My 4-year-old daughter performed in her first dance recital on Sunday. She did an amazing job and enjoyed every minute of it. Unfortunately her costume was too small for her, but she smiled and danced through the pain. She was a true professional!
The one thing that was consistent in almost every dance was the addition of an older dancer on stage to help the little girls in case they forgot their steps. Here’s my problem with it; it was so distracting to have the older girls on the stage performing the same dance as the younger students. My eyes were constantly drawn to the older girl. I didn’t really watch the younger girls because of the older dancers.
Today at dance I asked why the helpers were there. The owner of the studio told me it’s because so many dance moms complained their daughters didn’t know their dances and they didn’t want their girls to be embarrassed if they forgot the dance.
I wished the older dancers were not part of the show. Thankfully, my little girl didn’t stare at her “helper” like other dancers did. She smiled and did her thing! I would rather have my daughter up on the stage waving her heart out or doing her own little dance on stage than have a helper upstage her. She’s a tiny dancer for Pete’s sake!
We need to get over our need for perfection. And this is coming from a perfectionist. I remember being a tiny dancer up on the stage with my little friends. It was our moment to shine and have all eyes on us. We were the star for just a few short minutes twirling in our beautiful costumes. We didn’t care if we messed up. It was about living in the moment.
I missed seeing that one little girl who was waving and calling moms name out so she would see her on stage. I wished I would have seen one little girl who thought she had all the right moves and did her own magical performance.
Let’s teach them it’s okay to fail or to forget something, all while we encourage them to just keep persevering. Let’s let them be little. Being a child is just a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things.
I promise not to perfect my children. Will you do the same?