RICHMOND, Va. -- One Carytown spot is trying something new this Mother's Day. Babe's of Carytown held its first Mother's Day Market, featuring vendors from across Central Virginia, and free face painting and dance classes with drag performers.
Ami Dowden-Fant, the owner and Artistic Director of River City Dance & Performing Arts Theatre, who taught the free classes, is a mom herself. Being at Babe's to teach a dance class this Mother's Day is special to her.
“Dance has no boundaries. There’s no rules, whatever rule you think is in your head, it does not exist, it’s not a reality of what dance can be, because it can be so many things and it’s the same when it comes to parenting," Dowden-Fant said.
She's one of several mothers at the market who want others to know that the word "Mom" can take on many different meanings.
"This is really just about celebrating the people in your life that make you feel accepted, so I think that's what being a mom means, whether or not you've had a kid," said Xtina Hamilton, who organized the market.
It's a place where performers like Teddi Baerbach do feel accepted. While Teddi's parents have been supportive of their drag performances, Teddi said others in the community have not had the same experience.
“A lot of people in the community maybe don’t have the support of their biological family, they really sort of embrace the idea of a found family. Sort of, we all have sort of common stories, with a lot of adults that we grew up with, maybe had been picked on," Baerbach said.
Hamilton's hope this Mother's Day is to create a communal space for everyone, no matter what their family circumstance may be.
“Find the space that makes you the happiest, and that’s where family is," Hamilton said.