Friends, it’s done. My life as a dance mom has finally ended, and I think it was only fitting that I said my goodbyes in Galveston, Texas.
Galveston, for those of you not familiar, is a barrier island down the road from Houston. It’s a beach town that feels like it’s seen better days, with a graffitied sea wall that abuts a fairly busy five-lane highway. Bottle caps and plastic detritus wash up along the shore with the expected seaweed, dead fish and broken shells. Summer ambient temperatures consistently run in the triple digits. Despite its rundown appearance, though, Galveston has a lot to offer. It has beautiful sunrises and bountiful waterfowl, some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet and an impressive array of delicious Mexican and barbecue eateries. Can y’all say, “smoked brisket taco?”
Turns out, the competitive dance world is actually a lot like Galveston – a bit gritty on the surface but absolutely worth a visit. In the last nine years, my daughter has experienced hip injuries and girl drama and body image issues and studio “politics,” set amid a backdrop of screaming mothers, skimpy costumes and exorbitant entry fees. Despite all that, or maybe because of it, she has made friends for life, developed resilience and confidence, and created the type of memories that can only come from spending 20 bucks on a Galveston ghost tour with – surprise, surprise – no ghosts.
I, of course, have lived vicariously through her, which makes this final dance trip such a bittersweet moment. My jazz-handing, piqué-turning baby is done, and so is my time as a dance mom.