I'm A Dance Mom, And I Don't Need Your Judgment

by Jennifer Verner
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I have recently been told that I and my fellow team mommies are referred to as the “Dance Moms” at our local All-Star cheer and hip hop gym. I was told this in secret, as sort of a heads-up, something I should be ashamed of. Perhaps this is a negative thing to be called a Dance Mom, but it isn’t to me.

Our family moved to this city in 2015, my daughter joined this gym shortly after, and in the last three years, these kids have bonded more than I could have hoped. They call themselves a sisterhood. They spend 4-5 days a week together, doing something they absolutely adore, with their favorite people. I left some amazing friendships in my old city, and moved here hoping to find something similar.

These “dance moms” have become my family. They are always willing to help, whether it be school pick-up, snack drop-off, or hanging around at the gym to watch our kids if one of us is running late. We meet for coffee, a glass (or bottle) of wine, and dinner without the kids. These women are my emergency contacts, aunties to my kids, and my best friends.

Joining a dance/cheer gym is a big commitment. It is practices, competitions, early mornings, late nights. It is travel, sometimes across the country. It is bunking up in hotel rooms with friends, sleepovers, team dinners, bid reveals and bonding events. It really helps if you enjoy the people who are along for the crazy ride with you.

I spend countless hours making teams gifts, driving my daughter to the gym, planning parties, attending team events. And I wouldn’t change it for the world. My daughter is happy, fulfilled, and motivated. She is so driven and athletic, and she’s only seven years old. The bonds she has made with her teammates will last a lifetime. And so will the bonds our families have made.

By the way, I am also a hockey mom. But for some reason, that doesn’t carry the negativity associated with being a dance mom. So, look down your nose at me if you choose. Make fun of me saying “we won” our competition. I may not be dancing out there, but we are behind these kids 100%. Call me a dance mom, please do…I love everything that I associate with it. I own it. And I bet, if you had the same experiences I had, you’d own it to.


A proud dance mom