Giving up dance

No, don’t worry, it’s not my daughter giving up dance. It’s me.

42 year old me who is really old enough to know better than to think she can do dance lessons.

But I did do them, for over five years, and I loved them. For a little while, ‘dancer’ was one of the ways I defined myself. It was there on my Twitter bio and my blog, along with ‘mum, blogger, runner, chocaholic’.

My daughter and I went to the same dance school. We started there at the same time. I was 36, she was 4.

I was pretty crap, but I learned quite fast for the first couple of years. I was thrilled to get the dancer of the term trophy and even more thrilled to get the senior most improved dancer trophy (in the whole school, not just my class).

But then something happened. The dances got harder. Everyone else in my class could keep up. They were doing lots of classes and get better and better all the time. And I was stuck. Finding it harder and harder to remember. Baby brain is totally a thing, even when your youngest is 10.

Although it’s not so much baby brain now as ‘overwhelmed mum brain’. Most of the others weren’t mums. And they certainly weren’t mums of three big kids, who always needed to be somewhere. Their brains weren’t whirring with logistics of parents’ evenings, lifts, Scout camps and homework. When your brain is full of that, there’s no room for dance moves.

Last year, I decided to do two dance classes. I enjoyed them, but double the classes meant double the stress as those moves refused to lodge into my brain. We do a show every year and every class performs two dances. I had FOUR DANCES to learn. I spent every evening for two months practising those damn dances in the kitchen and I still didn’t nail them.

I decided to give up.

But then there was a light at the end of the tunnel. A new class. An intermediate street class.

I loved the intermediate street class. It was like the old days. A style I loved and moves I could both do and remember. The pace was slower. I went from being the worst to being one of the best. I could keep up!

But it wasn’t like the old days, because the people from the old days were in their hard classes and I missed them. I didn’t gel with the new people. The ‘old’ gang were younger than me, but this lot were much, much younger than me,

And the kids’ activities didn’t go away. There was the panto, there were parents’ evenings, there were random extra Explorers meetings, there were after-school activities and there was a husband that worked late most Thursdays. Sometimes, I had to leave my boys at home and take my daughter to sit quietly and watch my class.

And then I realised.

It wasn’t worth it any more. I didn’t need it any more. I didn’t need the stress of fitting it into a life which is already overwhelming, I didn’t need to be stuck in a room full of people that didn’t know me or like me.

So I gave up. I thought I might miss it, but I don’t. The time was right for me.

It’s time to focus completely on being a dance mum, not a dancer.

Silent Sunday, My Sunday Photo, Daughter, Dance, Exam

There’s only room for one dancer in this family!

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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17 Comments

  1. I think if you’re not enjoying something then it does become stressful and hobbies and pastimes should be enjoyable. I have two left feet so dancing isn’t for me…my ‘moves’ look more like somebody having a fit.

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    • Ha ha, I’m sure they’re not bad! You’re right, it wasn’t fun any more and it was time to move on!

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  2. It is hard to fit in stuff for yourself round a family, and if you have lost your passion for it then the effort just isn’t worth it – sounds like this is the right decision for you at this point – and there are always tea dances to look forward to when we are properly old

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    • Ha ha, they sound very pleasant! It’s definitely the right decision for me at the moment.

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  3. Isn’t it funny how we instinctively know when the time is right. Well done for going with your instinct and opting out. You’ll find something else which you do for just you – then again you do have running which probably serves that purpose. Seriously, I could NEVER do what you’ve done so well done for all that you’ve achieved in that time!

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    • Thanks very much! I think running definitely serves the purpose. The only thing I slightly miss is actually getting out of the house one evening a week. Maybe I need to do aerobics or something which doesn’t require me to memorise moves!

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  4. I read the title and thought WHAT! I did think you were on about your daughter…hehehe
    I think when a hobby becomes stressful it is the right time to give it up….

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    • Thanks, it certainly is! I really hope my daughter never gives up, or certainly not until she’s grown up!

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  5. Ah that’s a shame, but I’m so impressed that you managed to fit it in for so long with all your other commitments. I’m really not a dancer, I have the grace and coordination of a beached whale. But I get it. I played water polo until I was 4 months pregnant with my youngest but haven’t managed to get back to it. I still hope to go back when things have settled down a bit here, but I also know that the time will come to give it up completely and I’ll have to make that decision when I no longer enjoy it.x

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    • Playing water polo sounds fantastic and I really hope you get to go back at some point! It is a strange thought that I’ve almost certainly given it up for good. It feels like I’m accepting becoming old, but I really don’t need the stress in my life any more. x

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  6. Ahh end of a chapter but your life seems completely chocablock most days. I don’t know how you fit it all in. Hopefully this might give you a nice slot to try something new maybe…..or to just sit! 🙂

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    • Thanks, I think it will just give me more time to nag my kids about bedtime! I’ll miss getting out of the house once a week, but not the additional pressure it puts on me.

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  7. Kind of felt a bit sad when I read his but I do know what you mean, especially the inability to remember steps!! I think it’s just intermittently appraising what you need and what makes you happy

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    • Absolutely! I thought I might miss it a bit, but I’m not missing it at all. It was starting to stress me out, so it was time to move on!

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  8. Aww, sorry to read this Sarah. I know where you are coming from, I would love to be able to dance but I have no rhythm. I even tried Zumba but I can’t get the movements quick enough. Strange thing is the class was full of older than me women! I would love to be able to tap dance, always been a dream of mine.. You have my vote in the Mads . All the best ..

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    • Thanks very much, I really appreciate that! I did tap dancing briefly as a teenager. It’s yet another thing my daughter is good at!

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  9. That is sad but if you know it is the right decision then it is right for you. Life is so ridiculously busy and as the children get older, it seems to get more so and I know I can’t commit to a regular evening class of any kind, so I do understand.

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