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Around Our Town...Mothers – Dance Moms

04/01/2005 - Everyone's heard of soccer moms...but what about "Dance Moms"?

"I really appreciate all of the help and dedication the moms at Dance Evolutions give to their children – and to the studio," says Tonya Willadson, owner of Dance Evolutions, located in the Sunrise Shopping Center. If you're looking for an example of dedicated, self-sacrificial love, you don't have to look very far. So many of the "Dance Moms" at Dance Evolutions – and other dance studios in Casper are a perfect example. Driving the girls back and forth to practice and putting together backup costumes are just a few of the ways they show love for their children.

"My mom is my hero!" says Gabby Bower (14) of her mother, Lori Bower. "She's always there for me. She does so much for everyone. I am so lucky to have a person that cares so much about me!! I love her not only for caring so much about me, but also caring about what I love to do. Dancing would never be the same without her."

Lori Bower has lived in Casper all of her life. She was a cheerleader through high school and college, and coaches cheerleading at Casper College, where she works as the fitness center technician, but we think it's safe to assume that her favorite job is being a mom. "Dance gives Gabby and me time to be together. As she gets older it's harder and harder to find quality time. It's one more thing we can share," Lori says. When asked what a "Dance Mom" does, Lori laughs and says, "Always have snacks and a needle and thread handy. Be ready to help wherever needed – even if it's not your own child." Lori says one of the other things she enjoys about being a "Dance Mom" is becoming friends with people she might not ordinarily have met. Lori is at the studio approximately 20 hours a week helping Gabby, and, during the downtime, learning to knit from one of the other "Dance Moms". "We're all like a family because we spend so much time together."

"Out of all the different sports, dance is one of the most well-rounded. You can do it as an individual, or a team, and you can carry it with you wherever you go. It teaches disicipline, it's good exercise and is a great self-esteem builder," says Bridget White who used to be a dancer and gymnast herself. "Being a 'Dance Mom' is a 100% commitment, time, effort and energy, but it's 150% worth it."

Her daughter, Rowen Brennecke (13) says, "I think my mom is the best! She always supports me in whatever I choose to do. My mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love her so much."

Rowen's sister, Tierney (15) agrees. "My mom is my number one fan and I am hers. She has supported me nomatter what. I love my mom very much and just want her to know how much she means to me."

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