My Mum has played a big role in my dance career, in fact I don't think there would be a dance career without her. So, with Mother's Day tomorrow I wanted to share with you why my Mum was so influential in my dance journey.

Now, if you are a part of our BoPPA Family you will know my Mum as Debbie, the lady on the end of the phone, responding to your emails and soon to be sitting out the front of your classes. It is Debbie (Mum) who is the reason I am sitting here right now, writing a blog post, in between teaching dance classes, the reason you get to come and dance with us each week.

Mum enrolled me into dance class as a wee tot and used to drive me to lessons with Gaye Hemsley and then Bev Bowen. When I turned 6 she encouraged me to do my first ballet exam class, like a good dance Mum she bought my entire uniform and then two weeks in I refused to go because...wait for this..."it was boring!" This is when Mum taught me about commitment, yup my Mum told me that I had committed to a term of dance, she had bought the uniform and I had to see it out. So each week (I would love to say without complaints!), Mum continued to drive me to ballet class and I continued to participate until the term was over.

At the end of this term Mum let me stop ballet but thankfully didn't give up on dance. She called every dance studio in Howick, Auckland "do they need a uniform?" no, "do they need shoes?" no, "how much are the classes?" and that is how I ended up in a Recreational Jazz class at Nicola Wheeler's Dance Academy (Julie Cotter at the time). Now I very quickly became hooked on jazz, picking up exam classes, moving into competition teams and taking multiple dance styles. At the time I didn't think much of it, that is just what I did but as I grew up I learnt what a sacrifice Mum made so I could take all of those classes. Not only did she give up her time driving up and down the Pakuranga Highway to dance class, she used to scrape together everything her and Dad had to cover my dance fees, costumes and yes uniforms and shoes.

Mature and Motivated.jpg
Debbie Miller

In 2002, we began training to compete in Australia. This is when Mum joined the Mature and Motivated dance group, yes Mum was competing in Australia too! I remember watching/helping Mum (and the other Mums) diligently train every weekend to perfect their dance routines, watching them nervously paint each other's nails before their first performance and I remember feeling so proud. I know that performing on a stage was a huge deal for Mum and that it took a lot of courage at their rehearsal and then in Australia. During their competition performance, I remember standing at the back of the theatre with Mum's sister and thinking how inspiring Mum was getting up on stage as if it was something she did all the time, when really it was completely out of her comfort zone. I really admired her for this.

Mum continued to encourage me along my dance journey, sequining costumes for hours, researching what I needed to do to pursue full time dance study (including reenrolling me in a ballet school at 15), supporting me throughout my dance studies, watching every single performance I ever did (she's never missed one!) and of course pursuing my dream of owning a dance studio.

Mum you've been there for me constantly growing up, teaching me how to be the best human being I can be. Over the past 4 years in particular, you've shared in and supported me in the many ups and downs of starting a business, the excitement of first enrolments, the tears during the hard times. You continue to inspire me every day getting up on stage and singing/acting, quitting your job and taking a risk working for me and finally taking a leap and pursuing your own dreams. Thank you for everything you have given up and done to give me the gift of dance, I am forever grateful! Happy Mother's Day!

Miss Dani xxx