learning to be a dance mom.

I’m a mom, before I’m anything else. And after 18 years of being a mom, I’m still learning how to do it right. Or at least do it to the best of my ability.

Jessie has been dancing for 5 years, but this is her first year doing it competitively. It’s been a learning experience. For me, especially. I never did anything like this when I was little, although I’m starting to wish I had. It would have made all those high school dances a LOT less awkward!

Competitive dance is a lot of makeup, sparkle, costumes, quick changes, and bobby pins. Ohmygoodness, I’ve never seen so many bobby pins in my life! I put more bobby pins in my child’s hair than I have ever used myself. I put more makeup on my child’s face than I have ever used myself. And I have helped her change faster than I ever have in my life. Sometimes they get one whole song to completely change costumes, hair and makeup before their next number. It’s a lot of stress, but it’s a lot of fun. And if she’s having fun, my job is done.

*warning: I’m a proud mom. Lots of photos follow.*

I snapped this one when we were only about half-way through the getting ready process.

One of the things I really like about dance is that it’s a team sport. Even through their solos, they are there cheering each other on. This is one united group of girls.

Outside for a little practice before taking the stage.

My favorite photo of the day! Maybe my favorite of her ever. So glad they all take time out to just be girls having fun.

I might be a tad bit jealous of their adorable costumes.

On stage for their tap number!

That’s my girl.

Then a quick change and time out for photos before their jazz number.

Aren’t they seriously adorable?

Rocking the stage.

I love it when I can catch her mid-air.


Just a few technical notes for those who may be interested: dance photos are really not that hard, as long as you have a long lens. Yes, it’s dark in there, but I like it that way. The stage is lit, so as long as you expose properly for the dancers, everything else is just black. It highlights the subjects quite nicely.

All performance photos taken with my Canon 5D Mk II, 70-200 2.8L lens. ISO 1000, 2.8, 1/320 second. All I did in post was barely adjust the temperature (I shot on auto white balance, and it was just a tad too warm), and add a tiny bit of fill light and contrast.

Here’s to learning how to parent every day. And quick changes. And glitter. Cheers!

  • Rhea
    Posted at 12:24h, 02 April

    Great post Amy! Love the first paragraph – makes me so excited for what is to come as a mom. Looks like your daughter is a natural!