Tonight, I was surrounded by greatness.

In a small dance studio, huddled around the window with other dance moms, I witnessed pure love and life lessons unfolding.

It’s what we all hope for our own children.


Love from others, love for others, love in what they do.  Tonight I saw it all.

Let me tell you a dance mom story…

We are in the midst of competition season.  The owner’s least favorite season of the year.  There are long rehearsals with tired kids and emotions running on supercharged fumes.

It also happens to be Spring Break season.  The time when kids are free from the schedules of school, and old friends return from college for a few days.

Tonight as I wandered into the studio to watch the end of rehearsal, there I saw a former dancer sitting amidst the studio kids.  Despite the long rehearsal schedule and “wash, rinse, repeat” nature of preparing for a competition, there she sat.  She wasn’t there to dance.  She wasn’t there to prep for competition.  She was there to soak up the goodness.  The greatness.

Tired kids ran song after song after solo after solo.  And then it happened.  In a moment of pure genius, the owner cued up this former dancer’s solo music from last year.

The entire group of studio kids present, from age 6 to 16, erupted in cheers.  This dancer started dancing with the biggest smile on her face, and all of us moms just watched in wonder.

To increase the already mounting happiness in the room, the next song on cue was a former group hip hop routine from last year.  Immediately, exhausted dancers couldn’t get on the floor fast enough to relive the song with her.

And then the owner turns to all of the other dancers and says, “Let this be a lesson.  Even if you leave, you can ALWAYS come back.”  It was pure greatness.

Now, you must understand, this young college student is not making a life and career of dance (as far as I know).  She has gone off to college to discover her dreams, and yet she still returns every trip home to this tiny dance studio.  Why?  Because it is where she knows love lives.

The studio owner may not have realized it at the time, but in those moments tonight, she taught our children everything they need to know about life:

Love those around you.  
Celebrate being together.  
Cheer one another on.  
You can always come home.  
And when all else fails, dance.

If my daughter doesn’t place at competition this week, it won’t matter.  Eventually this competition they are preparing for will be a distant memory.  No one will remember what the judges said, how they scored, or even if they placed at all. 

But mark my words, none of those kids will ever forget what they learned tonight.  It wasn’t about dancing on the counts or staying together on the choreography.  They learned that no matter where life takes them, they always have a loving place to come back to where they will be celebrated, cheered for, and included.

And that, my friends, is why I’m a dance mom.

Be grateful (for life lessons), water your own grass,

…and drink coffee.

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