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Jenny in Florida

Dance Parents (Inspired by the "Gym Moms" thread, not the TV show)

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Our last regionals is next week, followed by the spring recital and then a little break until nationals in June.

 

The last competition we went to was a really hard one.  I know our studio owner chooses this specific one for a purpose.  The other studios who compete truly are the best in the Chicago area. Phenomenal dancing all weekend, it was a true pleasure to be a part of.  It also is one of the competitions with the toughest scoring- you really have to be spectacular to get a top score.  We go to this one each year to push our kids, and I can totally see why she does it, but when my kids are just dying to do their best and get one of those top scores, and none matriculate in the 12 dances over the weekend, they leave a little bit bummed.  It takes a lot of coaching on my part during the long drive home to see that determination light back up in their eyes- that they know that the next competition they're going to do SO much better because they're going to work really hard the next few weeks.

 

I'm trying to figure out where/if there are any ways we can cut back next year.  I'm wearing myself thin running two kids to the studio six days a week.  There are small things I can have them set aside for one year and they won't mind too much (DD's hip-hop and DS's modern), but I'd honestly really like to not have DS in a duet.   The timing for such things at our studio means late nights or weekends, and I'm tired of that.  (PLUS it usually adds an extra day at competitions.  Would be nice to have a normal schedule again...) But at the same time, I feel the partnering he learns in that time he doesn't learn any other way, so I'm torn.  

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What is an update from all the other dance moms?

 

Dd 18 is finishing up her second semester at AMDA (NY).  She is part of a trio in their spring tap showcase.  She is also confident enough now with her singing (thank you AMDA) that she plans on auditioning for a lead role in a regional theater production.

 

She still works with a major hip-hop choreographer on the weekends - assisting at his weekly open classes, was part of a 5-person panel to cast a national commercial, and is helping a new girl band get off the ground with choreography for their upcoming shows.  In the summer she will continue assisting him at several dance studios in the tri-state area for the 2016 competition season.

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Well we had some rotten news from the studio today.  :(  The boy on DD's team just up and quit.  Well, he may have quit, he may have done something stupid that forced his mom to enact some difficult punishment.

 

Either way... We have two weeks before our last regionals, nationals in June, and a recital at the end of May.  He couldn't have finished out the year and then not come back?!  Oy.

 

Anyway, there is a boy on TWO other teams that is going to fill in.  He's very talented and a quick learner, so I'm sure he will do fine, but he is only 13, and that's a bit of a difference when this other boy wa 17.  They do a piece where he is a soldier with PTSD, and I have a hard time imagining the 13 year old pulling it off.

 

He was a nice friend to DD during the years they've danced together.  This is terribly sad to have happened. 

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Ugh, quit this late in the year? I hope he has a good reason to let so many people down.

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Well we had some rotten news from the studio today.   :(  The boy on DD's team just up and quit.  Well, he may have quit, he may have done something stupid that forced his mom to enact some difficult punishment.

 

 

Ugh, quit this late in the year? I hope he has a good reason to let so many people down.

 

The one time something similar happened at my son's studio and one of the senior dance line girls left shortly before the year-end performance, it turned out she had been asked to leave after the studio owners were made aware of some problematic behavior. One of the younger teachers ended up having to step into the girl's roles in a couple of dances, because there was no one else to take her place on such short notice.

 

It was upsetting for the rest of the dancers, but once I heard the backstory, I was convinced the directors had made the right decision.

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The one time something similar happened at my son's studio and one of the senior dance line girls left shortly before the year-end performance, it turned out she had been asked to leave after the studio owners were made aware of some problematic behavior. One of the younger teachers ended up having to step into the girl's roles in a couple of dances, because there was no one else to take her place on such short notice.

 

It was upsetting for the rest of the dancers, but once I heard the backstory, I was convinced the directors had made the right decision.

 

You know, that thought did flit across my mind earlier today.   I think the whole thing is rotten for the team, and my daughter is sad to lose a friend, as the only place she ever saw this boy was at dance.  BUT, at the same time, part of me is not disappointed at the loss of this boy... the atmosphere for the team should be more pleasant, iykwim. 

 

I hope the team can rally.  Tomorrow is their first real practice this week, and I'm wondering if we're going to be called for some extra time over the weekend. 

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One of the older dancers at our studio quit dancing to focus on academics for her senior year, and also because she has a soccer injury that is still giving her grief even after having surgery in the fall. So my daughter who went to Worlds as a sub on a team will now also be going to Nationals as a sub on the same team. I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed with the major comps. We were using to the ones within a few hours of home, but now we are doing 5 of those plus Worlds earlier this month, Nationals in July, and Oireachtas (Regionals) in December. We found out that they will be doing grades in DC in July, which is one of the steps toward getting certified to teach, so we'll be going to that comp and staying an extra day so that dd can test in the first three levels. 

