Did anyone catch this week’s season finale of Dance Moms? You don’t have to admit it. I know who you are. At least some of you. I don’t think I’ve met a dance mom yet that doesn’t watch Dance Moms. Sure, there are probably some of you out there who have better things to do on a Tuesday night at 9 then to sit and watch 6 children get verbally abused by a crazed dance teacher who then takes it in turn by the children’s equally disturbed mothers. But, I will tell you right now, I don’t have anything better to do with my time. Demonstrated by the fact that at 9 pm on a Tuesday night I am glued to the television.
It’s like that car accident on the side of the road. You tell yourself, as you’re sitting in backed-up traffic, that you will not glance over as the other people on the road are. You will maintain some decorum and offer the people who have been unfortunate enough to have had the accident a little privacy, but when the time comes and it’s your turn to drive past, what do you do? I look. I can’t help it. It’s human nature. Really, how could you not look at this if you were driving past it?
Dance Moms, for me, is the mother of all fender benders. The first week I watched in horror. Did people really behave this way? The second week, I was a little less offended. By the end of season two, nothing shocks me. I’m used to it. My skin is so thick, Abby herself could walk into my house, tell me I’m coddling my children, setting them up for failure, tell me to cry in my pillow and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash.
For as much as I like the show and its peak into competition dancing, I feel obliged to set the record straight about dance moms.
I am a dance mom. My children take dance and one of them competes. Now, let me state the differences:
1. My children do not spend 5 hours a night, 5 days a week dancing. That’s a part-time job. I believe children should not have a part-time job at 9 years old. Unless, you are an actor and, at the same time you are working, you are getting paid – a lot! I don’t have a problem with a child who is really dedicated to dance spending that much time doing it, unless they have heard the following: see #2.
2. My child’s dance teacher has never told them to cry in a pillow, that their mother didn’t care about them or that second place is for the first loser.
3. I do not argue with the other dance moms. In fact, I quite enjoy the time I spend with my fellow dance moms, but that is for another blog!
I am not just a dance mom, I’m a dance educator and, for me, Dance Moms has made me really popular among my students. Why? Their freakin’ grateful that I’m not a psycho bitch who screams at them constantly! I do have to get a little stern from time to time, but I have never once put them in a pyramid system based on my assessment of their worth as a dancer. I don’t make one or more of them cry on a regular basis. Okay, I’ve made a few cry, but that’s just part of the job when you are dealing with hormonal tweens and teens.
I’m a real-life Mary freakin’ Poppins compared to Abby Lee. But there is a trade-off. I may not be producing dancers that upon graduation run off where they spend the rest of their dance years performing on Broadway, but I am also not producing stressed-out, panic-ridden, one-step-away-from-needing medication-9 year-olds either.
Well, actually, we did produce one that ran off and danced on Broadway and starred in movies, but that’s besides the point.
Okay, I have to admit that I have been waiting patiently for Maddie to fail. It’s not right, I know that. No one should wish malice onto a 9 year-old, but I couldn’t take her saying that she was happy she wasn’t on top of the pyramid because it gave her something to work for. Pardon me for a minute….sorry I just threw up in my mouth. Who else wanted to see her get knocked off that pedestal just once? But once it did happen, it was horrible to watch. For her to behave like she did when she ran off stage, shows the amount of stress she is under. And for that I am horrified.
You could hear her shrieking, “OH MY GOD! ABBY’S GOING TO HATE ME!” from backstage. How disturbing??? The first time my child did that would be the last time my child danced for that teacher. Why subject your children to such torture? These children are all going to be fabulous dancers why not find them a teacher that isn’t crazy?
My dance studio produces this:
Happy kids that like to dance.
Now, I know that I am early on in this. My girls are 7 and under and we don’t dance that much, but I can assure you that in the upcoming years I will not behave as those other Dance Moms. To keep me on track, I’m depending on Eva. (Whom shall be known, heretofore as The Divine Miss E) Haven’t heard of her? You should! She’s been in the dancing game for as long as I can remember. First as a dance student, competitive dancer, dance education student in college, dance teacher, and, finally, as a dance mom to two beautiful daughters. She’s got the 411 on everything dance mom related and how to keep us from losing our minds. Check out her blog here….http://realdancemom.blogspot.com/
A few more points to make….First, I am on Team Christi! Is there someone actually on Team Melissa??? Did she actually tell someone trying to give her an engagement present to talk to her lawyer? Second, why do they show cows every time they show Candy Apples Dance Studio? LMAO…for those of you not privy to teen texting lingo that means Laughing My Ass Off! Third, I was very upset that Dance Moms was done until June… that was until I stumbled upon Dance Moms: Miami. Oh yeah, bring it on!