This meme popped up on my facebook feed the other day and I couldn’t agree more. However, this also applies to any after school activity. Soccer gear, paint supplies for art class, camping gear for a scouting trip, etc. Your mother should not be responsible for your gear. As my mother always taught me, if you are old enough to attend dance classes, or your chosen extra-curricular activity, you are old enough and responsible enough to make sure that you have both ballet shoes in your dance bag every week.
Your parents are a lot of things: care taker, provider, cook, maid, and taxi service among so many other things. The least you can do as a dance student is to be responsible for your dance bag. Keep your dance things in one place and keep your shoes in your bag all the time when you are at home (except when you are airing your stinky shoes out, but that’s another post), make sure that you have clean dance clothes before class – not when you should be walking out the door. After class, make sure all your dance shoes, skirts, shorts, etc are put back in your bag. Inform your parents of any issues you may have with your attire – are your ballet shoes getting too small? Did one of the laces on your jazz shoes break? Do the booty shorts you wear daily and keep in your bag need washing? (And the answer to that is a resounding yes). Your mom is not in dance class with you so she doesn’t know what’s happening with your dance attire until you bring it home.
Not only that, but your mom is not always going to be backstage at recitals, competitions, and other performances. One of my students, who is more than 3 and therefore is old enough to be in charge of her belongings, has a rough time backstage at recital year after year. Apparently her mom packs her recital things for her and she can never find the right costume for her next dance. This student is also on the competition team and performs several times a year. I would have hoped that by now she would have found an organizational system for her 10 costume changes as her classmates have. Unfortunately, because mom does the work, my student doesn’t know where her headpieces, tights, and shoes are within the suitcase sized bag she carries. In turn, she can’t make the change from a one piece jazz costume with tan tights and slip-on jazz shoes to pink tights (over or under the tan ones for easy change), one piece tutu dress, and ballet slippers in less than 5 minutes.
So, in conclusion: students, learn to keep your things organized and not only will it take a load off your mom’s already endless list of duties, but it will help you learn responsibility, empower you, and make your life so much easier. Parents, your job is simple here: teach your kids to keep their things together and stick to it. If your kid forgets her ballet shoes, she has to learn to face the consequences, not you.