Dance Moms: Do not allow this to happen to you and your child
June 30, 2017
I am hesitant and hurt as I write this piece. But, I won’t be one of the many dance moms silenced to protect anyone, even if the offender is one of our own. Our community does a good job of policing each other’s feelings and standards. Just like our community does a good job at hurting each other. I don’t understand it, but I vow not to let this experience prevent me from supporting other Black-owned businesses. It stings. But, I am going to have to navigate through these feelings, that I wanted to support someone like “me” and got my feelings hurt.
Dance moms are easy targets
Use these keywords, and you will find US: Women. Parents. Children. Dance moms. Coins. Add: Black mother supporting a young black girl wanting to create Black girl magic and Boom! Im right here.
*Hand raised in the air*
Mothers work hard researching, supporting and financing opportunities for their children. A Black mother took advantage of my family, trust, and coins, through heart strings for our talented little black girl. She took advantage of the fact that I wanted my child to be in a community of other dancers who look like her and live in her world. We paid her tuition and other requirements on time all the time. We did right by the company so the company would do right by our daughter. Our daughter was flourishing so I had no need to question the company. All I could see is Black girl magic in progress.
Black dance mom-ager in training
Once the decision is made, I am usually the forefront of communication between our family and business. Maybe I shouldn’t look at her as a black woman in a tribe of other supportive mothers. Maybe I should look at her for what she is: a business woman who could and would cheat you if she has the opportunity. She damn sure did. She took advantage of black families wanting to support dreams of our black girls. We gave her everything required and asked no questions about it – well, most of us did. I should be saying how hurt and disappointed my child is but I have to be honest, I am hurt to have started my daughter on this journey and not have been more vigilant for her talent and then my coins.
Looking back, I was afraid and allowed myself to be suckered
I was scared to ask questions, to be offensive, to step on toes and to look unsupportive. Who walks into a 10-year-old business and start asking questions no other mom would ask? Other moms apparently thought it, but only one mom I know of has ever challenged this fraudulent business woman. Since there are longtime dancers enrolled, I just knew everything was ok. And, this was a business being run by a black mother, so she would have our best interest at heart right? What did I know? Not a damn thing.
A Learning Lesson: Fraud is colorblind and has nothing to do with you
I trusted and supported this woman. Why? Well, why not? She is a black mother of five children, owns a business, and seemed to be a good fit for a tribe in which my kids are growing in. We, I, always want to support our own and have been so proud to do it! But really, she was looking out for her own pockets. Parent, Black Woman or not – it was all about the green money. I had it, and she was going to get it.
Lie down, take it and STFU about it
That’s what she basically said.
The fraud rescheduled recital the week before show time due to “pregnancy complications” that lead her to be on bedrest yet, she was in Walmart that same night the reschedule was announced. Following the reschedule, a parent meeting was held where the parents let her know, enough was enough. In the parent meeting she said, “…so, this is about money…”
She claimed she ordered costumes, which was a lie. She didn’t pay for the venue.
Why not? Because there were no funds available to support a recital.
Why? I’m still waiting to find out exactly where my money went. At least forty other families are waiting for answers as well.
The recital is canceled, but through no fault of her own, she says. If we didn’t have plans already made and other life events, there would be a recital. She offered no admission to her faults which turns out may be a felony if she was not using our funds for dance but for her gain. That’s theft by conversion by the way. I’ll be talking about that another time.
The Icing on the cake
The competitive girls were not able to compete together in nationals.Why?
She didn’t pay those registration fees either. Some moms repaid the competition fees so their girls could compete with their solo, duo and trio performances.
So many questions unanswered and here I am: Out of money, out of a recital, competition shows, and trust.