By: Amberlyn Jones, PBD Parent Liaison
As a self-proclaimed “PBD Cheerleader”, there is nothing I anticipate more than watching our dancers take the floor at Nationals again after two long years. I am so grateful for a chance to do it again after the heartbreak of 2020. The studio coaches, staff and dancers have been so creative and resilient, creating opportunities for us to watch dancers perform amid covid restrictions and shut downs- but I secretly couldn’t wait for the day I could sit alongside my fellow dance parents and watch our kids dance their hearts out at the Marriott center in Provo, Utah.
PBD has a reputation of being a respectful, friendly, gracious group of dancers and parents. Relationships have been built between our studio and others represented at Nationals. Coaches from other teams will see your PBD gear and say “hello” or give a compliment to our dancers. This is a great opportunity to model this behavior, rooted in our studio values, for our own kids, and to encourage them to do the same.
WATCH THE DANCING
Nationals is a very “big” event with a lot going on all the time. There are hours and hours of dancing every day and it can feel a little overwhelming. It is fun and instructive to sit and watch some of the more advanced dancers to see what really great dancing looks like. (Also a note of etiquette- when watching dance, wait until the song is finished to rise from your seat- there may be an eager parent watching or trying to get pictures or video of their child dancing sitting behind you that would hate to miss the moment they are on the floor!)
PBD CHEER SQUAD
Be a member of the PBD Cheer Squad! So, there isn’t really a cheer squad, but there is nothing better than sitting in the stands and cheering for all the PBD dancers (and there are a LOT!). Wear your PBD gear! If you see someone you recognize and don’t know their name, just cheer for PBD! This is true for individual events but ESPECIALLY true for the teams! PBD families should watch and cheer for every PBD team whenever possible- not just the ones your dancer is in. The dancers on the floor get just a few minutes to show what they have worked so hard for- they would LOVE to know their whole dance company recognizes their hard work! Let’s make the Marriott Center LOUD with PBD joy!
Love on your coaches and staff. When the studio’s daily schedule comes out before Nationals and you take a look at where everyone is supposed to be, you’ll see that the staff are doing a LOT- making sure kids have what they need, that they’re safe, watched over and in the place they’re supposed to be- and often doing it on very little sleep. A word of appreciation, a little treat, or showing some grace go a long way. We love and appreciate our coaches and staff! Let’s make sure they know it!
Thank partners and friends. It’s nice to have a little thank you note or treat to gift a dance partner to say thank you for taking the time to practice and work with your dancer. This doesn’t have to be a big production or expense- just a simple “thank you” is awesome.
Keep a positive outlook. Nationals is an exhausting experience- sleep deprivation and emotional highs and lows affect us all in a multitude of ways. Helping our kids to feel encouraged and seen when they are tired, or didn’t do as well as they had hoped, or are frustrated with someone, is validating and important. Sometimes we/they just need a little break from the Marriott center, or a little power nap, or a hug and a snack. As parents we can model a good outlook by keeping our comments and feedback positive, holding back our instinct to criticize or speak ill of other dancers or staff, and by actively encouraging others.
Nationals is one of the most foundational events of the PBD season and the culmination of hours of hard work for our dancers. It’s also a fantastic time for parents and families to build a community of support for our dancers and their teams. Seasoned Nationals parents, find a new parent to share your experiences and advice with- help them out if they feel a little lost or overwhelmed. Let’s create and promote a positive culture of support and encouragement for all those participating in Nationals this year! Go PBD!!