A Message to Parents of Dancers from a Dancer’s Heart!
I could say to you that I know how hard it is to be the parent of a kid who wants to be a dancer. Actually, I was the one that needed their support in my journey to become really good at dancesport. What I can tell you though, after all these years of dancing, is how I see the ideal parents for a dancer.
Here are a few things that I wish parents knew:
Great things take time
Patience is very important. Every achievement comes only through dedication, hard work and the ability to push oneself, but that doesn’t happen overnight. We all know that when we are young, we don’t have all these qualities and mechanisms to deal with things and this is where the parents come into play.
There were moments when my mother used to push me to do whatever it takes to earn a trophy. Most of the time I was losing my focus because my mind was on the trophy instead of focusing on improving as a dancer. I was in a rush to win all the big competitions because I wanted to be known in the world, but it always felt out of my reach. In time, my parents realized that I got the best results when they helped me to shift from wanting to be a champion to wanting to be a very good dancer.
We don’t have to put pressure on our children. Dancesport is about love, passion, and the joy of life. We just need to teach them that failure is part of the process and is the only way to grow, learn, and become better. As Bruce Lee used to say: “Action is a high road to self-confidence and self-esteem. Where it is open, all energies flow toward it. It comes readily to most people and its rewards are tangible”. They just need to get out there and dance, dance, dance!
Parents, give your kids freedom!
When people say freedom we mustn’t take it literally but instead, we have to avoid being overprotective with our little ones. Dancesport is also about becoming a better version of ourselves and that implies a strong self-confidence, being able to resist to stressful situations and living a life guided by a powerful word, balance. We can achieve this by taking decisions on our own even no matter the consequences. Only then we will know how to do better next time. As human beings, we tend to learn from our mistakes more often than from the advice we get from others. By this, I am not encouraging you as parents to let your kids do whatever they want. Just give them some space so they can discover themselves and what they want. But always keep in touch with their teacher and be sure that they maintain discipline and are strongly motivated to learn and practice every day.
Winning comes with sacrifice
Our world is getting busier than ever and adaptability is becoming precious. Professional dancing equals competitions and even more. This means spending money and traveling with your children because you want more than just the spotlight they can get in front of your neighbors and family friends, or in the town’s concert hall. As I said earlier in a previous article, “A Tough Pill to Swallow Not Everyones a Winner”, it’s not about the trophy.
The most important thing is the experience they have and the constructive criticism that they can get from participating in a competition. A clear picture of where they are in relation to other dancers will show them what their strengths and weaknesses are. What better way to improve?
Many parents have stressful jobs and it’s becoming harder and harder to find enough time for the family. You have to be there for them, make some tough decisions so they can get all the available opportunities. It’s going to be difficult but be sure that it’s going to pay off in the long run. Think about it as if you were taking care of a tree in a garden. If you take good care of it, it will give you fruits and nature will do the rest.
Your kid needs an amazing teacher
There may be cases of self-taught dancers but that is pretty rare. Why is that? For youngsters, it’s hard to have a very good discipline and be so well organized. For that, you need a good trainer. Even more than this, your little dancers need a teacher who can adapt to their personality and know how to inspire and encourage them to overcome all the difficulties that come along the way.
Be careful when choosing the one to be their mentor. He will have a very big impact on their lives. And if you really care about their well being, you need to make sure that they’re more than great dancers. They also need to be amazing educators. Character traits are equally important to develop. The teacher can instill ambition, patience, passion, and discipline. In this way, the kid – trainer relationship and also your relationship with them will be productive and inspiring.
Now take a deep breath and don’t get freaked out about what I wrote here. Even if you feel like you haven’t done all these things, you took the first step when you encouraged your kid to be a ballroom dancer. I’m not offering you the recipe for success. Nobody has discovered it yet. Instead, I’m letting you know how my parents’ support helped me achieve a professional level in dancing. I am sure it will help you support your children in becoming extraordinary dancers and also ace at life.
Photography: V.studio photos
Dancing has been my passion since I was 13 and since then I've been doing things in that direction. Writing, creating and putting together the biggest community for dancers around the world!