Food For Thought Friday: Dance Moms

I'm watching this show on cable called Dance Moms. I really started watching it because the name drew me in, I was a dancer growing up, and I encountered more than a handful of "Dance Moms" or "Stage Moms" as we called them.  They were the ones who were sort of living vicariously through their children.  They had blinders on about their child's skills, abilities, talent, and most importantly LOVE for the craft, and were laser focused on making sure their child was in the spotlight at all times.  They would construct arguments based on what was "fair" or "unfair" and argue with anyone who got in their child's way.

The show nauseated me (not enough to stop watching, I've got a season pass to this one) because the mother's behave like pre-teens and their children, who are disciplined and focused on doing their best, are more like adults.  It was all too familiar.

As a side note, I cannot for the life of me figure out how these girls are so good at what they do when their instructor (or "coach") did not rise from a seated position the entire show. Oh wait, there was one time that she came at a child with a bat to help "correct" her. WHAT? Parents, if your child dances at a studio where the teacher never leaves a seated position except to threaten your child with a blunt object, you are wasting your money. I don't care how good your child is.

As a child, dance taught me confidence, appreciation for art, coordination, and discipline. As an adult, dance taught me about history, communication, and more discipline.  The lessons of dance go far beyond the dance studio. The mothers on "Dance Moms" seem not at all interested in those lessons. They want "the best" for their children, but rather than focus on the myriad of learning experiences, they are focusing on their child getting the brightest spotlight.

It got me thinking, isn't that what we want for our children? For them to shine their brightest? Sure. But isn't it also true that they will likely learn more in their dimmer spots? Life isn't always fair. Life is full of bumps, and pain, and surprises that pull the rug out from under us when we are busy shining our brightest, and throws us into a dim spot. We do our children a disservice if we try to interfere with their fortune of hanging out in a dim spot or two. That's where the greatest and most valuable learning takes place. It is a fine line between supportive and destructive.  I think that the best we can do is be aware of that line, and which side of it we are on as parents, and remember that the best for our children is sometimes the hardest for our children.

Food For Thought Friday is brought to you by the amazing folks at Welcome Baby Care. They are THE postpartum and newborn experts. Check out their website, and don’t forget to “like” them on Facebook to take advantage of all their knowledge. Also, be sure to follow babycaretweets on Twitter to receive news and ideas on newborn care and thoughts about parenting!


  1. I was hoping someone would mention this show! I started watching a couple of weeks ago and wondered the same thing (not all the lesson-y stuff you spoke of-but how she never stood up or taught her girls anything)! I did not go to dance classes when I was younger-but it seems to me that any teacher worth their salt should at least get up and teach the students the routine! I too will still be watching! :)

  2. I was a dance mom at this school until I left because the "coach" began verbally abusing my daughter along with many others.

    She is the only one who creates tension between the moms. She plays the manipulative game and makes one child more special than another. This is her technique to make them do better.

    Why? Because SHE CANT TEACH. These kids all learn from the older kids. They are taught by them and watch them. It has been that way for 15 years. All this woman is a control freak.

    If you are a mom who lets her have full control of your kid or are a mom who has a profession she can use to her advantage, she will favor your child. PERIOD.

    Many Many Many children have left there for the same reasons. When they do leave they never look back. Even students who , ON THEIR OWN, went on to Las Vegas or Cruise ships to dance professionally, NEVER look back on Abby Lee Miller. They ignore her calls. She is not looked like as a mentor, but an abuser. PERIOD.

    She could have a good side to her if she tried, but because her life is so empty, this is her way of having her control to fullfill that void. No children, never married, no men in her life. All she has known is to be a spoiled little girl who grew up to rule other peoples children, just like she played with Barbies as a child and made them do what she wanted.

    She pitched this show and called it "dance moms" because it is the dance moms she hates. WHY? Because she doesnt like that they have final say for their childrens well being. This causes her a loss of control. She is trying to exploit the dance moms so that she can get her way and get them out of her way if she makes them look bad....so she thinks.

    She is a twisted woman and this studio doors should be closed.

    The moms eventually figure it out and the kid leaves.

    If there was another dance studio that these kids could go to within 5 miles of this place, her doors would close.

    This show was her way to make money because she barely has any students left. Pathetic really.

  3. this studio should have its doors closed not broadcast on television. The instructor ( I can't call her a teacher) is abusive, mean and is scarring these little girls forever. If a real teacher EVER treated her students like that, even their own union would have them FIRED!@*(&


Comments are cool, being mean is not, so please... just don't do it. Hey, thanks!

Have Keeping Her Cool Emailed to you!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Popular Posts