As a parent, entering the dance world is always going to be daunting. Regardless of whether you’re an ex-dancer yourself or you’ve never danced a day in your life, you can rest assured that everyone gets flustered from time to time. Taking your child to dance classes and competitions can seem like a lot to take on; they can be costly, time-consuming, all encompassing. And yet, they’re completely worth it.
There are so many articles out there about how to support your child through dance, and how street dance improves children’s lives. But what about dance parents themselves?
Being a dance parent, you give up precious time to spend making your child’s dream a reality. For them, this means dancing with their friends, performing in front of adoring crowds, maybe even winning Titles and Championships. For you, it’s a little less glamourous; you’re all too familiar with long coach journeys to street dance competitions up and down the country. You’ve ordered countless costumes, sewed and fixed up far too many outfits, and sat in a stuffy car waiting for overrunning rehearsals to end. But you know that through all of this, you’re making your little one happier than ever.
Our friends over at UDO Academy have previously looked at the long-term benefits of street dance, and dance parents understand these all too well. The friendships that children make through dance help them throughout their tumultuous teenage years, and the confidence they develop through performing and competing at dance competitions is unparalleled. It may not be abundantly clear from the time a clumsy three-year-old puts on their first pair of dance shoes, but the skills they gain will stay with them. Whether they go into the professional dance world or not, dance teachers will instill life-long lessons. They encourage their students to work hard, learn from their setbacks, and dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to their team.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the unwavering support of dance parents. You’re always cheering the loudest, supporting them to do their very best at street dance competitions. In your eyes, it doesn’t matter whether they win or even place; it’s all about the experience. You’re there to dry their eyes when a performance goes wrong, and you’re the first person they run to when it goes right. Even when it gets tough, you know that you’re giving them opportunities that will stay with them forever. You see their faces light up when they take to the stage, you watch them delight in judges’ demos and workshops. They get to do what they love in a supportive, inclusive environment, and it's thanks to your encouragement.
Our international UDO family is made up of all kinds of family units and dance schools, and we are so proud to play a part in your dance experience. We hope we can make it a good one!
Everyone's experience as a dance mum or dad is unique - what’s been yours? Let us know over on our social media! @udostreetdance
Author: Hannah Evans
Hannah would like to thank her own dance mum for inspiring this piece.