 

Last Thursday, dd tripped over someone in PE and slid on her knees into a door and hit her head pretty hard. When the PE teacher called me, my first thought was thank goodness it's not her feet/ankles/knees this time. My dh was closer to the school at the time, so he went to pick her up. He called me back to say that he was taking her to the ER because she was having concussion symptoms. I might have freaked out a bit at that point, realizing that this could potentially be much worse than a sprained ankle. Fortunately, her ct scan was clear and she just had a mild concussion. The worst part was the headache that lasted five days, but finally went away today.

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Oh my LizzyBee, I'm glad your DD is OK. Concussions can be scary.

 

Thanks. We are so thankful it wasn't worse. 

 

Did you watch the choreography comps at SRO last year? We watched it but didn't give it a lot of thought. Well, our school added two choreo teams this month, so that adds to the craziness. It is something our teacher has wanted to do for awhile because he won choreo at worlds and really enjoys it. 

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Thanks. We are so thankful it wasn't worse. 

 

Did you watch the choreography comps at SRO last year? We watched it but didn't give it a lot of thought. Well, our school added two choreo teams this month, so that adds to the craziness. It is something our teacher has wanted to do for awhile because he won choreo at worlds and really enjoys it. 

 

I haven't watched much of the choreography teams, but from what I have seen they look like a lot of fun.

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Lizzy, that reminds of the story a friend of mine told me. She plays professionally in an orchestra and she told me that one of her friends there broke her nose by choice....sort of. She is a cellist so her hands/wrists are essential to playing. She was walking and tripped on her carpet. She fell forward and actually tucked her hands *behind* her back so she wouldn't injury them thus leaving her face completely exposed. So she smacked the ground with her face and broke her nose. All I can say is that is some amazing will power to overcome the automatic reflex to catch oneself with arms and hands to protect the head! 

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Lizzy, that reminds of the story a friend of mine told me. She plays professionally in an orchestra and she told me that one of her friends there broke her nose by choice....sort of. She is a cellist so her hands/wrists are essential to playing. She was walking and tripped on her carpet. She fell forward and actually tucked her hands *behind* her back so she wouldn't injury them thus leaving her face completely exposed. So she smacked the ground with her face and broke her nose. All I can say is that is some amazing will power to overcome the automatic reflex to catch oneself with arms and hands to protect the head! 

 

Oh, wow, I don't know if I would have that much willpower. I did slip and fall on ice one time while carrying my then 6-month old. I landed on my elbows so that she wouldn't hit the ground. But I don't know if I could do that to my face.

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Two of our dancers have concussions. Thankfully, comps are over but oh vey! How do two dancers get concussions? Apparently they were goofing off at dinner after our last comp, knocked heads, reared back laughing, and hit their heads hard against the booth back. Both out for weeks. Recital in four.

 

We completed our last comp this past weekend. They did well as a group but most importantly we had a blast. It was so much fun and we all really gelled. Unfortunately, one of our dance moms missed a step and broke her ankle. She had surgery yesterday. Crazy weekend, I tell ya.

 

On the plus side, I've started taking dd to a chiro and massage therapist and she's no longer complaining of her heal bruise or any other aches and pains. Chiro said her ankle was "funny" but she's finally holding her corrections.

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How is everyone's summer going?  

 

We are in the last week of our summer session at the studio.  This week my kids were placed on their teams and we're all very pleased with the placements.  I think the teachers did a great job matching up ability AND personality.  

 

Our studio has also made the decision to do one less competition next year, and instead add a convention to the schedule.  I'm hoping we go to JUMP, as they've done in years past.  We've never gone, but I saw that Ricky (last year's SYTYCD winner) was added to the Jump personnel for the coming season.  I would LOVE having DS work with him.  Two years ago DS did a master class with Twitch, and he still talks about being his favorite day of dance ever.

 

We made the decision today that DD will drop pointe class.  She gave it two years and would continue without complaint, but if we drop it from the schedule, we actually free up two full days that we won't have to be at the studio.  I was driving kids six days a week last year, and this year we're trying our hardest to get it down to just three days a week.  She admitted that it's not her favorite style, she doesn't like the added ballet commitment that comes with it, and she doesn't feel like she'd missing anything by NOT dancing en pointe.  We'll re-visit next year if she wants.

