As I was sitting in Sephora at a “full glam” stage makeup tutorial so that I could learn how to do my 11-year-old daughter’s makeup “professionally” for feis days, I started thinking about the many hats of an Irish dance mom. We are… taxi drivers, piggy banks, the organizers of all things, hair stylists, makeup artists, seamstresses, massage therapists, sports nutritionists, sports psychologists, fan club presidents, and in some cases unfortunately…paramedics. Oh wait! Did I forget to mention that we are also pack mules and travel agents? And, of course, we must always be able to answer the question, “What time will she/he be dancing?” at every competition and performance. As if we know.
Now we may not be very good at any of these roles, but we definitely try to conquer as many of these as we can all the while staying as calm and supportive of our dancers as possible. HA! Who am I kidding? Who’s calm? So, I guess I should add that we are also fabulous actresses… some better than others. Here, I will suggest that the support of your fellow dance moms helps immensely. And perhaps a cocktail or a glass of wine.
Through this sport and performance art of Irish dancing, I have met some incredible women and found some of my very best friends. While feis days are stressful, they are also some of the best weekends (weeks for majors) of my life and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. We may look crazy to other people, but they aren’t in our tribe and probably won’t ever understand. So, if you see a dance mom who looks like she is a bit manic and/or struggling…lend her a hand. Rally around her and help her out. Tie her dancers’ shoes for her because her hands are probably shaking. Tell her to sit down while you safety pin or bobby pin something. She will most likely do the same for you.
We are all in the same boat, trying to do a million jobs well all at once, and we should support each other always. And dancers, give your moms a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU for all that she does to make your feis days successful. After all, she never knew what she was getting into when she signed you up for that first class!