Friends, the end of an era is nigh. This month marks the beginning of my last season as a dance mom, as my daughter will be graduating in May and heading off to college without her jazz shoes. “I’m not crying, you are!”
And you should be. For almost 10 years now, I have drawn on my substantial powers of observation to report on the often hilarious and always tawdry world of competitive youth dance. From the dressing-room drama to tales of tarted-up toddlers, I’ve entertained hundreds, perhaps millions, of readers through my all-access pass as a Dance Mom.
What will I write about now? There’s simply no other arena that will give me reason to publically shame the costume choices of clearly terrible parents and make catty remarks on stupid judges who award stupid scores and who can’t possibly know more than me, earner of a B in freshman ballet. Where else will I utilize my admittedly small cache of survival skills to emerge sane after 48 hours of 96 identical contemporary routines at a local high school performing arts center with nothing but stale popcorn, online sudoku and an ibuprofen-Aleve cocktail to keep me going?
The answer is “nowhere.” Being a dance mom has allowed me entrance into an unbelievable world of humanity, where relationships and questionable choices and an ungodly amount of hairspray intermingle to create a literary treasure trove of topics. Unless my husband Doo suddenly decides to train for the maniac sport of Olympic curling, I can’t imagine I’ll ever have the kind of column fodder I’ve enjoyed as a dance mom.
Maybe I’m crying, too.