I am a dance mom. Or maybe I’m one half of a dance parent team. Either way, I spend a lot of time chilling out at our dance studio.
Filling my time there isn’t hard. You can read more about what I do to make the busyness of being a dance parent work for me here: How to survive being a dance parent (at a non comp studio). But sometimes it’s boring pretending to do work at the table when people are dancing in the next room (and to good music!)
My favourite thing to do while I’m at the studio is dance myself. Our studio, Kingston School of Dance, offers quite a few adult dance classes, and some of them actually fit into my daughter’s dance schedules.
Currently I’m taking a jazz funk class, and adult contemporary. I took a few years of adult ballet, and I loved it, but it doesn’t work in our schedule this year. There is also a barre burn class that is a great workout, but that’s not in my already-there time this year either.
Why do I love taking adult dance classes?
Dance is exercise. That means I can burn calories while I’m waiting for my girls to finish getting their dance on. And it’s more fun than walking around the neighbourhood in the dark and cold of the winter months!
It’s fun. Learning new ways to move my body is hard but very enjoyable. And I do like the feeling of “I’ve worked my body” the next day. The challenge of learning new steps is a great mind workout as well. Trying to recall the dance moves a week later is as challenging as learning the steps in the first place, but it’s amazing how much your body remembers, even if you don’t think it does.
Socializing. I’m not the only dance mom who takes these classes. Other ladies, whose children dance with my girls, get in on these classes too. That makes it more fun, and means there’s usually a consistent group learning together. We also make time to chat when we’re there outside of our own dance class times, which really makes the dance studio feel like a community.
Judgement free. I love seeing people of all skill levels and body types learning to dance. There is something inherently freeing about moving your body in the best way for you, and the instructors are always happy to suggest alternate movements for differently capable dancers. I am not naturally graceful or fluid in my movements, and I have very little flexibility, but I still love the movement.
How did I get started?
Emma, my oldest daughter, started dancing at the age of 4 (I think.) That would have been 2012. Since then we’ve greatly expanded the amount of dancing my girls have done. Rose started when she wasn’t quite three (2013) and I have watched beautiful dancers grow and learn over many years.
Once my girls were away from the Saturday morning “pink ballet” (as we called it) I would spend some time watching the adult classes during the evenings. Watching my own daughters was too distracting for them, but the music always draws me to the windows. As I watched these other adults learning ballet steps it occurred to me that maybe I could do that too.
Make no mistake – I am NOT a dancer. I took one season of ballet when I was 4 (that I don’t even remember) and that was it for my dance training. But with a little encouragement from my husband, my girls, and some other adult dancers I started taking the beginner adult ballet class. (The other adult dance classes came later.)
If you’d like to learn more about how ballet was for me, head over and read I’m taking ballet lessons and loving it. I stuck with ballet for almost three years. Then our schedules changed drastically enough that I dropped that class but picked up some others.
Notice no where did say I take dance classes “to be a better dancer” or “to become more graceful/coordinated” – I am under no illusions that these dance classes will actually make me a beautiful talented dancer. That’s not going to stop me from learning new steps and ways to move my body!
I hope to keep it up.
I’ve been taking dance classes for about four years now, and it’s the highlight of my week. Social adult time, burning calories, and grooving to music puts me in a great mood, no matter how my day was otherwise.
As long as my girls are spending so much time at the dance studio, I plan to continue taking at least one class a week. In my previous post I was sharing about how I’m too busy and I need to let go of some of our busyness. But I can’t let go of all my dance classes. They make me happy, they are my self care time, and I love moving my body as a dancer.