DEAR AMY: I'm a 15-year-old girl, and my dream is to dance competitively. I've taken jazz classes for almost six years, and I have a talent for it. My mom hates that I love dancing more than team sports, and she looked appalled when I asked if I could try out for the school poms team. When I asked her why she didn't want me to try out, she said it is ridiculously expensive and that the pom squad was an elite club when she was in high school, and she doesn't want me to get mixed up with that type of girls. At open tryouts, the girls were really friendly. They even asked me to have lunch with them. My mom just frowned and went back to the old "We can't afford it" line. I know we can afford this since my 13-year-old brother is a competitive gymnast who is talented, and my parents pay for things for him. I have looked at what it costs to compete, and I found out it's $15 cheaper per month than my regular dance class (aside from uniforms and entrance fees). Do you think I should bring this up to my mom when the new dance season starts in June? Any advice on how I should ask her? She has a tendency to blow things way out of proportion when she says "no" to stuff like this. Dreaming Dancer
DEAR DREAMING: You might be correct that your mom can afford this. But maybe she just doesn't want to pay hundreds of dollars for you to shake your poms on this dance squad. The person holding the purse strings gets to make the choice about what to pay for.
I have an idea to help you smooth this over, however: Research the entire cost of joining the pom squad (including uniforms and entrance fees). Spend the next six months baby-sitting, shoveling walks, mowing lawns, doing chores, etc., to earn the money required to participate.
Approach your mom with proof that you have saved this money and a guarantee that you won't become an elitist snob and that your grades won't suffer -- and hope for a "yes."