I Am Dance Mom, Hear Me Whimper

A friend (Hi, Jesse!) recently posted this link.

The Definition of Hell for Each of the Myers-Briggs Personality Types

I am an ENFP. This “article” suggests my version of hell is “Every minute of the rest of your life has been scheduled for you – and it’s a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks.” Otherwise known as dance recital prep.

Let me go back a little. Leila has been taking dance classes in both tap and ballet. Or rather Leila has been arbitrarily moving around to music while looking cute in leotards, tights, and loud or quiet shoes. Two lovely and patient high school seniors have been doing their best to remove the arbitrarily from that sentence. All of this culminated in a dance recital last weekend.

Now, I equate the creating and organizing of this event with planning the storming of Normandy. Seriously, the owner of the dance studio is a general in yoga pants. It’s epic. I was in charge of one small girl in two numbers, and I almost fell apart. When I received a parents’ handbook for planning purposes, I simultaneously cried and clung to it for dear life. There were lists and shopping and bobby pins and hairspray. So. Much. Hairspray. And make up. And scheduling that made my ENFP parental pressure boil over when we were late to the rehearsal and then I put her in the wrong costume first.

I was not having fun.

Then the recital was upon us, and I had to just sit and watch.

That’s when the fun set in.

Turns out the dance studio owner is a general of the caliber of Patton and her instructors Seal Team Six (I’m mixing my military eras. It’s my creative license.). The show looked and sounded lovely. You could tell so much thought and energy went into coordinating music, lights, choreography, and costumes. And I have to admit, I looked at some of the costumes backstage with a judgy eye, but the organizers naturally being professionals knew better than me, because on stage they look great under the right lights and fit well with the music.

And most of all, the kids, from three to eighteen, were having fun. They had worked hard and wanted everyone to see how much. Plus, they loved dancing and performing and it showed. That is another testament to the staff. I was not anticipating how much I would enjoy watching all of the dance numbers, I had been so fixated on the tasks that needed done and on Leila. I am glad I got to be in the audience for such a wonder of juvenile exuberance (even if Leila never really did lose that “arbitrarily” from her dancing).

And I can not give the staff of Carlisle Dance enough credit. It takes great talent to make a show look good while making sure the kids still have fun.

Next year, I plan on doing a much better job of being a big picture parent and enjoy more of the process as well as the end result.

Because, seriously, I don’t think Leila is giving this up anytime soon. nickfinochio-34 nickfinochio-9

Thank you to Nick Finochio for the lovely portraits.