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An Unexpected Mood Booster: Little Dancers

Never would I have imagined, Nicholas, that I’d get hooked on watching glammed-up children sail, two by two, around a dance floor as if in a ballroom a hundred years ago. After all, dance recitals are known to be one of the heaviest burdens of parenthood. A blogger called Scary Mommy is eloquent on the subject. And I remember my own mother’s face–incredulous, despairing–at the roughly midnight end of my fifth grade tap recital. Little dancers in great number are not always a delight.

And Yet…

And yet I am delighted nightly by watching the Netflix series Baby Ballroom.


It’s a reality show about what Netflix calls “the cutthroat world of kids’ ballroom dancing, where ambitious instructors, proud parents and pint-sized performers waltz to win.”  Did you already know about this charming entertainment? Am I the last to discover it?

The kids who range from tiny to teenage are as dedicated as young would-be Olympic athletes. They are aiming to be national champions and at the Zig Zag Dance Factory in Wolverhampton, England, where the series is centered they also seem to be having a good deal of fun.

“Do I Look Beautiful?”

Now, it’s possible that this show is not for everyone. The dancers seem dressed for the Academy Awards; they look like little adults in formal dress with lots of glitz and make-up. Not everyone’s cup of tea. But the dancers themselves seem to love their costumes. “Do I look beautiful?” a boy of about six asks his dance partner. She says, “Yeah.” He says, “Good!”


I am impressed by how hard they work and how beautifully they perform. And their energy! My own favorite dancer is little blonde Jack, seen here in a Latin dance. This joyful kid dances like pistons firing. He dances as if it’s hard to make himself stop.

Not My Childhood Cha-Cha

I took a course of ballroom dancing in my twenties with a friend. His idea, not mine. It involved a lot of step-step, back and forth, and counting. Stiff. Awkward. Nearly as tedious as the usual children’s recital.

I certainly never thought I’d want to spend evenings watching others learn to dance.

But it leaves me feeling good every time.




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  • Lee Grohse
    August 17, 2022 at 2:23 am Reply

    Before our wedding, Peter and I took ballroom dancing lessons. We got married anyway.

    • Peggy Payne
      August 17, 2022 at 1:25 pm Reply

      You proved the two of you could handle adversity together, Lee.

  • Kenju
    August 17, 2022 at 10:11 pm Reply

    I will definitely watch this, as I love to see all the dancing shows. I never took any ballroom lessons; just the usual tap and acrobatics. I hated the recitals, especially when my last dance was at or near midnight!

    • Peggy Payne
      August 17, 2022 at 10:48 pm Reply

      Acrobatics! That’s impressive, Kenju. I did tap and ballroom. But it wasn’t this kind of ballroom. These kids are acrobats as well as dancers. Ever do any tap as an adult? I tried it once. Didn’t catch up to my 5th grade level.

  • Kenju
    August 17, 2022 at 11:45 pm Reply

    No, I didn’t, although when my daughters took dance, the teacher taught an adult class. I considered it, but I was too busy doing flowers back then.

    • Peggy Payne
      August 18, 2022 at 12:01 am Reply

      Flowers are at least as interesting.

  • August 18, 2022 at 2:56 am Reply

    Cute kids, and I’m sure not surprised you like it so well – energetic! and strongly expressive of feelings – that’s you.

    • Peggy Payne
      August 18, 2022 at 2:58 am Reply

      I’m pleased that you see me as notably expressive of feelings. That surprises me a little.

  • August 18, 2022 at 3:28 am Reply

    Maybe you’re the last to know?

    • Peggy Payne
      August 18, 2022 at 1:22 pm Reply

      I think you likely have a unique vantage point.

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