 

Hope everyone else is having an uneventful summer in the dance world.  I'm looking forward to a few weeks off with less running around.

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DD15 still has 4 weeks left in the summer session. Auditions are not for another two weeks.

 

This year the studio is adding a small group only competition division. Only two teachers will work with the kids all year instead of the plethora of teachers available. it will be strong in technique training. The choreography will be given weekly instead of per semester also. I get the impression, it will be scheduled more like Abby Lee does her choreography for her small group division, but I am not sure. I would love to hear if others have studios which teach this way.

 

I am still a beginner tap class flunky, but I keep showing up and taking the humility.

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Intensives are over, and now we're just doing rehearsals for the fall show -- Giselle -- dd is one of the named Wilis (Zulme).

 

The studio just moved to a new building. Dd helped put the floor in, which was interesting.  

 

She's doing an aerial class with trapeze and silks, and contemplating whether to do private lessons between now and the start of real classes.

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DD15 still has 4 weeks left in the summer session. Auditions are not for another two weeks.

 

This year the studio is adding a small group only competition division. Only two teachers will work with the kids all year instead of the plethora of teachers available. it will be strong in technique training. The choreography will be given weekly instead of per semester also. I get the impression, it will be scheduled more like Abby Lee does her choreography for her small group division, but I am not sure. I would love to hear if others have studios which teach this way.

 

I am still a beginner tap class flunky, but I keep showing up and taking the humility.

 

Wow, that sounds intense! Does weekly choreography mean weekly competitions?  I guess I'm not sure what the point of weekly choreo is if it's not going to be used.  

 

Both the teams my kids are on are going to be competing as small groups.  It works, as there are other teams that will be in their age ranges, but they will compete as large groups, so it keeps fellow studio-mates from competing against each other.  

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Intensives are over, and now we're just doing rehearsals for the fall show -- Giselle -- dd is one of the named Wilis (Zulme).

 

The studio just moved to a new building. Dd helped put the floor in, which was interesting.  

 

She's doing an aerial class with trapeze and silks, and contemplating whether to do private lessons between now and the start of real classes.

 

Oh my gosh, I'm totally jealous of your DD's aerial class!  I would so love for my DD to get to experience that.  I have a cousin on the other side of the country who teaches aerial yoga.   I keep saying that I'm going to send my DD to spend a week with her and learn aerial yoga.  I keep watching for one of the yoga studios around here to decide to delve into aerials...

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We opted not to do summer dance. (EEK) But I think it was a good call. And the studio rearranged the boys' classes for next year. For the first time, all of ds's classes will be all male and male taught. He's in the in between level so he'll be in some classes with the boys a level down and some with the boys a level up, which is so ideal from a social point of view that he's over the moon about it. It means all his friends will be in his classes at some point or another. Hopefully that won't mean less focus...

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Oh my gosh, I'm totally jealous of your DD's aerial class! I would so love for my DD to get to experience that. I have a cousin on the other side of the country who teaches aerial yoga. I keep saying that I'm going to send my DD to spend a week with her and learn aerial yoga. I keep watching for one of the yoga studios around here to decide to delve into aerials...

Aerial work seems really trendy right now. Several local places offer some type of class. Do you have any place that offers rock climbing or circus arts? They might have something.

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We have a few places here that offer aerial arts.  My son has been taking classes for a long time!  it's super fun!  Right now he has a major rope burn on his leg from Spanish Web so I recommend tights for class.  ;)  He forgot to pack his yesterday.

 

If you google "circus arts city name" you might get a hit on something?  Some gymnastic studios are adding in some of this equipment to offer classes too.

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On dance, my dd who just turned 11, is being challenged by her ballet teacher to clean a few things up by the end of August to possibly move up to the next level at her studio.  That would be the beginning pointe level (although girls often spend a little time in that level before being ready for pointe), so she is very excited to make that happen.  We will see!  She is at the studio 6 1/2 hours a week this summer.  She backed off the schedule to do a theater intensive.  They offer a summer intensive, but the show this year is just not a great choice for the younger kids and they don't have much to do and it's not challenging.   Also considering not doing their open audition winter show this year.  Was not a great experience at all last year for several reasons.  DD does still want to do the full dance schedule though.  Not every kid on their most committed track always does the winter show.  If anyone from the studio asks me about it, I will be happy to tell them why we need to take a year off!  I'll not vent here now though.  ;)  I generally otherwise love our studio.  I really considered trying to switch DD out for a while.  She has NO interest in leaving this studio at all.

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How is everyone's summer going?  

