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Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Son, The Dancer

My son (I'll continue to call him Skip, as in my prior blog) loves ballroom dancing.


With that statement, be honest, a million assumptions probably come to mind.

He's effeminate.

He's slight.

I'm a pushy stage mom.

I forced him to take lessons.

Etc, etc.

None of the above are remotely true.

Last Mother's Day, I was coming up the stairs.  My kids (Skip and Zoe) were playing in the loft area.  The second I came up the steps, they stopped doing whatever they were doing immediately.

As a mother, this is never a good sign.

"What are you guys doing?"

In unison, "Nothing."

A giant red flag went up.

"C'mon, what were you doing?"

Silence.  Then...

"We want to learn to dance like big people for the wedding."

They were going to be the ring bearer and flower girl in my husband's cousin Lindsey's wedding the coming June.

"Really?" I asked.


They gave me a demo of something similar to a waltz.

While I like to watch ballroom dancing and actually love to dance, as a family, we had never watched "Dancing With the Stars" or the competitions on PBS.   I didn't even know my kids knew what it was.

I told them I would check into a place that gave kid's lessons- I didn't what options were available- and I would make my husband take a few as well.  For 10 years, he had promised that we would take dance lessons.  This was a perfect opportunity.  A win-win so to speak.  Well, not for my husband...

I emailed VZ Ballroom Academy, we got a call to arrange for our free "family" lesson. 

When we arrived at the studio, the teacher was great.  No pressure.  We had a lot of fun.  Zoe was more interested in the disco ball and "independent" dance than actual lessons.  My husband and I had a blast.  My son was very serious.

We bought a package of lessons for my husband and me, and then, as we were leaving, the studio owner asked us about Skip.  I didn't think he would want lessons- he had been so serious- so I was stunned when he said "Sure, it looks like fun."

Now, I should point out, he was looking at the cute girls in the group class at the time.

For the next 6 weeks, we took him every Saturday.  He would practice in his room. 

Ballroom dancing was not his natural forte.

Watching him learn to dance brought back memories of Kevin Bacon teaching Chris Penn in "Footloose."

At the big showcase, he blew me away.  He concentrated and he did a great job.  I was a little surprised, to be honest.  This kid works hard when he wants something.

That night he told me how much he loved dancing.

The next week we went to the wedding.  My fairly reserved son stunned me when, once the music started, he very elegantly asked the stepmother of the groom to dance.  She, of course, accepted, and with a smile, walked out to the dance floor.  They were the first ones on the dance floor.  Then, my sweet son proceeded to REALLY dance.  He even lead.  She went from nearly laughing to being very impressed.  She suggested he teach her husband to dance!

And this went on all night long.

He danced with every woman at the reception.

I should also point out his eyes were boob level.

He made the connection that every man should- a woman loves a man who can dance.

If he loved dancing before, he now appreciated what it could do for him.

This January, his dance studio decided to offer an after-school program at his elementary school.  They asked him to dance in the demonstration. 

As a mom I was nervous.  I was so afraid my little second grader would be teased.  Let's face it, dancing boys usually get teased.

My confident son didn't bat an eye.  He danced perfectly...with his VERY attractive Brazilian dance teacher...who gave him a kiss at the end.  Let's just say, he's permanently cool now.  Perhaps legendary.

Over the past year, I watched him push himself and struggle with something that was not exactly easy for him.  He has worked very hard.

Today, I watched the last 10 minutes of his class.  He doesn't look like Chris Penn any more.  He's not quite Kevin Bacon, but he looked very natural.  And he had a big smile on his face.

I doubt that he'll ever compete outside his group class.  He probably won't become a professional dancer.  He has, however, learned a great skill that he will have his whole life.  I have no doubt that he will be asked to many functions throughout his life because he can dance (as a former "safety date" myself, I respect that).

So there you have it.  My son ballroom dances.  It's nothing I would have ever signed him up for, but he loves it.

One day, I'll be dancing with him at his wedding and thinking of the little, reserved boy who was the life of the party 20+ years earlier. I'll not only be proud of him, I'll also be happy that he's not stepping on my toes! 

Yet again I've learned something from my children.  Don't be afraid to do what you love.  When you love something, it's not work.  And most importantly, always be your unique self.

1 comment:

vitor68 said...


I think it's great that your boy has a mind of his own, especially at his age! That couldn't be more difficult.

It seems to me that you are teaching him the true definition of being a man! Don't listen to what the popular opinion is, but let him be who he wants to be, as difficult as it may be.

I realize I shouldn't be as serious as I am, but I appreciate the way you are raising your kids!