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Every parent will tell you that their young (2-7 year old) children are great dancers, painters, singers, or piano players. They aren’t. That is just the simple truth.

At two your child is skill-less. I’m sure it sounds harsh, but again, it is true.

Watching a two year old dance

On a chilly Saturday morning, I sat down with about 25 other parents to witness what I can only describe as a painful experiment in patience. The “recital” (I use that term loosely here) started out with the children sitting at one side on the room so they could do their “solos”. The solos were intended to show off whatever move the children learnt during the 8 week session. To top it off, the solos had to take place within the confines of a hula-hoop. All the of solos were terrible! Cute, but terrible. The best move was a 360 degree turn…Need I say more?

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When will this be over?

After about 10 minutes, I was wondering when this “recital” would be over. What ensued after the solos was nothing short of chaos. The next 20 minutes was basically the children running around. Sometimes they had props, at other times they didn’t. One portion of the “recital” was when the children were supposed hold hands and walk around in a circle. The circle ended up being a sad kind of elongated rectangle.

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At this point I was checking my Instagram feed while grandma was accosting me! She tried to make me feel bad by telling me she sat through hundreds of my “recitals”. It’s not my fault there wasn’t WiFi in the 90s!

The Parent Portion

About 30 minutes into the performance, I think the instructors were catching on that the parents were totally disengaged. I am sure they were all thinking that 10 minutes would have been more than enough time to have the kids run around.

They invited parents to dance with the children. Some of the children that had been sitting out (because they CLEARLY didn’t want to be there) were forced by well meaning parents to frolic around the room.

I have to admit it was fun to get up and dance with my daughter like we do in the dining room from time to time.

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The highlight of day

Finally the “recital” was over! The children all went up the the instructor to get a sticker. After that we all tried to corral them for a group picture.

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I was so happy! Finally, I could head home, relax, and put this traumatizing experience behind me. Now I am a full-fledged parent! I suffered through this with a smile on my face and I will suffer through hundreds more!

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Overtime I know my daughter will pick up actual skills. Ones that I don’t have to pretend to think are great.

For the record, I have signed myself up for two more dance recitals this summer. Why? Because my daughter is a dancing prodigy, of course.

Why Toddler Dance Recitals are Painful to Watch