So last weekend was what has become a very important part of our spring. Dance recital weekend. Both of my girls have been dancing since before they were three. It’s been interesting to watch some of the families do their one year of dance, check it off their list and move on to the next activity because i can’t imagine our year without dance.

I think my daughters have learned so much more than just how to do a plie. They have learned about life. Cooperation and teamwork abound amidst all the drama that can occur when you gather a couple hundred girls aged 3-17 in one place. No not drama like on that overly-scripted “reality” show Dance Moms. But typical pre-teen and teenaged drama.

I will say that an increasing number of parents ACT like they are on dance moms. No matter how many signs are posted, how many announcements are made, there are always a group of parents who think the rules don’t apply to them. So to the lady sitting in the stage left section in the second row dancing her daughter’s dance from her seat while taking flash photos of her daughter staring at her like “if you are going to dance, I’m just going to stand here” – please know that the NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY rule applies to you too. And to the woman in front of me in the center section – row 3 – yes I saw your flip camera. Everyone did because it was shining in our faces as you video’d your daughter’s dance. And yes, the NO VIDEO RULE applies to you too.

However, all of this behavior is NOT because we have a screaming, obnoxious dance teacher egging on the moms and kids. No, we have the polar opposite of that.

Melissa Nemetz has been our girls’ primary dance teacher since the beginning and she celebrated her 20th recital this year even though she is only 22, as she said at the event. And Melissa has played the role of dance teacher, confidante, counselor, and dare I say even a favorite auntie or big sister. The girls have learned – and continue to learn – life lessons every time they are exposed to Miss Melissa. And as a dance dad, I have to say I enjoy our conversations and look forward to the opportunities to pop into the studio and have a chat too.

Melissa is supportive of the girls’ other activities but wants them to also push themselves to be the best they can be every week – every year – in their dance classes.

I’ve watched both of my girls grow into beautiful, confident young ladies who are at ease in the studio and on stage. I hope that dance remains part of our family’s life for as long as our girls are able to stay – and I hope that Melissa remains a friend for life.

Dance on.