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” my five- and three-year-old daughters ask as they try to arabesque in their nightgowns. She’s a good dose of scary, and so are her dancers’ moms — women who bicker when their kids don’t get solos, complain about costumes and critique each other’s girls from the studio’s viewing mezzanine.They want me to sign them up for ballet, but two simple words have pretty much thwarted their efforts thus far: dance moms. Sure, the ladies are amped for TV, but they’re all self-confessed “stage moms,” defined by (a pop-culture resource) as: “Pushy, obnoxious, crazy mothers who force their kids to act, model or enter beauty contests., which follows parents who enter their kids into beauty pageants, has been surrounded by controversy since it debuted in 2009, and for good reason: Four-year-old Skylar’s mom trims her eyebrows before pageants; seven-year-old Holly’s mom shaves her daughter’s legs, douses her in self-tanner and takes her to the salon for highlights; and when little Cassidy won the title of princess instead of queen, her mom threw her crown in the parking lot and drove over it.“Dance moms are freaking nuts,” says Rhea Cohen,* a dancer for more than 30 years and a former studio owner (who wants to remain anonymous for obvious reasons).Leisha Strachan, a professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg whose research focuses on positive youth development in sports, says that this is the right approach: “Research has shown that a ‘positive push’ [persuading your child to keep trying] in the short term might motivate youth to achieve.” Geneviève Mageau, a psychology professor who studies parent-child relationships at the University of Montreal, agrees.“As long as the support doesn’t lead to controlling behaviours, it’s positive,” she says.Even though Goldberg has invested in Sadie’s dance career to the tune of about ,500 each season (not including travel and hotel expenses for four competitions per year) she isn’t overbearing.“Any parent who pushes her child beyond the point of extracurricular enjoyment is doing them a disservice.
Usually turning them into emotionally scarred adults who hate their parents.” I blame the spectre of the Scary Stage Mom as the reason I’m afraid to put my potential prima ballerinas into classes.“They whispered to their daughters and overstepped my corrections.