Claire is getting involved in competition dance and I am not so sure how I feel about it. She loves, loves, loves to dance. Her feet are in constant motion but I dont think I am keen on the whole kit and caboodle of competion dance.
First, every Friday night for the past three years Claire has had dance class. It cuts into so many aspects of our lives ~ selfish, I know but it is how I feel. Second, there is the whole image thing to consider...make up, hair, perfection. Third, there is the whole "stage mom" mentality. I've seen women who I think are pretty cool absolutely lose it at recital time. Stress levels ratchet up about 50 degrees during a recital. I can't even imagine what it is like at a competition when there is pressure from judges and other dance teams.
We live in an area where the kids are constantly being pushed to do more and more, be better and better. The competition at school for grades, awards and scholarships is fierce. The competition in sports is just as wicked. Sports is now about how early the kids start competing ~ the earlier, the better or they might lose out on valuable training years. Sports is also about how much they practice and how far they travel. When I was a kid sports was about fun and exercise. We played kick ball out in the front of our house. Now, we travel to Michigan, North Carolina, New York City and wherever else we are told to go to watch our kids compete. When I was a kid traveling for sports was for the super elite athlete. Now travleing sports are becoming the norm.
Competition dance throws in another element to the travel sports issue, which I touched on above, and I think this is where I am least comfortable. To me, dance has to do with beauty and trying to make sure every element of your costume, hair and make up are perfect. What is this teaching the girls? It is teaching them to constantly strive for a perfection which does not exist? Or do I have it backwards? Is it teaching the girls to be comfortable with themselves as they are and then enhance their beauty only when necessary and for a short period of time? I don't know what the answers are. I just know I am being pulled into this by the force of my daughter. We'll see how it goes...this year.
Oh, what we do for the love of our children...