Being a ballet mum

If this blog was really an account of my life as a ballet mum, it would have never been so busy as the past few weeks.

Dance for Pippa, and gymnastics for Susannah, have filled our extracurricular timetable like never before. It is wonderful that they are having so much opportunity to pursue their passions, but at times it is all consuming. When do we get time to do anything as a family these days? Hardly ever.

I am not so much ballet mum as taxi mum. Susannah: training four days a week, and now competing in womens artistic gymnastics step 3 level. Pippa: ballet and jazz, plus private lessons and practices for competitions.

Competitions were not something we navigated in the UK, but they feature regularly in the performing arts world here. They are something of a marathon - dance after dance for different age groups and genres. But despite the full-on nature of these events, it is wonderful to see the stars of the future - there is plenty of young talent - and even those who are clearly not destined for a career on the stage are a joy to watch with the energy and enthusiasm they bring. As a performer it is a fantastic opportunity to dance on stage and it complements the technique being learnt in class. Unfortunately it's incredibly expensive too (especially with the need to invest in costumes and private lessons) but we tighten our belts in some areas to allow this side of life to flourish. (Yes, I am aware it is a privilege to be in this position.)

There are moments when it does just feel all a bit too much. Is this what life is all about? It is not balanced, and while I am all up for grabbing opportunities as they arise, I also like a bit of balance.
In the rush from one place to another, one event to the next, it is nice to have a break some times. I find myself getting tetchy when it feels as though all I am doing is being the chauffeur or the chef.

Does it sound like I'm moaning? I'm not intending to moan. Just recognising that when you are pulled in several directions at once - and you haven't touched that part-written novel since February - you need to find a way of carving out some space! Work has been busy too needless to say.

Fortunately, this weekend has been competition-free and here I am writing the first blog post in an age. And now I am ready to embrace the role of ballet mum again! The Instagram account for the Dairy of a Ballet Mum is running and I'm all set to add some new pages here. Watch this space...

In the meantime, here are some pics from recent weeks.

Taking dance pics for a photography comp

Yay! First place for restricted classical ballet solo

Silver for floor :-)