Teaching your children to do well in school and stay committed to their education is important, but it’s really only a small piece of the pie. My husband and I thought it was just as important for our girls to be involved in a team and take part in extra curricular activities. Throughout their childhood, they were involved in a variety of sports including softball, running track, and basketball. However, the biggest part of their time was spent performing in competitive dance.
I’m sure the first thing that comes to your mind is “dance mom” according to the TV show. You will always find parents who coddle their children and who act like crazy idiots but truthfully we are all not like that. The majority of us “dance moms” support each other and all the children. We actually get a long and build our own friendships that last forever!
These activities not only broke them out of their shells, boosted their confidence and self-esteem, but also exposed them to trying things that were sometimes out of their comfort zone (like auditioning). There is so much to be learned by kids participating and being active in sports or other activities outside of the classroom.
Some of the important things my girls learned:
– Sportsmanship and how to be a team player. Many times they were competing against their friends. It was just as important to try to win as it was to root for your friends and encourage your team.
– Structure and dedication. They had extremely intense schedules for workshops and rehearsals, especially during the competition season. In addition, there was camp in the summer. Often times, there were birthday parties or events that conflicted with their dance schedule, but our girls always made the choice to stick with their prior commitment.
– Working hard to get better and not always being the best. I loved watching my girls dance, but realistically they were not always the best ones. It was SO important for them to try to the best of their ability and above all, HAVE FUN. When they wanted to do solos, they needed to work hard to be able to compete in that category, and whether they placed in first or last, they needed to be proud of themselves and hold their head high.
– Being in the spotlight. Not everyone can get on stage in front of hundreds or thousands of people and perform flawlessly. Sometimes you make a mistake, and other times you are spot on. No matter what the outcome, you need to be able to continue without missing a beat. Performing in front of crowds not only built their confidence to dance, but it also increased their self-esteem and ability to SPEAK in front of crowds and especially their peers!
– Respect– I always thought respecting authority was important. In any sport or activity, it’s important that your children learn to respect the decisions a coach, teacher, or assistant makes. There’s also an opportunity here to teach the kids how to speak up and ask questions to those with authority in a respectful manner! “What can I do to improve?” OR apologize if needed for something said or done.
Dancing greatly contributed to growing my girls’ characters and self-esteem. It helped them to be fearless when trying new things, and trying out for other activities- like sports teams. They made lifelong friendships and connections with people they would have probably otherwise never have met. As a parent, its important to support your children in their activities outside the classroom and encourage their interests and abilities!
When my children were younger we tried to video as much as we could and our tapes which are mostly VHS are starting to fade, not that the quality was so great from the beginning. I was so excited when I sent my videos in to be transferred to DVDs and to be able to see my little girls shining like little stars.
What memories do you have on VHS tapes that you’d like to see?