Opinion: Dance Mom blues
Commentary by Danielle Wilson
Well, friends, it’s official. My transformation to Dance Mom, capital D, capital M, is finally complete. I am currently crying alone in a Midwest hotel room over my daughter’s jazz solo score. As I sit on the floor in between the beds, I am actually cursing the judges and blaspheming sweet baby Jesus because my precious little angel didn’t receive higher marks. I mean, seriously. I’m not the 13-year-old here. What is wrong with me?
I’ll tell you what’s wrong. I’ve gotten sucked into this racket, hook, line and sinker. I’ve somehow come to accept the opinions of three strangers as truth, as the only legitimate evaluation of my child’s abilities. I’ve forgotten that this is but one day, one stage, one dance among probably hundreds of performances these judges will see. And more importantly, I’ve forgotten that instead of breaking out my mama bear claws and plotting revenge, I should be focusing on why I allow my daughter to compete in the first place – for fun!
Although I’ve been able to explain the difference between contemporary jazz and lyrical jazz for some time now (contemporary is sad and/or angry while lyrical is happy and joyful. Duh!), and I do admit to buying hairnets and false eyelashes in bulk, I’ve always labeled myself a “dance mom,” lower case with quotations. I mocked those silly mothers who clearly are living vicariously through their children and plastic adjudication trophies, who become so wrapped up in the dance world that they forget this is about the kids, not them.
Hypocrisy noted. And though I vow to stave off all future hotel hysterics, I fear my journey to the Dark Side is complete. I’m a Dance Mom.