Like most girls, Zoe likes to dance. But she also plays tennis, can crush a wiffle ball pitched overhand, plays with trucks, is obsessed with fart jokes, loves worms, and never, ever wants to be a cheerleader.
While at a restaurant recently, a few cheerleaders were making an appearance and after spotting Zoe, one of them approached our table.
"Hi cute little girl! What's your name?" asked the lady with extremely large, excessively white teeth, extremely large, excessively styled hair and an extremely small, excessively revealing outfit.
"My name is Zoe. And what are those things you're shaking?"
After a brief moment of confusion, the lady said "Oh, these? These are pompoms! We shake them when we do our dances and cheer!" At this point, since Zoe had a bit of a bewildered look on her face, she demonstrated by jumping around a little and shaking them in the air.
Zoe said "Hmmm. They're very shiny" and then went back to eating her corn dog.
The cheerleader was perceptive enough to realize that this was a girl that was not impressed by her pompoms, so she moved on to a table of 3 men who appeared to be a little more interested in her jumping and shaking.
One thing that the cheerleader mumbled before she left our table was "All those years of ballet really paid off because now I am a cheerleader!" Zoe was in a dance class once, for six weeks. Six weeks of tapping, leaping, shuffling, and driving a teacher insane. She loved it so much, though, that now I'm sure I will never sign her up for another dance class again.
I really don't want to get the dancer moms all fired up in anger here, because frankly, some of those moms kind of scare me. But putting your daughter in years of dance classes because she wants to be a professional cheerleader someday seems a little messed up. Making sure the girl learns some basic moves so that when she's older, she'll be able to go to a Metallica concert and dance around without making a fool of herself? That makes perfect sense.