Saturday, February 20, 2010
Love what your kids love, part 2
Ok, I really wanted to get back to something I started talking about a couple of weeks ago. I got off track, but that was ok with me, because the message was good, but I knew I wanted to get back to this, so here we are.
About 4 years ago, both of my girls danced at a local studio and I was there quite a bit with them both. In fact, I still can't listen to Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani as I heard it weekly being danced by the team when I was there for my girls' classes. Please don't say b-a-n-a-n-a-s! I got to know the dance team as they were there on the nights when Kedzie was tapping and Madi was learning her jazz rountine. For the most part, they were the average dance team, except for one team member, a boy. I remember thinking, and I am sorry to say this, "I wonder what his dad thinks about his dancing?" I know that I was immature thinking this wasn't the cool thing for a boy to do. I wondered if he got teased by his buddies for wanting to dance with a bunch of girls. I wondered if his dad was teased because his son dances. I felt all the stereotypes about what boys should or shouldn't do and dancing was one of the things that should be left to the girls. We had tried our son Austyn in dance and later our son Logan but neither liked it at all and I was totally fine with that. My opinion of boys in dance changed when I saw the end-of-the-year dance recital. Not only did that boy on dance team hold his own, he really stood out as a good dancer. Right then and there, I realized that boys could do anything girls could do and sometimes better!
Fast forward ahead to the summer of 2008. Madison was taking a summer dance class at our studio in Nebraska. I took my then 6 year old, Logan, with me to watch. Next thing I know he is in the class with her and trying all the hip hop moves that she is doing. I signed him up for the class that day and both Madison and Logan took classes all summer. I really thought it was great exercise for Logan and a great skill builder for Madison. Little did I know that this class would open the eyes of the studio director and his teacher about his dancing. In fact, shortly after the class had ended, I received a call from the studio director, stating that they were so impressed with Logan, that they wanted him to join dance team and they wanted to audition girls to dance with him in a number that they would choreograph with him as the center of attention. I have to admit, those old stereotypes and my insecurities came racing back to the surface. A summer class was one thing, but joining dance team was a different thing all together. Then I remembered that boy at the old studio and decided it was up to Logan.
Of course Logan said yes, or there would be no story and so began his dancing experience. I could go into all the dances and all the competitions and how much he loves it, but that is not the point here. The point is to love what your kids love! I am so glad that I didn't say he couldn't dance because he was a boy. I'm so glad that my own insecurities didn't make me worry about what other men would think because my son was a dancer. I am so glad that I asked my son if he wanted to dance because he shined on the dance team.
He is dancing again this year in more numbers and in more styles of dance. He never tires of dancing and never gives me a hard time about practice. He really looks forward to his time at the studio. This is something he really likes! Of course I do have some male influence on him still. He does play basketball, soccer and baseball in addition to dance. Not too long ago he told me that his plan is to be a professional dancer and a professional baseball player. I am not sure how he plans to do this, but you can bet that I will support him 100%. One of his buddies on his basketball team heard he wouldn't be the game next weekend because he has his first dance competition. The boy laughed when Logan confirmed this. When we were walking to the car, he asked me why his friend laughed. I said I was sorry that happened and I didn't know why he laughed. Logan said, "He is probably just jealous because he doesn't know how to dance." I said, "You're probably right!"