Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My Daughter Quit Dancing and I'm Cool With That

Today my daughter quit dancing.

It wasn't a sad day. Granted, it was a little frustrating that it was mid-term and after considerable financial investment for a 5 year old, but it wasn't sad. Actually, it was a relief.

Miss 5 loved dancing when she first started at the age of 3. (Dancing is a loose term at this age. It's really just jumping and clapping with fancy shoes on). She was happy to go to classes and loved the performances. Dressing up, wearing makeup and getting her hair done was just plain fun.

I must admit, I did start to enjoy it, much more than I ever would have imagined, possibly because it brought the girly out in my tomboy daughter. After two terms of dancing, she agreed to actually wear a dress. On Christmas Day! The grandmothers were beside themselves with pride.

But the world of dancing was foreign to me. I didn't dance as a child (which shows now, believe me!) and I didn't understand how serious the dance culture can be. I had nothing to add when the other mothers vehemently expressed their disappointment at the over-choreographed routines or inappropriate troupe sizes. God, I didn't even know what they were talking about half the time!

I'd like to say she reminds me of myself.....but splits were never for me.

I never saw the Sydney Ballet in her future, but she held her own at dancing. She even won a couple of awards. But starting school this year changed things. She was tired! Having to go to school all day and then go to dancing two afternoons a week was too much.

We persevered for months, knowing that the energy had to go somewhere. And she liked dancing - she totally enjoyed the classes - she just didn't want to go. It's like the thought of having to go out when you've already taken your bra off.

I also encouraged her to stick with it knowing one day she'd thank me for learning how to look half decent on the dance floor and for having calf muscles. Two things that have always escaped me.

But today, when she climbed into the car and spat out her usual "I don't want to go to dancing" whinge, I decided I'd had enough. I just could not be arsed anymore.

I don't care that I've paid for the next 3 week's worth of lessons and that we already have her end of year concert outfit. I don't care that she has hand-me-down tap shoes waiting for her to grow into. I don't even care that she just recently got a new jacket with the dance school emblem on the back.

I asked if she was sure. She was. And so was I.


Is quitting OK in your household?
Did dancing or another activity get too much for your kids?