Dance dad debuts first book
The first insider’s look at the competitive dance world written from a father’s point of view debuted in late April in paperback and eBook formats, coinciding with the 33rd Annual National Dance Week celebration throughout the U.S.
The memoir All In, My Amazing Journey As a Dance Dad, written by Tim Colley, explores the highs and lows of one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. today. Colley blends personal experience and behind-the-scenes observations of the sometimes harsh “glamour industry” realities along with practical advice to parents seeking ways to be more involved in their children’s lives. The book’s male perspective stands out in an industry typically dominated by women and a dance-obsessed public that has made “Dance Mom” a new entry in traditional and urban dictionaries alike.
“Dance parents spend anywhere from several hundred dollars to well into five figures a year on studio enrollment, private lessons, costumes and competitions,” Colley said. “But being a true dance parent involves much more than just writing checks. My book hopefully speaks for dance dads like me who know that it’s all about doing everything you can to help your child pursue a dream.”
Parents like Colley have helped turn competitive dance in the U.S. into a billion-dollar industry that is expected to see steady growth over the next five years, according to reports by leading market analysts. The popularity of television programs like So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars and Dance Moms can be credited in large part to that growth. According to various reports, more than 8,000 dance studios currently offer classes to an estimated 1.5 million U.S. students, the majority of them children and adolescents. Dance competitions not only provide significant revenue for competition organizers, but retailers providing costumes, hotels and restaurants providing services to dancers, and even event venues.
“The trickle-down economics of the competitive dance industry extends all the way down to vendors selling t-shirts outside event venues,” Colley said. “Everybody wins, but at its heart, I still consider dance to be a family affair that creates a strong bond between parents and children. That’s what I’ve tried to convey in All In.”