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Figure Skating Parents Can Be Similar To "Dance Moms"

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Young Figure Skaters Smile With Their Mother At a Figure Skating Competition

Young Figure Skaters Smile With Their Mother At a Figure Skating Competition

Photo by JO ANN Schneider Farris
The television reality show "Dance Moms" is a popular Lifetime TV reality show. Figure skating families have praised and criticized the show since they see so many similarities between the figure skating world and what is shown in "Dance Moms."

This article lists some of the similarities that "Dance Moms" have with figure skating parents.

  1. Figure skating parents love their children and will go over and above for their children.

    Even though the mothers in "Dance Moms" may appear to be driven and intense, it is very obvious that they love their children very much and would do anything for them.

    Figure skating parents also love their children so very much and also will do anything to make their child's figure skating dreams a reality.

  2. Competitive figure skating parents are committed to their children being the best.

    The reason the parents in "Dance Moms" give their coach, Abby Lee Miller, control over their lives, is that they know that the Abby Lee Dance Company is the best. The same thing happens in figure skating. Figure skating families will disrupt their lives to get their children to the best coach and training environment.

  3. The figure skating world can be a highly competitive and demanding environment.

    Figure skating is an individual sport and not a team sport. Although the dancers in "Dance Moms" train together and sometimes compete as a team, each individual child's needs and desires are what rules for each family. The same thing goes on in figure skating. Figure skaters are supportive of one another, but when it comes down to it, each figure skater and his or her family, deep down, wants and strives to be the best.

  4. Lots of smiles and tears are shed behind the scenes and in public in figure skating.

    Figure skating is hard. There are days when things go well, and then, on other days, things don't go so well. Sometimes when things go wrong, tears are shed. When things go right, big smiles are on skaters' faces. Once in awhile, things can get so out of hand, that voices are raised. Usually the "drama" associated with figure skating goes on in private, but once in awhile, uncomfortable situations go on in public.

  5. Gossip is very much a part of the figure skating world.

    The stress involved in being the best, causes gossip in the ice skating world. Although no one in the sport will admit that he or she participates, gossip occurs in ice arenas on a daily basis. Much gossip takes place while figure skating parents sit in an ice rink's bleachers or stands.

  6. Jealousy does occur in figure skating.

    The "Dance Moms" show uses the phrase "Top of the pyramid." In the competitive figure skating, every figure skater wants to be the one on top. Jealousy is real.

  7. Figure skating is very expensive and parents sacrifice much to keep their children in the sport.

    It has been discussed on "Dance Moms" that much, much money has been spent to get the kids to where they are. The same goes for figure skating. Competitive figure skating is expensive. Parents of figure skaters and parents of dancers sacrifice so much for their children, not only emotionally, but financially.

  8. Young figure skaters are beautiful and handsome and slim and trim.

    There are no ugly or overweight elite figure skaters. The dancers in the "Dance Moms" show are beautiful, and so are successful figure skaters.

  9. Figure skating competition attire, makeup, and hairstyles must be elaborate and perfect.

    Just like in dance, costumes, makeup, and hair are essential ingredients in figure skating. In the "Dance Moms" show, the young dancers spend a great deal of time on making sure hair and makeup are perfect, and also, what the dancers wear is a huge part of every performance. The same thing goes on in competitive figure skating. The costumes elite figure skaters wear are very, very expensive. Hair and makeup, just like in dance, must be perfect when a figure skater competes and performs.

  10. Successful figure skating coaches take command and control.

    Abby Lee Miller, the coach in "Dance Moms" is a very strong character. Not all figure skating coaches that train the best figure skaters are like Abby Lee, but she does represent what some coaches in figure skating need to do to make champions.

  11. Parents of competitive figure skaters trust their coaches, but also are demanding.

    Figure skating parents spend so much money on figure skating that they have every right to demand results from the coaches they employ. Many figure skating parents expect results. If a coach doesn't produce a champion, a figure skating parent may consider a coaching change.

  12. A child's commitment to figure skating links figure skating parents.

    The friendships made in the figure skating world may be based on just being at an ice arena on a daily basis. Parents of skaters may have little in common except that their children skate. In "Dance Moms" it is obvious that the mothers are linked because of their mutual involvement in dance. The same connections connect parents in figure skating.

  13. Traveling to figure skating competitions is exciting, but also stressful.

    Skaters train with the goal of competing. Competition participation is fun, but also very, very stressful. The "Dance Moms" show also shows how stressful and exciting competitions are.

  14. The time and commitment figure skating requires puts stress on a family's life and on marriages.

    It is obvious that the mothers in "Dance Moms" may have difficult personal lives. The same goes on in skating. Family life is disrupted in skating. Many marriages do fail due to the stress competitive skating brings on one's life and finances.

  15. The best figure skaters train hours and hours a day.

    Figure skaters must skate every day to be the best, but only one or two hours a day is not enough; it is common for skaters to train six days a week for three or five hours a day. The best dancers do the same thing.

  16. Parents want and expect undivided attention from their primary figure skating coach and also from secondary coaches.

    The parents in "Dance Moms" not only expect results from Abby Lee Miller, but they want her complete devotion and attention. There is no talk in figure skating about being "at the top of the pyramid," but figure skating parents do expect a primary coach to also be a skater's manager and director.

  17. Some ice arenas or figure skating clubs are considered "better" than others.

    The Abby Lee Dance Company seems to be "better" than the average dance studio. Not all ice rinks are the same. Some facilities produce champions, while other rinks cater to recreational skaters.

  18. People sometimes pretend to get along in figure skating, but behind the scenes can really dislike one another.

    There is a feeling that the parents and kids in "Dance Moms" don't really like one another, but put up with one another. In the highly competitive elite figure skating world, similar relationships exist.

    Further Reading

  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Figure Skating
  4. For Parents of Skaters
  5. Dance Moms Versus Skating Moms - Figure Skating Parents Can Be Similar To Dance Moms

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