I have some exciting news to share today with you all.
I hope you will join with me in my excitement as I reveal yet another personal development: I am officially a Dance Mom.
It started so innocently. First I was just the mum of a kid who did ballet, and I was ok with that… I was fine.
And then along came dance camp. You remember dance camp don’t you? It was the moment I pushed all my boundaries and briefly considered becoming the entire cast and crew of Australia’s Got Talent. Until I woke up the next morning and thought — much like Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon — “I’m too old for this… stuff.
Dance camp awakened… well nothing much in me, because we’ve already established that I can’t dance, and I’m happy just being the mum of people who can. But our lovely dance teacher keeps pushing me out of my comfort zone, and so now I’m involved in the end of year Hip Hop Concert. (In a strictly dramatic role, but still.)
And then on Sunday, came the request I have
not been waiting for.
To help with the yearly flash mob.
Yes. This was it. I had made it. I was now officially a Dance Mom. Flash mobs are not for the faint hearted.
And so I arrived at Target yesterday, wearing my skinny jeans, my white Converse and a khaki utility jacket, looking kind of cool (in a total try-hard mumsy type way), all ready to whip and nae nae.
Or at least coordinate fifteen 8 to 11-year-olds who would actually be dancing.
Now at this point you might be thinking, ‘what’s so special about that’, and to which I reply, ‘a lot.’ To begin with, this wasn’t just a matter of keeping children in one part of the shop while they waited for their part of the dance; I had to learn dance lingo. Our fearless hip-hop teacher charged me with getting the kids out of their shopping poses at just the right time, and get them moving with the coordination of someone who’s not me.
With all the pep of a really peppy person, I took those little girls aside and told them the plan:
“So you need to hide in these aisles until you stanky leg. Then hide again until it’s time for the chorus. Then when the older guys superman, and do the duf duf, we are going to go over there and bop it. Got it?!’
Man, I was proud. Not just of the fact that I memorised some of the most random words I had heard all day, (and didn’t confuse stanky for skanky which was a concern), but that I knew what all of that meant. I was the epitome of cool. The daggy mum who had climbed the ranks of ineptitude, to become the dance Mom ready to duf duf with the best of them. It was perfect.
Until one little girl asked me, “How do you bop it?”
It turns out that I had some information wrong, and bopping it was not their job at all. Which is good because I certainly was not the person to teach them. My version of bop it would likely resemble a bobble head with legs rotating in different directions. And no amount of cool factor gleaned from wearing white Converse, was going to save that.
Thankfully we sorted out the problem, and instead I resumed my duty, calling out directions like a boss, while following the kids around with a video camera to make sure I caught all the movements of those stanky legs.
It was this moment, that I achieved Dance Mom status. So intent was I on capturing the perfect footage, I managed to elbow some poor old granny in the back as I filmed. ‘Get out of my way grandma!’ I said snidely. ‘I’ve got dancing to film.’ And she cowered in fear when she saw my cool ensemble and obvious Dance Mom qualifications. I was so proud. No longer was I just cook/photographer/lame-user-of-dance-terms-mum — I had transitioned to one of those women you see on reality television. Visions flashed before my eyes of the show that would capture my life, and the dressing room and support staff which would make sure I would always look cool.
More importantly, I would have something to blog about for IBOT. Something sure to capture everyone’s attention. Essentially Jess: the cool, but completely ruthless Dance Mom.
Of course, it didn’t actually play out like that. I did accidently bump into an elderly lady with my elbow and instantly apologised profusely. ‘Oh,’ she said. ‘I thought someone was just trying to give me a cuddle.’
‘Well… I can if you like?’ I replied enthusiastically, ignoring for the moment my non-hugging ways, so intent was I, on making things right.
Thankfully she didn’t hear me. Or perhaps chose to ignore me. I wouldn’t be surprised either way. It’s probably for the best. I set about recording in a less obtrusive way, hoping I wasn’t standing in front of too many people as I did it, and thinking that being a melodramatic Dance Mom was not all that it was cracked up to be.
However I did get to use the word duf duf and I got a blog post out of it, so it wasn’t all bad, and I’m clearly moving up in the world.
Who knows? Next time, I might actually stage my own flash mob. 🙂
Anyone want to watch me whip? Or nae nae? 😉