This weekend was the last regional competition for my daughters dance team. Madi dances for The World Of Dance in Colonie and has been doing so since she was about 3 1/2 years old. I know there is a stigma that goes along with dance parents but much like most "stereotypes" they are mostly untrue. That's not to say that those people don't exist but it's not as prevalent as most would think.
Now, as we wrap up the year of regionals and get ready for Nationals in July a few things are on my mind and as always I thought I would put them out there for you all to read.
So let's get started shall we? The 1st thing that I'd like to address is the fact that there are WAY more benefits to dance than just a trophy and score. This goes along with all competitive sports as well. Our children are learning to be a part of a team. They are learning time management as well. Most of our kids have to deal with a very busy "practice" schedule as well as keep on top of their school work. I'd say this is preparing them for life, wouldn't you?
They are also developing friendships that could last them a lifetime. These kids spend hours together and are making memories that they will hold on to for the rest of their lives. Why would a parent want to ruin that experience by making all about the final outcome? Let your child enjoy what they are doing. Let them get on stage or step on to the field and do what they LOVE to do. After all, the fun and experience is what it's all about. Now, don't get me wrong here, it is good to make sure that they are doing the best that they can and putting out their max effort, another important life lesson, but the main goal is to have fun.
Let's go back to giving it their best for a minute and the life lesson that is learned. This will teach them that no matter what the goal is that they're trying to accomplish, hard work, practice and dedication will ultimately help them reach that goal. They will learn that if they want something they have to EARN it, it will not be given to them. This also teaches responsibility and accountability. IF they don't get the score that they were hoping for, or don't win the game or perform the best that they can, that it falls on them. Maybe they didn't practice as hard as they should have. Maybe they didn't give it their best shot when they had their chance. Yes, they are just children but this is something that needs to be learned. Don't blame others first.
Now, allow me to switch gears here for the rest of this post. With our competition season being mostly over, I'd like to take a minute to tell the kids on my daughter's dance team how amazing they are! I am always astonished to see our kids perform. They seem to always wow every person in the audience and I'm not just talking about the people from our studio. Kids and parents who have never watched our kids dance will sit in awe of what our kids do on stage. This is not only a compliment to our children but the dance teachers as well. For example, yesterday after one of our dances I hears a student from another studio say "That was amazing! I don't even know those kids but that dance was incredible" Yes, our kids were the ones on stage performing but without the dedication and passion from their dance teachers that dance would have just been another dance. Our teachers at WOD go above and beyond to make sure our kids are ready every time they step on stage. They sacrifice their time and themselves for these kids. Stop and think about that for a minute. These teachers go out of their way, giving extra lessons or whatever needs to be done, to make sure that YOUR kids are ready and will do their best. Same goes for coaches or "sports" teams. Do they make mistakes? Of course they do, they're human and that's bound to happen. Everything that is done, however, is done with your child's best interest in mind. Think about that next time you decide to fire off a nasty email about how they're over looking your child.
I'll be the first to admit that maybe this post was a little bit scatter brained but I think if you took the time to read it, you understand what I'm trying to say. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I'd also appreciate it if you took to time to keep it all in mind next time your child steps on stage or the field. There's MORE to all of this than the final outcome or score.