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Dance Mom 101: Expert Tips for Supporting Your Dancer

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If you are a parent of a young dancer, you might be wondering what it takes to be a good dance mom. As a dance mom, your role is not just to chauffeur your child to dance classes and competitions, but also to provide emotional support and encouragement, as well as to help them achieve their goals.

As dance parents and teachers ourselves here at Dance Parent 101 we thought we would brainstorm and write about the qualities and behaviors that make for a good dance mom.

1. Be supportive and positive

As a dance mom, your child looks up to you for support and encouragement. Be positive about their progress, no matter how small it may seem. Celebrate their achievements and offer encouragement when they are feeling discouraged. Remember that dance is hard work and it takes time and dedication to master new skills.

2. Be organized and punctual

Dance classes and competitions have strict schedules that must be adhered to. Being punctual shows respect for your child’s dance teacher and helps your child to focus on their training. It’s also important to be organized, with a calendar or planner to keep track of dance events, schedules, and deadlines.

3. Communicate effectively

Good communication is key to being a good dance mom. Keep lines of communication open with your child’s dance teacher, so you can stay informed about their progress and any upcoming events or opportunities. Also, listen to your child’s concerns and be a supportive ear when they need to talk.

4. Respect the dance teacher’s authority

Unless you are seeing red flags – check out our article 15 Signs of a Bad Dance Teacher You Must Be Aware Of! Assume that your child’s dance teacher is an expert in their field and has the best interests of their students at heart. Respect their authority and follow their instructions.

Don’t interfere directly with your child’s training – for example don’t sit in the class and yell instructions (yes I have heard of this happening!) at your child or teacher, and avoid trying to teach them dance techniques yourself unless you of course have the experience yourself to do so.

5. Invest in quality dancewear and accessories

Good dancewear and accessories are essential for your child’s comfort and performance. Invest in high-quality leotards, tights, ballet shoes, and other necessary items. Avoid purchasing cheap, low-quality dancewear that can restrict movement or cause discomfort. Why not start by reading our article Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Right Shoes For Dance Lessons!

6. Encourage home practice

Help your child practice at home Practice is key to improving your child’s dance skills. Encourage them to practice regularly, but also be sure to give them breaks and time to relax. Create a dedicated space at home where your child can practice and reinforce what they have learned in class. We have plenty of ideas and inspiration in our series about creating home dance studios here!

7. Provide nutritious meals and snacks

Be mindful of your child’s diet and nutrition A healthy diet and proper nutrition are important for dancers. Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Avoid sugary or processed foods that can cause energy crashes. Need some food ideas, check out our articles here!

8. Prioritize your child’s rest and recovery

Rest and recovery are just as important as practice and training. Help your child establish a regular sleep routine that allows for plenty of rest and recovery time. Encourage them to stretch and use foam rollers to reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury. If you are not sure what a foam roller is take a look at one on our resource page here!

9. Attend performances and competitions

If you are reading this, you are probably a dedicated dance parent already and do this, but it really goes without saying that attending your child’s performances and competitions is important for showing support and interest in their progress. Cheer them on, take photos and videos, and offer positive feedback after the performance.

10. Help your child set goals and track progress

Goal setting is an important part of improving in any discipline. Help your child set achievable goals, both short-term and long-term. Track their progress and celebrate milestones together. We have a variety of articles on how to set goals that you can read such as SMART Goals For Dance – How to Set Goals and Achieve them!

11. Encourage cross-training

Cross-training in other disciplines can help your child develop well-rounded skills and prevent burnout. We are not necessarily saying that they need to start another hobby, but perhaps encourage them to try different types and styles of dance, or other activities known to enhance a dancers strength, flexibility and endurance such as yoga or pilates.

12. Support your dancer’s mental health

Be mindful of your child’s mental health Dance can be emotionally demanding, and it’s important to be mindful of your child’s mental health. Check in with them regularly and offer support when needed. Encourage them to talk openly about their feelings and emotions.

13. Know your budget limits

Dance can become expensive. Set a budget for how much you can afford to spend on dance and then let your child and teacher know how many classes you can afford or how many items they can be in because of costume costs. This will help any future heartache and embarrassment. Need some help? We have a few articles on the site about budgeting for dance which you can read here!

14. Become part of the community.

Dance as a hobby especially if your child is on a competitive team is a like team sports. A dance studio is a community and as a dance mom, you are part of that community. Get to know the other parents and offer your support when needed such as with costumes, props, or backstage tasks. Attend studio meetings and events, and help with fundraising or other tasks as required.

15. Educate yourself

A parent of a dancer needs to be educated and knowledgeable about the dance world to provide support, guidance, and advocacy for their child’s dance training and development. Understanding the terminology, expectations, and opportunities within the dance world can help parents make informed decisions, advocate for their child’s needs, and help their child reach their full potential as a dancer.

16. Foster a love of dance

Above all, as an expert dance mom, your goal should be to foster a love of dance in your child. Encourage them to enjoy the process of learning and growing as a dancer, rather than focusing solely on winning competitions or accolades. Help them cultivate a lifelong love of dance that they can carry with them into adulthood.

Being a good dance mom takes patience, dedication, and a genuine interest in your child’s passion for dance. By being supportive, organized, communicative, and respectful of the dance teacher’s authority, you can help your child to achieve their dance goals while also fostering a positive and supportive dance community. Remember that dance is not just about winning competitions, but also about the joy and discipline of the art form itself.