The title says it all, folks! My dancer is better than yours! There – I said it – and, gosh darn it, I mean it.
Now, you may scoff when you hear that – and, if you did, don’t fret! You’re perfectly normal. In fact, that first statement could have been said by most every parent I know who has a dancer (or insert favorite sport/club/activity participant here) in their family. It’s perfectly normal for a parent to be biased. (And if you WERE offended, I hate to tell you – but you already think that about your own dancer!)
In fact, it happens in a lot of things in life. As a person who is heavily involved in the home business (builder for 21 years and, now, a licensed Realtor), I hear it all the time. “Our neighbors’ house sold for $xxx,xxx and ours is better than theirs.”
Heck! I even compare those thermostats on local banks with the thermostat in my car. Somehow, MY car’s thermostat is always more accurate than the one blaring at all the passers-by.
In dance, this fact becomes most evident when it comes to those times when the dancers in class are competing for the same thing – whether that’s a part in a show, the lead dancer in the song or a scholarship to a special program.
I can’t even imagine how difficult it is for the faculty and staff to choose among all of those dancers – each one who is certainly better than the others. I mean – all of those parents can’t be wrong, can they?
Unfortunately, the parts that everyone really wants are limited. And not everyone is going to get the part. That’s life! Unfortunately, there are too many places in our lives where everyone gets the prize and all are treated equal (that’s, ahem, NOT real life).
Sure it hurts! It hurts for the dancer, and it hurts as a parent to watch how crushed your dancer can be when that part eludes them. But, those of us who have a few more years of experience than our young dancers do know that you need to fall short every once in awhile. It actually does some good for the mind, body and spirit.
These experiences give you a good kick in the butt (I would’ve used a good ballet-kick word here, but I’m a Dad and I just don’t know a good term to use). They humble you. For those truly committed to dance, the times when a part is missed are the times that make you buckle down and try harder for the next time (now that’s a good Dad-ism!).
And – when you are trying harder, you are getting better!
That’s hard for a dancer to see in the short-term. It can be equally as hard for a parent to see that, too.
I’m certain the faculty and staff have heard from parents over the years when their dancer wasn’t chosen. And I’m sure that those conversations weren’t always the most cordial. It’s easy to stop by and “have a talk with” the faculty member when “the most talented dancer in the class” was overlooked.
I often wonder what the faculty and staff would say to me in that instance…. Of course, I’ll never know. After all, my dancer is better than yours and too good to get us into that situation.