 

Hope everyone else is having an uneventful summer in the dance world.  I'm looking forward to a few weeks off with less running around.

 

DD's team at Nationals danced beautifully but didn't recall. The U12 team recalled and placed 10th. We had only one solo dancer recall. They all danced great, but the competition is just fierce.

 

This week is dance camp and Dan is kicking their butts. They've worked hard on strength and conditioning but he is ramping it up another notch. 

 

DD had a PT appt on Tuesday, and PT is very happy with her progress. Her strength has improved much in the past year and she has no injuries at the moment. She has gained a little weight and filled out a bit. 

 

We're going to the Nation's Capital feis this weekend. We have 3 comps in Oct-Nov where our teams are dancing in addition to solos to get ready for Regionals the first weekend of December. 

 

Our summer break was shortened by Nationals, so it didn't really feel like a break. It's a five week break, but one week we were traveling for Natls and this week is camp, so we really only got 3 weeks off. 

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We just finished up the summer classes/intensive and my daughter received her acceptance letter. Yesterday, she had her first audition for one of the 7 dances she's eligible for this year, hip hop, not her strongest style. But she gave it her best and since it will probably be a line she's hoping she'll be able to squeeze in. We are going to Dupree Intensive this weekend. She decided to not compete and just focus on technique. She's coming off her heal injury and doing well but doesn't want to push it. Next week we have the parent meeting for formal acceptance and the week following they begin two weeks of intense auditions for the rest of the dances. We are considering attending Jump this winter, as well.

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After Nation's Capital feis this weekend, they offered grades exams on Monday. It's one of the steps toward getting certified as an Irish dance teacher. DD passed Level 1 with honors and Level 2 with distinction. 

 

 

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Our local studio is putting together two older, small groups that will only have two teachers for lyrical, ballet, jazz, and contemporary. The kids will spend about 15 hours a week for this small group. The two teachers are the two best at the studio, but the kids are used to having multiple teachers throughout the week. They will have a separate tap and hip hop team, but those are only two hours a week for this semester. So what do you guys think of that?

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My daughter, a lover of ballet, has come to the realization that a career (or at least attention and corrections and good casting in her own studio) is just unattainable. Unfortunately her teacher only focuses on kids with professional potential and she's finding the competition and politics among girls unbearable. Before puberty, she got that attention, but now her curves and short height make it all pretty unlikely.

 

Anyway, it's the only ballet studio around so she's going turn her attention to jazz or contemporary or ballroom or something else. Her decision is kind of a relief - she had class 6 days/week for about 3-4 hrs. And the driving to another town was time consuming, so anything now will be purely recreational. Plus - the pointe shoe cost was getting out of control. It's sad that it's the end of an era, but I'm happy that she feels good about the decision to move on.

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Okay, I can't help my kid bragging self. Balletboy was chosen to be in the Garland Waltz in Sleeping Beauty with ABT in January. I let him go to the audition, but I sort of thought he didn't have much of a shot at it. I've seen the choreography and heard it was tough. He hasn't done much pair dancing. But he got it. He's done the supers thing at the Kennedy Center before, but of the walk across the stage variety. This is a real dance with tons of rehearsals. I have mixed feelings about the ton of rehearsals bit (there will be some days where he has Nut rehearsals followed by Sleeping Beauty rehearsals from midday to late evening with only short breaks) and I admit I was sort of hoping as a result that he wouldn't get it, but I'm thrilled he did. We'll make it work.

 

He's also, like every other ballet kid on the planet, got his Nutcracker role and... hooray... it doesn't include the Gingersnaps. He's only a party boy. We can leave after Act I.

 

What's everyone else's dance kid news? Others must have Nutcracker parts. Any other brags to share? Or tribulations?

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Okay, I can't help my kid bragging self. Balletboy was chosen to be in the Garland Waltz in Sleeping Beauty with ABT in January. I let him go to the audition, but I sort of thought he didn't have much of a shot at it. I've seen the choreography and heard it was tough. He hasn't done much pair dancing. But he got it. He's done the supers thing at the Kennedy Center before, but of the walk across the stage variety. This is a real dance with tons of rehearsals. I have mixed feelings about the ton of rehearsals bit (there will be some days where he has Nut rehearsals followed by Sleeping Beauty rehearsals from midday to late evening with only short breaks) and I admit I was sort of hoping as a result that he wouldn't get it, but I'm thrilled he did. We'll make it work.

 

He's also, like every other ballet kid on the planet, got his Nutcracker role and... hooray... it doesn't include the Gingersnaps. He's only a party boy. We can leave after Act I.

