To dance or not to dance

I am NOT a stage mom. Every once in a while I get sucked into the train wreck show, Toddlers and Tiaras. I marvel at the lifestyle these toddlers live. Fake nails, spray tans, teased hair, and flippers. I really try not to judge the parents as their daughters are sitting their having their natural nails filed down with a dremel tool so acrylics can be applied, but it’s definitely a life that is so far from my own reality that I don’t profess to understand it.

We’ve had a bit of an issue lately with Morgan and dance. It’s been a multitude of issues that have made me question whether or not this is the right activity for us now:

  • She is the youngest in the class by at least 9 months. This is problematic, because a just-turned-three year old’s attention span is dramatically different than an almost-four year old
  • It’s on Friday evenings, after a full week of daycare and she’s spent. Which then impacts her attention span
  • She has an obsession with public bathrooms since potty training three months ago. So, we have to make an average of four trips to the potty a class (which means she probably loses 10 minutes of the 45 minute class in the bathroom)
  • The teachers tend to forget the dance steps they are teaching, and stop class frequently. To understand why this is an issue, read bullets 1-3.
  • After 30 minutes (remember to subtract the 10 minutes we spent in the bathroom), she decides she’s ready to go

So, we’ve missed the last two classes of dance to see if she just needed a break. And the two before that, she was either on the verge of getting sick, or just getting over being sick, and we left early. Now I’m stuck wondering if I started her to early (2 1/2), if I have her at the wrong dance place (given their inability to engage her as the youngest student), and if I’m wasting my money investing in two more pairs of shoes and three more months of dance before her recital.

Something tells me to try to stick it out. We’ve already paid the $55 for her dance costume, but I’m also a believer of not pushing kids this age. And although she sincerely enjoys her four trips to the bathroom on a Friday night, am I really doing her any favors if she’s that unfocused? It’s not like I have to drag her there – she’s so excited about the idea of going to dance, she just has no desire/focus once we get there.

So, all that said, I’m totally fretting over this decision. It’s not a big one, but it’s important just the same. I don’t want to encourage her to just quit activities mid-stream, but I don’t think at this age it’s going to be habit-forming. I don’t want her to miss out on something she enjoys if this whole lack of focus thing is just situational (newly potty trained and harsh winter of sickness). But I also don’t want to push her into finishing an activity she’s just not into.

I’m hoping next fall we can enroll in the class with some of her good friends from daycare. I think her experience would be much different if her BFF was there with her. But for now, I’m going to see if we can power through the next three months. If she starts acting like a tortured soul, we’re out…

No one ever said being a parent was easy.


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