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I’m pretty confident I could never make it as a dance mom. All three of my girls have taken dance at different times but none of them have passionately thrown themselves into it the way some kids do.

I know children have packed afternoons with jazz, tap and ballet. Their closets are jammed with glittery recital outfits. Dance really is their life. But my girls have floated in and out of this world.

This past school year, my daughter decided to take acrodance. It’s some kind of combination of acrobatics and dance which seemed like a good fit for her. Plus the monthly fee was reasonable and there was a recital at the end. Perfect.

But I started to feel like I must be in some kind of hidden camera show about ridiculous dance fees because they kept asking for more and more money.

First, the costume fee. Which I expected would be laced with precious gems based on the price. Then the recital fees. Then I still had to buy additional tickets at the price of $27.50 each. (Out of principle, I refused to buy one for my 3 year old son because his appreciation for dance is the same as his appreciation for nap time.)

In total, I spent — . I have no idea how much I spent!! I refused to add it up. Especially because by the end, my kid wasn’t exactly brimming with enthusiasm. She kept saying, “I can’t wait for the recital to be over, so I can just be on summer vacation.”

But I was still excited to see her perform. And to witness that very expensive recital outfit glittering on the big stage.

And then a friend said to me, “You know the recital is four hours, right?”


Look at the number of performances…

Recital program

It ended up being 3 hours and 45 minutes.

I loved watching my daughter for 2 1/2 minutes of that 3 hours and 45 minutes.

And many of the other performances were adorable. And some were really impressive. These kids could dance!

But I spent a good chuck of the time in the lobby watching my 3 year old open and shut a stage door.

And here’s the thing. You can’t leave early. They don’t want the place emptying out before it’s finished, so they hold your kid hostage until the end. A few parents retrieved their children early because they had a bar mitzvah or other engagement but most of us were completely trapped.

Once the final curtain fell, I clapped exuberantly.

And a short 20 minutes later, I finally got my kid back.

Dylan at dance recital

So proud of her. So proud of me for surviving. So proud of my 3 year old for not pinching his finger in that stage door. Really hoping we can take a break from dance.

Dance Recital

8 Responses to i could never make it as a dance mom

  • Jacquie B says:

    You guys got really lucky you escaped the 10 lbs of make up per dancer rule that seems to be going on with elementary aged girl dancers here in TX, judging from my facebook feed. It’s frightening. Congrats for making it through the rehearsal!

  • Beki says:

    Beautiful!!! I was a dance mom once…and I don’t miss it. I only miss watching Ellie on stage. πŸ™‚ Dylan is beautiful in that $costume$.

  • Diane Fregosi says:

    Love it! I’m right there with you. Last year was our first year of dance for my 4 year old, who has been dancing since she could walk. So it was a no brainer we would do dance. And, I like you, chose a reasonably priced studio but was overwhelmed by all the additional charges that year. I realize that the recital fees is where they must make all their money. Still we were back again this year for more fun and recital fees. I do love my daughters dance studio, though. The sweetest most graceful lady runs it and I’ve even recommended it to friends so they can join in said fun and fees. Yes, I may be a sadist. πŸ˜‰

  • Susan kintner says:

    Dylan was amazing and I was thrilled to be there. Additional kudos to her parents and siblings for loving her enough to stay, especially summer who got the resilience award. Love, nanny

  • Lanie says:

    3-4 hours!! Wow, that is a crazy long performance for anyone (especially kids!). Perhaps no one will sign up for dance next year ?

  • Corinne says:

    We just completed our first year of dance with our now-4 year old. She just adores it! I, too, was a bit horrified at all the fees beyond the class and the costume. Nonetheless, we’ve started our summer dance session and are already signed up for 2 fall classes. What can I say? She loves it. I have aspirations of full-on dance mom status down the road.

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kelcey kintner