 

What's everyone else's dance kid news? Others must have Nutcracker parts. Any other brags to share? Or tribulations?

 

How super exciting!!!  Congrats to BalletBoy!!

 

Dance news here...

 

SDD15 is now dancing (Vaganaova Ballet) privately with her instructor 6-7 hours a day.  She is homeschooling for the first time.  In addition to her regular class, she exercises 2 hours a day and researches Ballet - both requirements of the instructor.  It makes for a stressful life!

 

DD12 has reduced her schedule (4 days a week for a few hours a day), since her father now lives an hour away and cannot take her to dance on his days.  

 

SDD dances from 10:30-5:30 every day.  And DD12 dances from 4:30-8.  Makes driving them back and forth a bit crazy!

 

And that's only two of the kids!  Another is in a play, with the theater quite a distance from here.  The 9 performances are the next two weeks. :)

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Farrar-- Wow!  That is so exciting!  Congratulations to your son!  DD12 would love to have an opportunity to dance with ABT like that! She went to one of their summer intensives in NYC and really wishes that we lived closer.

 

My DD is thrilled with her role in the Nutcracker this year.  She will be Clara!!  It is a dream come true for her, obviously.  LOL!  She also got Spanish corp (there are two Claras cast, so she dances Spanish in the shows that she isn't Clara).  She is thrilled with that as well.  

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Congrats Farrar!! That is such an awesome opportunity for your son. I would be bragging too. :D

 

Dd11 switched studios this year and as a result she will be in her first Nutcracker in December (her old studio was very small and never put one on). She'll be a soldier and in the waltz corp, and gets to dance en pointe for the first time. She is super excited!

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Okay, I can't help my kid bragging self. Balletboy was chosen to be in the Garland Waltz in Sleeping Beauty with ABT in January. I let him go to the audition, but I sort of thought he didn't have much of a shot at it. I've seen the choreography and heard it was tough. He hasn't done much pair dancing. But he got it. He's done the supers thing at the Kennedy Center before, but of the walk across the stage variety. This is a real dance with tons of rehearsals. I have mixed feelings about the ton of rehearsals bit (there will be some days where he has Nut rehearsals followed by Sleeping Beauty rehearsals from midday to late evening with only short breaks) and I admit I was sort of hoping as a result that he wouldn't get it, but I'm thrilled he did. We'll make it work.

 

He's also, like every other ballet kid on the planet, got his Nutcracker role and... hooray... it doesn't include the Gingersnaps. He's only a party boy. We can leave after Act I.

 

What's everyone else's dance kid news? Others must have Nutcracker parts. Any other brags to share? Or tribulations?

 

Wow!  Congratulations to Balletboy!  Rehearsals sound like they would drive me bonkers.  But in the end, when you see your boy on stage it will all be worth it.  

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One of the things that helped DD decide to drop pointe was that in the past, people on flat have still been given some of the soloist roles in our Nutcracker.  Only Sugar Plum and the Snow Queen must be en pointe, all the rest have gone back and forth over the years.

 

So she was kind of disappointed this year that she didn't get chosen for one of the soloists- every single one went to someone en pointe.  She's managed to set aside her disappointment and work hard at her practices though.  She's a Spanish dancer, a Waltzflower and she's in Snow, and she's gotten some different parts this year, so is pleased she's learning new choreography.  She's been in Snow for years, but somehow always ended up dancing the same thing.  She's thrilled to learn something new!

 

DS was cast as the Nutcracker Prince again.  While I am pleased for him, I need to have someone snag me his costumes.  He's literally grown a foot in the last year and I have serious doubts that they will fit.  The other boy who could have been the prince is such a squirt and seems to refuse to grow.   :lol:  The dance teacher teaching the Clara/Prince scenes told my DS he's going to be the prince for forever if that other boy doesn't decide to grow soon.  He's just too small to be lifting any of the Clara's yet.  It's kind of funny.   

 

At first I was a bit disappointed DS was cast as the prince.  That meant adding Friday evening to our dance week, which did not please me.  But then I stopped in to one of the practices and watched him dance.  Wow, the fact that he's grown so much, and grown as a dancer really shows big time.  He's so much more confident with these girls, and they are changing the choreography a bit this year to complicate the lifts a little since DS is capable.  It's fun to see. 

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Congrats to both boys and gals! Nice job!

