Updated: May 3, 2020
You’ve probably all seen those articles going viral on social media, with titles like “I Don’t Pay For Sports”. They discuss the priceless benefits a child gets from participating in extracurricular activities, and guess what? They’re all true!
As children, Mama J spent hours in the car, driving Miss Shauna, and Miss Jamie to activities like dance and gymnastics. Like many dedicated and supportive parents, she paid for years of lessons and competitions. She sewed costumes, learned intricate hair styles, and was their biggest cheerleader. Mama J, as the kids at Maples Academy of Dance so lovingly call her now, put her daughters first, spent her hard earned money on them, and never complained or questioned why she was doing it. She knew the benefits.
Dance is a family activity, and the whole family is often involved, not just the dancer. Dance moms, dads, and grandparents (and sometime even siblings) become dance financiers, chauffeurs, hair stylists, seamstresses, and cheerleaders. Like Mama J did years ago, Maples Academy of Dance parents do so much for their young dancers, to help them shine on stage. In doing so, the rewards come in many shapes and sizes, like smiles, hugs, good report cards, improved confidence, and watching your dancer shine more and more each year.
Like the viral social media articles claim, as dance parents you aren’t paying for dance. You’re paying for your child to have opportunities, build confidence, and experience the feeling of being part of a team. You're paying for physical fitness, a creative outlet, and lessons in time management, accountability, and responsibility. You’re investing in the physical and emotional well-being of your child, and encouraging him or her to participate in an activity that makes them happy. You’re teaching them dedication and determination, and how to be grateful for the gift of dance that you give them each year.
To all of our wonderful dance parents, we thank you for supporting your dancers on their journey. They may still be young and not realize all you do to make dance possible for them, but one day they will, and they will thank you. And hopefully, they’ll do the same for their kids in the future!
Three cheers for great dance parents, who in turn help create talented, passionate dancers! Your kids couldn’t do it without you.