My Daughter’s Recital Was Like ‘Dance Moms, Part II’

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Is there a sort of camaraderie among the moms who help out backstage? I mean, I imagine you see the same faces a lot.  

Well, there’s a hierarchy backstage depending on how long you’ve been with the studio and how many recitals you’ve seen. Newest moms are in the rooms with the girls, keeping people happy, handing out snacks and all that fun stuff. Next level would be the runners who take each class back and forth to the stage. That’s probably the most exhausting job. Then there’s the dressers, who help change the company girls and make sure, to the best of their ability, that all the girls have what they need. And the ladies who know the recitals the best are actually backstage, cuing dancers when to come on, helping get props on and off, all of that good stuff.

It is nice to see the other moms who help out during recital. For most of us, our kids have been at the studio for a decade. And we used to all see each other during classes when we would sit around in the waiting room. Now that we just drop our girls off to practice, we don’t see each other nearly as much. So recital is like our chance to catch up.

I have to ask, what about the competition you see on that show? Do the moms of the advanced students really compete? Because I can’t remember my mother ever seeming so personally invested in my status within the company. 

Well, it would be easy to just say, “No, of course not! That’s ridiculous!” And the behavior on the show really is ridiculous. But then again, our teachers would never rank the girls either, ya know. I can see how that would cause tension. But I do think there’s a little animosity between the mothers of girls who have made company and the mothers of girls who haven’t. You know, we have moms who spend just as much time traveling back and forth to the studio. Their kids take 4 or 5 classes. But they aren’t competing at nationals, or performing at the Festival of Trees. [That’s a local holiday festival in our city.] For those moms, I think they can get a little frustrated with the company moms. But really, no one yells at each other. It’s more that we just don’t sit around and chat as much.

So really, should I volunteer to help out backstage once Brenna is out of the “Little Girl” classes?

Well, I’ll still be back there next year, so of course you should. But honestly, it’s a lot of girls who are stressed and possibly crying. It’s a lot of mothers who are frustrated or impatient. And you’ll be washing glitter for every inch of your body for the next month. You should wear steel-toed boots, because at least six tap shoes will step on your feet and those stupid things hurt. And you might cringe at the sound of whining for a couple weeks. Okay, how about this? You should help next year, but we should go out for at least two pitchers of margaritas first?

That sounds like a plan.

(Photo: planet5D LLC/Shutterstock)

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