 

Daughter is struggling this year. She has grown a ton and seems to be all arms and legs. She's as tall as the 13 year olds and up (taller than some of the seniors!) but is only 11. She's a good dancer, hard working, but can't keep up with the girls her height. The girls her age are all just short enough that she did did not get placed in the small group for her age (she looked awkward, being a head taller than all the others her age) and did not get placed in the small group for the teens because she's just not good enough yet (it's a contemporary/modern piece and she's just not there yet). Shes also been placed in the back, hiding behind other taller girls, in three of her four dances. The only dance she's not been hidden in is the hip hop number and she has a lot of work to do there. We are really not sure how she got in that one as she's obviously not that good (she just started taking hip hop this summer). But she's working on it. She's decided to take the ballet level below she was placed in as it focuses on technique, as well as the one for her age that is a mix of ballet and lyrical. She's doing the same for jazz (a technique jazz and a jazz/contemporary mix). So she takes 5 hours on Mondays (rehearsal, strength/conditioning/flexibility, and leaps/turns), 3.5 hrs on Tuesday, 1.5 hrs on Wednesdays, and two hours on Thursday. She also decided to do a trio with two younger friends so that will give her more dance time.

 

That link above hit home this year. She is a back-up dancer this year. She has a lot of work ahead of her but I'm hoping she'll learn that with hard work, perseverance, and some patience, she can be in the spotlight again.

 

It's a crazy, busy year but she's enjoying it. And she's learning so many things, as well.

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My DD is back on performing company this year and they are doing a big production number, the musical "Newsies".  DD got a lead role is very excited about it.  I was actually enjoyed the two years off of competitions, but now that she is older I don't have to go to all of them with her.  She can get rides with other people so that helps.  Her studio is also doing a Musical Theatre class this year, and DD is loving that.  She was sad to drop drama class so this helps make up for it.  It is a combination of many of her favorite things - dance, music/singing, and drama combined.

 

DD tried out for two separate Nutcrackers this year.  Last year they didn't do any and this year they are doing two.  One is a professional ballet company that comes in from out of town and uses local students to fill in certain roles.  DD is going to be a party girl in that one, which is the highest she could try out for because she doesn't have 3 years en pointe.  The other performance is a local studio that does a community performance.  DD is going to be a French Eclair and an Ornament.  She said the costumes are a lot of fun and is very excited.  She is kicking herself for not trying out for a lead role, but she thought she need to have one more year en pointe to tryout for leads.  With all of her dancing she is doing right now she is in class or practice 6 days a week, which seems like a bit too much, but it will quiet back down to 4 days after Nutcracker is over in mid-December.

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Congrats to both boys and gals! Nice job!

 

Daughter is struggling this year. She has grown a ton and seems to be all arms and legs. She's as tall as the 13 year olds and up (taller than some of the seniors!) but is only 11. She's a good dancer, hard working, but can't keep up with the girls her height. The girls her age are all just short enough that she did did not get placed in the small group for her age (she looked awkward, being a head taller than all the others her age) and did not get placed in the small group for the teens because she's just not good enough yet (it's a contemporary/modern piece and she's just not there yet). Shes also been placed in the back, hiding behind other taller girls, in three of her four dances. The only dance she's not been hidden in is the hip hop number and she has a lot of work to do there. We are really not sure how she got in that one as she's obviously not that good (she just started taking hip hop this summer). But she's working on it. She's decided to take the ballet level below she was placed in as it focuses on technique, as well as the one for her age that is a mix of ballet and lyrical. She's doing the same for jazz (a technique jazz and a jazz/contemporary mix). So she takes 5 hours on Mondays (rehearsal, strength/conditioning/flexibility, and leaps/turns), 3.5 hrs on Tuesday, 1.5 hrs on Wednesdays, and two hours on Thursday. She also decided to do a trio with two younger friends so that will give her more dance time.

 

That link above hit home this year. She is a back-up dancer this year. She has a lot of work ahead of her but I'm hoping she'll learn that with hard work, perseverance, and some patience, she can be in the spotlight again.

 

It's a crazy, busy year but she's enjoying it. And she's learning so many things, as well.

 

Sometimes it takes those tall kids with the longer arms and legs just a little longer to catch up to everyone else.  Especially when they are growing.  I once heard a dance teacher talking to the mom of a gangly girl about how those girls with the longer limbs just take a little longer to get their arms and legs to do what they want them to do.  But THEN, when they finally reach that point, watch out, because they become the most beautiful dancers.  They just need to get through that clunky stage.

 

Sounds like your daughter is working hard and diligently and I bet she will catch up to the others in no time.  Good for her for persevering and focusing on technique to help things along!

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They just need to get through that clunky stage.

 

Sounds like your daughter is working hard and diligently and I bet she will catch up to the others in no time. Good for her for persevering and focusing on technique to help things along!

