From the Mom of Many Dancers


I have always loved dance, ballet and musical theatre as well as theatre itself. I did a fair amount of folk dancing as a teen and even did some performances with a small local troupe. When my kids started their formal dance training, they had already been performing as a family for several years, self-taught. I was very happy they had the opportunity to learn real technique. Ballet has always been magical to me. Little did I know this would become their passion and their life.

Wow! Having 13 children — six of whom are dancers — has been an unexpected experience for me, to say the least. I have always been happy they dance. I feel across the board they have learned so much about life through dance, particularly time management, poise, self-confidence, commitment… I could go on and on. I think dance makes their brains smarter, you know, turn right then turn left. Learning combinations from a young age is like the pattern recognition the young kids do on paper, but dancers do it with their whole bodies! I love that each girl has her own “style” within the conformity of the group. I LOVE making costumes and have been lucky enough to be involved in full scale ballets, designing and sewing a multitude of costumes for all kinds of characters. I love being involved, watching classes as well as the final performances.

The difficulties are also many. There are injuries, although we haven’t had that problem too bad. It is not easy to really make a living just dancing so there has been a fair amount of nannying, barista work and of course teaching dance classes to children. It is also hard when the girls live so far away I can’t see all their work, and they are all over the place now. Two live in LA, one in Israel, two in London and I only have one dancer left at home in Colorado, although she is now in San Francisco doing the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance summer intensive.  Even though she is gone, I still find myself at her studio a few times a week, mainly in the costume room organizing, cleaning and I always spend a few minutes watching classes, seeing the same kids year after year; the growth they exhibit is wonderful. Dance has really enriched my life and I see myself being involved in some way even if no one lives nearby.

One thing I have learned is that dance is a very small world and dancers are themselves sort of a worldwide family, always supportive and encouraging each other. That at least is my perception and I am very grateful for that.


Naomi Prendergast with four of her dancing daughters

(L-R) Angelina Prendergast, Rachel Prendergast, Naomi Prendergast, Faith Prendergast and Joy Prendergast

One Response to “From the Mom of Many Dancers”

  1. Bill Levinger

    Love you Naomi. Well written and meaningful article. Hope to see you in September

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