Dance Brother- May 2, 2015

Dance picture day

Yesterday was all about my 4-year-old daughter and her dance class. She knows the only time she gets to wear makeup is for the dance recital or dance pictures. She couldn’t wait to put on this year’s sparkly get-up. I hurried her through the pouring rain and growing crowd of moms and dancers. I got her ready. I forked over picture money. I shuffled her in line with the other little girls in purple tutus.

Then we waited.

I looked down at my squirming son in his stroller and attempted to pacify him with crackers, toy cars and board books. I chatted with an old friend from my dance years. Our girls now dance together. I joked about him being the “brother stuck at the dance studio.”

I looked at my baby and realized he too could be one of the countless brothers I saw at the dance studio over the years. Bored and sullen, they would wait on a bench or a wooden chair outside my classes. We would saunter by in sweaty leotards, barely glancing at them. They were often still in shin guards or karate uniforms from their extra curricular activity. Their moms made them do homework while they sat. The lucky ones had Game Boys. The luckier ones had a Game Boy, trading cards, or Pogs, anything that would briefly catch the attention of their sister’s friends. The boys would half beam with pride and half cower in fear in that brief moment that a gaggle of girls surrounded them. I saw the same look on my son’s face last week as he toddled among his sister’s classmates. They all giggled and screamed, “Look at the baby!”

We were still waiting yesterday when I needed to change my son’s diaper so I took him into the women’s dressing room where we got ready for the pictures. There were two sets of sisters with their mothers getting ready. I went to a corner to quickly take care of business. Two costumed little girls peered over my shoulder as I changed him as fast as my skilled mama hands could go. I purposely worked to cover my son. I have to imagine these young ladies do not have brothers since they were clearly fascinated by what they saw for a brief second. My unashamed one-year-old babbled and waved at the girls, not realizing the indignity of the situation. One mother said, “Girls. Let’s go. Give that baby some privacy!”

Poor “dance brother.”

We went back out to wait. Another bored dance brother in a football jersey came up to us to ask about a toy we had. I looked at him staring into our stroller and I vowed to either have my son be a cool dance brother in the popular boys’ hip hop program at our studio or at the least make his sister occasionally be a “baseball/football/hockey sister.” It’s only fair to my son and all the dance brothers.

dance brother cropped

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