Thanks. I do think she's just struggling with all her body changes. She's weepy and melodramatic and constantly telling me she's mad/sad but doesn't know why. that along with the rapidly changing body has made for a fun few months. She'll get there. I'm just glad she's decided to keep at it and not give up.

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Farrar! Congrats to your son! What a fantastic experience for him!

 

My college dude is having a good semester, because so much of his courseload is dance. Three of his classes are academic, and he has a vocal ensemble and music theory and private voice lessons, but his other four courses are dance. 

 

He was cast in two numbers in the fall dance "happening." It's required six hours a week of rehearsals, on top of his regular schedule of classes, which is keeping him pretty busy. (He was also cast as a supernumerary in a local opera company's production, which pays surprisingly well but means yet more rehearsals.) He's feeling good about both dances, and I'm looking forward to seeing the show at the end of the month.

 

One of his classes this semester is the first of two he needs to take in order to be allowed to choreograph for next year's dance happenings. He's already bursting with ideas for that.

 

He also has a decent number of folks in the dance ensemble he started last year. They're getting some inquiries about performing for campus events, which is pretty exciting.

 

He still misses his Nutcracker days, but is happily chugging along.

 

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He still misses his Nutcracker days, but is happily chugging along.

 

Oh, you never know what will happen... last year for our Nutcracker, a horrible stomach flu went though the entire cast (except, knock on wood, the younger boys! Ha!). The night we saw it, some huge number of roles had been replaced by all the former students who were now in college. They had to call every single kid who had ever danced a part and see if they could come do a show. It still looked lovely though. 

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Oh, you never know what will happen... last year for our Nutcracker, a horrible stomach flu went though the entire cast (except, knock on wood, the younger boys! Ha!). The night we saw it, some huge number of roles had been replaced by all the former students who were now in college. They had to call every single kid who had ever danced a part and see if they could come do a show. It still looked lovely though. 

 

Oh, he left the pre-pro school several years ago, now. The dance studio to which he transitioned did an annual holiday show, sort of like a mini-recital, which usually included a "production number." They also did a bunch of performances at assorted community venues. It wasn't Nutcracker, but it was something.

 

Nowadays, though, he's between semesters at the holidays and doesn't have any performance opportunities.

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Thanks. I do think she's just struggling with all her body changes. She's weepy and melodramatic and constantly telling me she's mad/sad but doesn't know why. that along with the rapidly changing body has made for a fun few months. She'll get there. I'm just glad she's decided to keep at it and not give up.

 

I have a lanky 11 year old in a similar situation.  She's just a little tall, but she has longish limbs.  I do think some shorter girls get out of the gate quicker.  In our nutcracker, the sugarplum this year (it's an abbreviated nutcracker with just students - no company members) is a 16 year old girl who is the tallest dancer in our studio.  She struggled mightily to keep up until about 2 years ago and then she improved a TON.  There is a small girl my daughter's age and same level that has been featured over and over and over since she was small.  This year she is a back row kid.  Things keep shifting and it takes some motivation to dance through these changes!

 

Our daughter's dance company does a winter show and we're taking a break from that this year.  Last year was disappointing.  She's always been a background character and it's lots of time an energy for what is now a pretty ho hum experience.

 

On the upside, this fall she moved up a level to the 1st pointe level, so we should be buying pointe shoes for the first time in the coming months!  Dancing 5 days a week right now.  Somehow 5 days a week is feeling like lots more than 4 days.  She is dancing Nutcracker with Moscow Ballet in December and rehearsing for that too.  She is a Party Child with Moscow.  And a Harlequin with her dance studio.

 

Girl did a theater intensive over the summer and started voice this fall (mostly trailing on her older brother's lesson).  She actually has a very nice singing voice and is pondering doing a little theater auditioning.  I think if she can stay confident, she actually could do really well with theater.

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DS was cast as the Nutcracker Prince again.  While I am pleased for him, I need to have someone snag me his costumes.  He's literally grown a foot in the last year and I have serious doubts that they will fit.  The other boy who could have been the prince is such a squirt and seems to refuse to grow.   :lol:  The dance teacher teaching the Clara/Prince scenes told my DS he's going to be the prince for forever if that other boy doesn't decide to grow soon.  He's just too small to be lifting any of the Clara's yet.  It's kind of funny.   

 

At first I was a bit disappointed DS was cast as the prince.  That meant adding Friday evening to our dance week, which did not please me.  But then I stopped in to one of the practices and watched him dance.  Wow, the fact that he's grown so much, and grown as a dancer really shows big time.  He's so much more confident with these girls, and they are changing the choreography a bit this year to complicate the lifts a little since DS is capable.  It's fun to see. 

