Will She Dance?


I started dancing at the age of four.  It was a ballet class, and I still have the little pair of ceramic ballet slippers on a pink ribbon that we got when we performed in our recital.

That love of dancing carried me to year after year of ballet, tap, and jazz classes – leotards, costumes, and rhinestones – conventions, competitions, and trophies.

So you can only imagine the visions of leaps and turns that danced through my head when the doctor exclaimed, “IT’S A GIRL!”

Visions that were shattered a couple years later when that little girl told me with certainty, “NO, Mama. I.do.not.want.to.take.a.dance.class.”

I took a deep breath, stopped trying to bribe her, and signed her up for soccer instead, which she insisted upon… putting my dance mom dreams on the back-burner.

Finally, at the beginning of this summer, I got to the bottom of it.

“So, do you want to take a dance class this summer?”

“No.  I already told you that, Mama.”

“Ok, that’s fine.  But can I just ask why?”

“Well, I don’t like the outfits they wear.”

“Which outfits?”

“You know, the ones that don’t have sleeves.”

You guys.  It all clicked.  The girl didn’t want to wear a leotard.  Because leotards don’t have sleeves.  And my type-A four-and-a-half-year-old is OBSESSED WITH LONG SLEEVES.

So all this time she had turned down my dance class requests because she didn’t want her arms to be cold.

Within minutes of our conversation, I Amazon Primed a long-sleeved leotard and signed my girl up for a princess ballet camp.

And y’all?  She loved it.  I was almost in tears when she performed on stage during their little recital on the last day. 

Atlanta Moms - Daughter Ballet Dance


And I was almost in tears again when I asked her if she wanted to take a weekly dance class this fall, and she replied, “Maybe.  I’ll think about it.”


Lately, Cameron Kate has been growing up so, so fast. Becoming such a little lady right before our very eyes. It’s neat to watch her figure things out and blossom into, well, an actual little person. Our conversations blow my mind because she’s so inquisitive, perceptive, innocent and kindhearted.  All of this growing up she’s doing has me wondering what kind of kid,  teenager, and adult she’ll transform into…

Will she like cupcakes, like me?

Will she enjoy running, like her dad and I do?

I wonder if she’ll end up preferring cleats or ballet shoes?

Will she wear braids and bows or a messy bun?

Will she be a planner, like me, or more go-with-the-flow, like her dad?

Is she going to love having her nose inside of a book, like her Bammy?

I wonder if she’ll like school as much as I did. And if she’ll get into trouble for talking too much…like I did.

Will she like putting on makeup, be into dolls, and jewelry, and dress-up?

Will she enjoy swimming as much as her dad does?

I wonder how tall she’ll be and what kind of clothes she’ll want to wear, or will it be long sleeves forever?!

Will she like going to the movies?

Will she like the beach, the sand, and the ocean breeze?  Or the mountains, the changing leaves, and the crisp fall air?

And… will she dance?

I wonder a lot about my sweet girl, and can’t wait to see what her future holds. As a big kid, as a teenager, as an adult…

But I am already so proud of who she is, and as long as she finds the happiness in each day, as long as she paints a beautiful life with the colors she is given – I’m okay with putting my dance mom goals aside and supporting each and every one of her long-sleeved dreams.

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Jessie Peele
Jessie is a happy-hour-loving, cupcake-eating, running-obsessed, reality-tv-addicted single mama, currently living in Carrollton, GA. She was born and raised in Columbia, SC, attended Clemson University (Go Tigers!), and taught elementary school for about ten years in Winston Salem, NC. Life brought her to Carrollton in January of 2014, and after four years in Georgia she's still getting used to living in a small town. Jessie was a stay-at-home mama for 3.5 years, but when life took an unexpected turn, she became a divorced mama who found her way back to the classroom. With three kids in tow (Cameron Kate, 7, Everette, 4, and Brooks, 2), she is now a full-time elementary school teacher and a part-time skincare business owner via Rodan + Fields. In the nooks and crannies of her day, she loves running (bonus if it's WITHOUT the stroller!), binge-watching on Netflix, baking and eating anything sweet, drinking a good craft beer/vodka cocktail/cold margarita, and blogging about all things mama-hood on her blog Cupcakes & Running Shoes: http://cupcakesandrunningshoes.blogspot.com/.


  1. This tugs my heartstrings! I danced too, and I definitely dreamed of putting my little girl in dance class… until that gender ultrasound, when I found out we were having a boy! 😉 He loves to dance around the kitchen with me, though, and that makes my heart so full. (And besides, boys can do dance class too, if they want!)

  2. I didn’t take dance as a kid, but I very much wanted my daughter to be able to… and when she was three and I asked her if she wanted to take dance classes, I was more than a little bit crushed when she told me no. When I asked her why, she said, because I already know how to dance. No matter what I said, she didn’t want to take dance classes.

    Such a sweet post.

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