You should be able to identify with the narrative of dancer Bree Hafen of McKinney, Texas, who opted to put her aspirations of becoming a professional dancer on hold when her two children were born if you have small children.
But after giving birth to her two children, Luke, 5, and Stella, 2, Hafen realized it was time to turn her attention back to her aspirations. She thus tried out for the ninth season of “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2012. She wasn’t expecting her kids to participate, even though she was there to demonstrate her amazing dance skills. The judges were equally taken aback by Hafen’s charming kids as by her dancing.
Hafen shared a little of her history with the audience during her visit on the program. She uttered:
“When you become a mother, all you want to do is devote your life to them. And because you want to devote all of your time to your children, you have to deal with a small amount of shame if you feel like doing something for yourself.”
She said that she struggled with whether or not her decision to return to dance would be worth the time away from her family. She acknowledged that she wasn’t quite ready to give up on her dream, though.
She appeared on stage during her live audition in front of the judges, including chief judge Nigel Lythgoe. Stella, by the way, is a great little dancer, she said after introducing herself and mentioning that her kids were in the crowd.
Lythgoe took the chance to get to know the family a little better when Hafen revealed that her kids were in the audience and requested that they come up to the platform. When they got there, Lythgoe stood up and let them take his place on the jury. Hafen then started her performance for the audition.
Hafen was highly skilled, as was evident the moment she started to dance. She glided on the floor in a way that could only be done by a skilled dancer. Hafen’s explanation that she abandoned her personal goals of theatrical fame in favor of raising her children made this revelation even more heartbreaking.
This time, she finally had good fortune on her side, and after her performance, her kids gave her a ticket to the competition’s next round. Lythgoe commended Hafen’s performance during her audition and said to her:
Despite everything that was overly sweet with the kids and everything else, I have to admit that you’re a very, very talented dancer.
The remark from Lythgoe left Hafen feeling terribly humble. Then he questioned her on why she had waited until now to apply for the show. She then began to share her experience about giving up her dance career to raise her children. She did, however, admit that they shared equal blame for giving her the self-assurance she need to attend the audition in the first place. When Hafen was awarded a spot in the next round, she rejoiced on stage with her two children and said she was able to return to the stage and pursue her love of dancing thanks of her husband and children.
Stella kept repeating, “My turn! My turn!” as she talked about what it meant for her to advance to the next round of the competition, as if she recognized that her mom’s time in the spotlight was ended and that it was now her turn. Lythgoe asked for the 2-year-old to be left on stage and cued the music one more time once he realized she wanted to perform on the same stage as her mother.
When you watch how this cute 2-year-old tried to imitate the steps that earned her mom a spot in the upcoming round of “So You Think You Can Dance,” your heart will melt. Stella’s ballet performance totally charmed the audience and was the highlight. She even won a standing ovation since the judges and audience were so mesmerized by her moves.
Since the video has now received over 7 million views, it appears that the internet has also developed a crush on her. It was well-liked in the comments as well. One said:
“My heart melted when I saw that adorable kid! Omg! She’ll do exactly as well as her mother did!”
While others praised Hafen’s great dancing and noted how much they enjoyed her audition. It’s unclear how far Hafen advanced in the competition, but she wasn’t a finalist. Despite this, Hafen is still dancing today. She has more than 1,500 Facebook fans and more than 5,000 Instagram followers. She describes herself as a dance teacher and choreographer on Facebook.
Never give up on what you love, even if there are two things you love, like family and your passion, as Hafen’s experience shows. Her experience demonstrates that if you prioritize your time, you can have both.