 

Do you have to do your own costume alterations? Oh my. That would make me crazy. There's some costume mistress out there doing them all. They have a day of fittings.

 

Our school hires young professionals for just a couple Nutcracker roles and the prince is one of them. All those lifts. I mean, he basically just stands there and supports the girl dancing Sugarplum for a huge chunk of time. They have a huge number of boys compared to other schools - two of their graduating boys went on to dance scholarships last year - but I think even they weren't strong enough (yet) to do all that sheer work. I am basically a dummy about this stuff, but I assume the girls come into the height of their abilities a lot younger than the boys, for whom basic growth means they'll be more capable at 19 or 20 than at 16 or 17.

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Do you have to do your own costume alterations? Oh my. That would make me crazy. There's some costume mistress out there doing them all. They have a day of fittings.

 

Our school hires young professionals for just a couple Nutcracker roles and the prince is one of them. All those lifts. I mean, he basically just stands there and supports the girl dancing Sugarplum for a huge chunk of time. They have a huge number of boys compared to other schools - two of their graduating boys went on to dance scholarships last year - but I think even they weren't strong enough (yet) to do all that sheer work. I am basically a dummy about this stuff, but I assume the girls come into the height of their abilities a lot younger than the boys, for whom basic growth means they'll be more capable at 19 or 20 than at 16 or 17.

 

He-heh, I AM the person the studio calls and sends people to for alterations.  

 

I was looking at pictures from last year... The black Nutcracker pants won't be an issue, I can whip out a new pair of those no problem.  But the fancy red coat, and then the whole white prince outfit... those I'm worried about.  Hopefully next week I can talk them into digging out the costumes early.  I may have to make all new stuff, and it's going to take me the 2 months until the performance to do so.  I've never made a jacket before...

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He-heh, I AM the person the studio calls and sends people to for alterations.  

 

I was looking at pictures from last year... The black Nutcracker pants won't be an issue, I can whip out a new pair of those no problem.  But the fancy red coat, and then the whole white prince outfit... those I'm worried about.  Hopefully next week I can talk them into digging out the costumes early.  I may have to make all new stuff, and it's going to take me the 2 months until the performance to do so.  I've never made a jacket before...

 

Ah, you *are* the costume mistress!

 

Last year I was introduced to the cadres of parents who volunteered so much that they ran things. Like, the mom who ran all the concessions for Nutcracker. And the mom who oversaw the ushers. I just did a single volunteer shift to hand out programs like a good parent and it was clear some of them just do it through the whole show - all 16 performances. I was like, eek, count me out. I'm glad there are others who can though!

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Dd10 has fallen in love with tap. I knew she would like it if she gave it a fair try, and she resisted for a long time. Now she's even performing with the junior company for tap!

 

The new ballet teacher managed to convince both my girls to come back to ballet, so guess who's getting a nice gift card this Christmas?

 

Ds is dancing now also, hip-hop and tap/jazz combo.

 

 

 

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Our school doesn't do Nutcracker. Instead we have a fall ballet.

 

This year is Giselle. Dd is Moyna, one of the main Wilis after Myrtha. Last night after rehearsal she was complaining that Zulme and Moyna dance a whole lot more than she realized -- she was tired, one of her toe pads had slipped so she was getting a blister, and the idea of standing quietly in line with the other Wilis was appealing. It doesn't help that we were gone the past 2 weeks (trip was planned before the show schedule was announced -- last year the show was in November, so we thought we were safe). So, slamming back into hours of rehearsal has been ... interesting.

 

The show is in about 10 days. We need to get her extra pointe shoes today -- they came in right before we left, and I had totally forgotten they existed. A the moment she has a dead pair and a pair that is rubbing an inflamed area. The new ones are the same brand as the dead pair, I think. Hah, I don't even know anymore! She's one of those who runs through pointe shoes like others run through bobby pins.

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Giselle was lovely -- all the floating across stage by bourree-ing en pointe, all the chugs (dd was placed in the front row, probably due to her main-Wili status, but her form truly was the best of anyone's, so proud mom moment there).

 

All the costume issues are over, thank God.  Ugh, this was supposed to be an easy show to costume since the director went ahead and purchased $300 tutus (paid for by the school, not by the dancers), but she tried to save money, then, on the bodices ... which she admitted later was really a bad idea.

 

I'm so glad dd got to be part of this.  I'm so glad this school does a different ballet each year, selected based on what will stretch the students  -- and, believe me, Giselle was a stretch!

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