It couldn’t have been easy for her watching her son dance in a purple unitard that matched the girls he was dancing with on stage.
That was probably the worst costume ever for a teenage boy performing with his jazz class back in the 1980s, especially in the South, where boys play football.
They don’t dance.
But to be honest, I was in pure bliss dancing the choreography to the song “Shout” by Tears for Fears.
I don’t know if I truly believed my mother when she told me she liked the dance.
She was at best a reluctant dance mom. My sister dancing, that was no big deal.
But I think me asking to take dance classes, don’t think she was really all that thrilled.
I played baseball, and sucked at it. I also played high school football.
But the notion of her son asking to take ballet and jazz, well I know it through her.
My father wasn’t thrilled, that’s for sure.
But to her credit, she let me do it.
I know she was worried about what other people thought.
No one question’s a boy’s masculinity or sexual orientation when you play football.
But back then, taking ballet or any other form of dance. That’s another story.
My mom’s a great mom, don’t get me wrong.
When I returned to ballet as an adult, she seemed excited when I invited her to whatever performance I was in, whether it was the Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet or Billy the Kid.
I do wonder, though, what it would have been like to have had a mother who fully supported me earlier. But I’m not complaining.
I’ve know other guys whose mothers flat out did not let them dance.
That’s why I truly admire the moms of the few boys at the schools where I’ve taken class.
While I think its more culturally acceptable nowadays, the stigma still exists and is a reason parents don’t encourage their boys to dance.
It takes a truly courageous mother as well as son to embark on a dance journey.
I’ve heard some say they’ve had to put up with snide comments. Others fear, and legitimately so, that their sons will be bullied.
But still, I’ve observed mothers and parents in general, who have given their support through hours of classes, rehearsals and performances, with words, money and even put in hours helping with costumes, props and other things backstage throughout their career.
I am thankful with Mother’s Day tomorrow for the moms who have encouraged their sons when their sons have wanted to dance.
They play a vital role in the dance world.