YouTube Lady Feli "Song 4 Mama"
Today is Mothering Sunday which we celebrate as Mothers' Day in the United Kingdom though other countries celebrate a similar festival on different days. Those who love ballet owe a special debt to mothers because it is they who do the driving, dry the tears, give the encouragement, launder the leotards, pay for the lessons, put up with the tantrums, sooth the pain, suffer the disappointment and very occasionally bask in the reflected glory. It is usually necessary to start young to reach the highest levels in this art. That art requires a lot of dedication, determination and sacrifice not just by the students who are often very young children but also by their families and especially their mothers.
Of course there are some mums who can be a thundering nuisance as Judith Woods pointed out in her article "Pushy Parents to a Pointe" (Telegraph 21 Jan 2011). However, pushy parents are not confined to ballet or indeed the arts. My father, who taught economics, often complained of parents who sought to realize their ambitions through their less than abundantly talented offspring - and I'm not altogether convinced that my teachers would not have been justified in making a similar complaint of him.
Pushiness in parents can sometimes be a good thing. If a child has talent at anything from archery to zoology it is the parents and in particular the mothers who spot it first. It is not always good enough to rely on the schools to let the talent rise because society as a whole shun tall poppies and rejoices at their fall. So a round of applause to ballet mums, and indeed mums everywhere. Happy Mothers' Day.