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DANCE MOMS . . .the new role model?

Posted Jun 05 2012 9:56pm
I am not a reality show fan.  I don't like the constant bickering, fighting, mud slinging, crazy business that seems to escalate with each new show.  I think we all have enough drama; I can't imagine wanting to get all agitated over other peoples' lives!  Lately, I have watched absolutely no TV so have no idea what's going on in media land.  However, the other day I was going through channels on the treadmill at the gym and ran across an episode of Dance Moms.  I don't know a lot about the show.  I withstood about 10 minutes and just couldn't grasp the entertainment appeal so happily moved on.  Before changing the channel I must admit to being drawn like a magnet for a couple of minutes while the dance instructor to these tiny little girls ordered them to do sit-ups.  Seriously.  These tiny tykes were lying on the carpet, hands behind their head, while their "drill sargent" barked out/counted out numbers for them to follow.  

So, this show seems to draw lots of viewers.  It is about the Abby Lee Dance Company and is describedCentered on the devoted Miller, who instructs her young, talented students while also dealing with dedicated mothers who go to great lengths to help their children’s dreams come true, "Dance Moms" will continue to pose the tough questions many people have been asking since the show’s launch about the fast-growing and controversial sport of competitive dance.

"Dance Moms" uniquely captures the dynamic interplay among teacher, student and parent as Miller commits herself to bring out the best in her students – and their mothers – willing to dedicate themselves to be part of one of the best dance teams in the nation.I, for one, see this competitive dance as a sport. These little girls work their tiny little bottoms off for hours every day practicing, jumping, rehearsing, sweating and then repeating the next day.  They work really hard for their dance teacher, this Abby Lee Miller woman.  She yells, screams, stomps and strikes fear in most around her as she strives for perfection.  I'm sure lots of that is for show . . that's not what I am writing about.  Watching that little bit of the show got me to thinking about these girls, who they are following, who they are listening to, looking up to and seeing as a role model. In most situations like this, it would be a dance teacher, coach, or instructor.  Watching the show I wondered if Abby Lee Miller is the role model for these young athletes.  Back in my day, yes it was way back when, I was on a Drill Team.  Our dance teacher was incredibly strict.  We quaked in our shoes if we forgot a part to a costume (which I did one time at a state competition and I still get sick to my stomach thinking about it!), missed a step, got out of line, or didn't have a kick at the appropriate height.  She, too, was looking for perfection.  However, even as scared of her as I might have been, I did respect and look up to her.  She taught us how to sit up straight, handle ourselves with perfect manners and always sit like a lady.  She lectured us on eating right, taking care of our bodies, and staying away from boys.  I think the difference between her and Abby Lee Miller was that in front of us she "practiced what she preached".  She demonstrated routines, watched her diet, never "slouched" and worked with us during practices.  She could do every move we could do . . . only better.   She was a role model for all of us young girls working hard at our "sport."  The dancers on Dance Moms are all young, beautiful, healthy athletes.  I think I just wish their instructor would look at herself as a role model, take that role seriously, and work for her own well-being.  She could be such an inspiration for these budding dancers as they navigate their way through a tough, grueling business.  I hope they are healthy and remain strong and healthy as they grow.
Did you have a coach, teacher, instructor you were scared to death of?  Do you like all these crazy reality shows?  And when will normal shows come back?
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