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  • Photo du rédacteurValérie Gillet

Doing what you don't do best (anymore) (and not caring)

Last month, I went on stage with my dance school.

That in itself is a real tour de force at 43 years old, with a bad knee, a repaired Achilles' tendon, an hallux rigidus, sudden sciatica crises and being 20 kg overweight.

But I've been dancing since I was 6 years old. I've never been an exceptional or even a particularly good dancer, but I'll make do as I usually do. I'm used to it by now.

No, the real twist here, is that I'll be going on stage WITH MY DAUGHTER.

My daughter is 15 years old.

She's been dancing since she was 4.

She dances 10-15 hours a week.

In short, my daughter is what we call a pre-professional urban dancer.

Even shorter: she's f***ing amazing.

So yeah, I'm a 43-year-old jazz-trained dance mom who thinks she can manage the fact that she will actually be dancing with a better 27-year-younger version of herself who dances better than she ever did, even when she was 15 herself.


1. We'll be dancing together on stage. Isn't it memorable?

2. We'll be supporting each other. Isn't it essential?

3. We'll be having fun together. Isn't it great?

4. We'll share something that she will always remember, even when I'm gone. Isn't it a great gift for both of us?

Sorority is not only a vague notion shared with your female peers at work or on social media. It begins very concretely, with the closest members of your circle.

Showing your daughter that you can still dance high-level hip-hop and ragga at 43 with no urban training whatsoever shows her that a woman can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

Showing her that you don't mind being seen next to her in her glorious youth and beauty while you struggle to button the size 16 cargo pants you have to dance in and your cellulite and wobbly bits are all over the place shows her that rivalry between women, and most of all between a mother and her daughter, is not inevitable.

It also shows her that you can be a middle-aged woman on the plus-size spectrum and still do what thin teenagers can do and that skinny doesn't automatically mean healthier. A woman's body changes over time but her will to do great things with it remains intact.

Showing her that sometimes she can be the one who teaches you how things are done by setting the example shows her that the mother-daughter relationship is a two-way street and that you learn as much from your children as you teach them.

So, next time you'll think about taking up dancing, tennis, swimming or rollerskating again, don't say you're over it or that you're too old or too fat.

Just do it old and fat, with your kids. They'll show you how it's done. And man, isn't it great to be young again, just for a minute?

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