chicago kids dance dress rehearsal

Were you in dance when you were a kid? Or do you have a child who danced/dances?

I did tap—and to be honest, I didn’t love it. 😆 I think I just didn’t enjoy organized activities as a kid; I wanted to be home, running around the neighborhood with my best friend Katie. I also had stage fright. (Nearly threw up on recital day. Fun times.)

Because of this, I was a bit hesitant to sign Emma up for dance, but she’s so, so different than I was as a child. She was dying to get into a dance class, and really needed the social interaction this past year because she spent the majority of it home with us doing remote learning. So I signed her up for a session that a couple of her friends were in, and boom. I’ve never seen her happier.

I love thinking about what our children will become passionate about. I grew up with parents who never pushed my brothers and me when it came to our interests and hobbies; they were wonderfully supportive, encouraging and involved in whatever we loved—heck, they built me a balance beam in the backyard—but placed more importance on giving us fun, happy childhoods. (I’ll always remember the conversation my mom had with me about tap on the way home from class one day. “Kelly, are you still liking tap?” “No.” “Okay! So maybe we take a break?” “Oh my gosh, yes.” “Great!” Love my mom. 😉)

Yes, the three kids were different. My brother Danny, for example, was extremely passionate about baseball and therefore my parents carted him around to travel baseball games for years because that’s what made him happy. But I love that they were able to identify what made each kid happy. I mean, sure. There’s a small part of me that wishes I’d become a competitive gymnast 😆 and traveled around like Danny did, but I also realize that A) I didn’t have the talent, B) I wasn’t competitive in nature, and C) I probably would have crumbled under the pressure. I was also able to explore many more interests because I wasn’t always at the gym. And I still do some of those things—even somewhat professionally!—in adulthood.

All of this is to say that I hope I’m able to do the same for Emma and Lucy. Perhaps they’ll be totally unlike me and really want to put their hearts and souls into one passion. Or perhaps they’ll want to try on lots of different hats over the years. I just want them to find stuff that makes them happy and helps them feel fulfilled. Emma’s already expressed interest in so much—from science and art to acting/singing and field hockey—and I can’t wait to follow along on both girls’ adventures!

Anyway. Emma had her dress rehearsal yesterday, and it was the cutest thing. I love dress rehearsals because they’re a lot less hectic than the actual recitals, yet the kids get to wear their costumes and the fancy hairstyles which they get so excited about. We were also about five feet from the “stage”—a parking lot next to the subway tracks, haha—so we could really see the kids, and they could hear us cheering for them. They danced to “A Friend Like You” by Dolly Parton, in case you’re wondering. ;)

After the “show,” we took a few quick snaps of Emma and her best friend Walker. (Her other bestie, Quinn, was on a trip with her family… but she’ll be there for the recital!) I probably wouldn’t have even tried to get these photos on recital day due to the craziness, and I love that we can frame one or two for the girls! Such special memories. (My dream is that they’ll be each other maids of honor at their weddings, and we’ll put these—along with some other cute ones—up on a projector screen, haha! They’ve been friends since they were two.)

So tell me! Did you dance? Or do you have a child who danced/dances? Or did your—or his or her—interests lie elsewhere? Tell me about the experience!

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