In celebration of Mother’s Day, we interviewed four Southland Ballet Academy parents to talk about what it’s like being a Dance Mom to a Ballerina.

Michelle Le Blanc, Mom to Avery, 14 and Levi, 7

No stranger to the Festival Ballet Theatre stage, Michelle has also appeared in many of our productions and has been tremendous help backstage as well. Her children Avery and Levi are both Southland Ballet Academy students, who have naturally, also performed in FBT productions. She is also the Vice President of Sales for one of the largest swimwear manufacturers in the U.S.

“I took ballet from the age of 7-18!” shares Michelle, “Unfortunately, I went to VA Tech which did not have a dance program, so I fell out for 20 years. I picked it up again when Avery started dancing and have been doing it ever since!”

When asked to describe her life as a mom of not one but two ballet dancers, she said it meant: “Many wonderful hours in the theater, a house full of dance clothes and pointe shoes, and lots of back and forth trips to the studio!”

What is the most challenging thing about being a dance mom?
As with any sport, your kids are heavily committed to, finding the time to fit everything in each day!

What is the most rewarding thing about being a dance mom?
Watching your kids perform on stage and seeing that proud smile after the show is over is incredibly rewarding!

The Le Blanc Family at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts after a performance.

Amy Johncox, Mom to Sophia, 16

Amy and daughter Sophia Bovet are new-ish to the Southland Ballet Academy family. According to Amy, “Actually, Sophia’s mentor, Fabrice Calmels thinks the world of Ms. Salwa and really wanted Sophia to train with her. When we came to California (from Chicago) and met with Ms. Salwa, Sophia immediately knew this was the place for her. I could not be more pleased.” Amy has three children and 2 fur babies (doggies). Sophia, however, is the only ballet dancer. Amy is a Holistic Health Practitioner and Vice President of Technique, Inc.

When asked to describe life as a mom of a ballerina, she says: “It truly takes the commitment of the entire family, but to sum it up—Blissful chaos.”

Though she says family time has been challenging, it is always rewarding “Seeing Sophia demonstrate integrity while completely dedicated to pursuing her dream.”

Sophia in Coppelia. PC: Skye Schmidt

Rie Prevost, Mom to Leilah,12 and Julia,9

If Rie looks familiar, it’s because she works at the front desk of our Southland Ballet Academy studio in Fountain Valley. Her two daughters, Leilah and Julia, are both aspiring ballerinas.

“Being a mom to two ballerinas can be time-consuming but very rewarding to watch not only my own kids but also many kids grow into beautiful independent young adults,” says Rie.

Time management as a family has been the biggest challenge, Rie confides, but “When you watch them shine on stages and hear how much they love to be watched by an audience is very rewarding.”

Rie with Leilah in tutu and Julia.

Abril Turner, Mom to Lily, 15

An attorney by profession, Abril has two teen daughters. “Lily is my only dancer. We came to Southland Ballet Academy on the recommendation of a friend and so that Lily could be in the Nutcracker. She saw the show when she was 6 and said she needed to be in it!”

Lily danced as Clara in Festival Ballet Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker.” She also danced the role of Alice in “Alice in Wonderland,” last year.

More recently, Abril accompanied Lily to New York, when she competed in the Youth America Grand Prix. Lily won the prestigious Natalia Makarova Special Award for Artistry.

According to Abril: “Being a ballet parent is similar to any other parental endeavor – your goal is to support your child in every way to allow them to be the best dancer they can be. The most challenging thing for me about being a dance mom is supporting my child emotionally through the ups and downs. And enduring stinky pointe shoe feet on the car ride home from the studio! The most rewarding thing about being a dance mom is watching my daughter’s beautiful performances.”

Lily as Clara. PC: Skye Schmidt

To Michelle, Amy, Rie, and Abril and to all the mothers who support their children in this beautiful art of dance, thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!