Raising a ballet dancer may seem cute at first, but it’s not all tutu’s and smiles. As a ballet mom or dad there’s things you need to know, and there’s things you’ll need to learn. Yes, ballet starts as a cute after school activity, but within a few years it will become your entire universe. You’ll find yourself constantly going on ballet supply runs, driving to and from practices and performances, and find yourself acting as a therapist. Raising a dancer takes commitment. As a ballet mom or dad, you need to be prepared or you’ll find yourself overwhelmed.

Here’s 11 things Ballet Moms and Dads need to know:

  1. Learn to sew – Sewing? Yup. You’ll find yourself having to learn to sew elastics on to flat shoes and pointe shoes. You’ll even want to be good enough at this to teach your kid, so you can offload that responsibility.
  2. The costs of ballet supplies add up – Maybe the first time you purchase everything you won’t think it’s so bad, but the bills will add up. Canvas ballet shoes will need to be replaced monthly, as will tights, and the costs for little items like bobby pins, hair elastics and hairnets will quickly add up. I recommend signing up for one of our BalletBox’s to get these items at a lower cost, and delivered on a monthly basis.
  3. You’ll need to pull your kids out of school during performance season – I mentioned that ballet will become your entire universe right? Well, during performance season you’ll find yourself having to pull your child out of class on a daily basis.
  4. Your schedules will need to be flexible – Ballet isn’t just a day thing. Practices will go on late into the night, and during performance season will require additional hours. You’ll need to be present to help your child commute to and from practice and the many performances of the season.
  5. Your ballet dancer will need a lot of emotional support – Ballet is not just a physical sport — its mental as well. Ballet will take a huge toll on your child mentally and there will be days, nights, even weekends where you’ll need to act as a therapist and provide emotional support.
  6. Kids need to be fueled with healthy eating – These days there’s a lot of data to support the benefits of healthy eating, and it’s critical that you fuel your ballet dancer with the right foods. Leafy greens, plenty of protein, noodles for carbs, and definitely make sure they hydrate regularly. This is the fuel that will keep your dancer performing at the top of their game, and will even help them prevent injuries.
  7. A frantic ballerina is a scary ballerina – Have you ever witnessed a ballerina who ran out of basic supplies like bobby pins, tights, ribbon, or hairnets? Let this be a lesson — Always be prepared with all of your ballet supplies ahead of time. When they’re stressed they will turn into little monsters. Using a monthly subscription like BalletBox will ensure that you always have enough supplies to last you the month, and a refresh for every following month.
  8. Teach your child to accept and take criticism well – There is a lot of pressure in ballet. Instructors and students will critique your child on a regular basis, so you’ll need to make sure that you’ve taught them to accept criticism well, or they’ll be miserable.
  9. Learn to make the perfect ballet bun – You’ll need to make these a lot early on. So, the sooner you get this down the better. Also, learn to be good enough to teach your child.
  10. Get pointe shoes fitted by a professional – You may think you can simply buy pointe shoes online, but you’re wrong. You need to get your child professionally fitted. Every brand and model is designed for different types of feet, and purchasing the wrong one for your child can be dangerous.
  11. Make friends with other dance parents – Despite all of the pressure and craziness of being a ballet mom or dad, you’re not alone. There are hundreds of other students who’s parents are going through the same things as you. Make friends with parents that are in the same class. This will give you some breaks in driving as you can car pool, trade shifts, and even give you other people to talk to about the different events that occur.
Raising a ballerina is no easy task. There will be stress, tears, questions, and screaming, but there are countless rewards as well. Your child will learn discipline, perseverance, how to perform and deal with pressure, learn a level of physical control that very few people do, and accumulate a lifetime of memories to look back on.

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