to try out. Try out! I thought, “oh my gosh how will this go, can she handle this?” The good news was each dance line try out has what is is called “pre-audition classes.” This is two weeks worth of learning the actual tryout dance and to also learn what was expected of them as competition pom dancers.
That was when dance took on a whole new meaning.
Pulling up my calendar on my phone I found that the date the practices were starting was the same week as the start of school. I thought, “fabulous, her first day at a new school (I’ll cover this later) then straight to pre-audition dance class!” I looked at her (my daughter) and said, “are you going to be alright with this?” She said, “mom, I’m going to be fine!” I knew better, that is why we are the parent, we know better… right? Or was I just kidding myself?
I was in for it, I just knew it.
In the back of my mind I was feeling that Monday was going to be tough for her, I had no idea!