The Best Parenting Decision I Made

You start by taking your 3-year-old daughter to dance class as something to fill an hour of her week and give her an outlet for her energy. She comes home from class and continues to dance around the house, wearing a few spare scarves from your cupboard, or last year’s princess costume from the dress up box.

She asks every day there after “do I go to dance today?” Next thing you know, you’re complaining about the hours spent driving back and forth to the studio, the later-than-you’d-like rehearsal (on a school night?), the long hours sitting and waiting at the studio for classes to end when you have a million other places to be. And don’t even get me started on the money, the tuition, shoes, master classes, shoes, fundraisers, shoes. Did I mention shoes?

You fret and worry that a “normal” childhood is passing her by. She’s not on the netball team, she’s not a runner, or in the swim club. She’s rarely at the dinner table because she has a class almost every night of the week. Family holidays are planned around summer schools.

Before you know it, she danced to her last concert, discarded her last pair of shoes, and it’s all over too soon. When it’s all over, and she’s left the stage for the last time, will you remember the hours, the money, and the worry of the physical toll? My guess is “NO”. You will remember the gifts dance has given her, the ability to prioritize and multitask, a strong, flexible body, the ability to handle pressure and last-minute changes, and an appreciation for music not currently heard on the radio.

You will be grateful you are sending your daughter out into the world with a strong work ethic and a long attention span. You will have a great sense of peace knowing your daughter is part of a strong circle of young women equally capable of lifting one another up when the road is rough, as they are out celebrating one another’s triumphs.

In the end, you can pat yourself on the back because taking her to that first dance class fifteen years ago was one of the best parenting decisions you made.

Reposted.  Written by a parent from a dance school in Australia.