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shewolf

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Reply with quote  #1 
My daughter is loving working on the comp team so far.  She is only 6 so dancing with the "big girls" is exciting for her.  The teacher has expressed her interest in letting her do a solo.  I'm kind of nervous in letting her do this...  This will be her first year with competition.  What age did you guys let your dancers attempt a solo???  And do you think it would be better to just have her do a few group dances first to get the hang of it??  If this was your kid would you allow her to do this or have her wait.  I don't want her to get overwhelmed. 
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Angel2228

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Reply with quote  #2 
Depends on your dancer. My dd absolutely not. She wouldn't have been ready and they get so pricy. I'd hold off unless you have the money to spare. I dropped a solo from dd for ballet privates. Dd had her first solo at 10 as well as most first solos were at 10 in our area. Their category was huge and it was very traumatic. I don't think anyone was prepared that they may not win.
Some parents opt for a duet instead of a solo.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #3 
Definitely depends on your dancer.  I have 4 daughters that dance(d) and one I definitely wouldn't have let do a solo her first year but the others could have handled it.  
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'm probably not the one to ask.  My dd (now 17) was 13 going on 14 when she did her first solo.... and if I had to go back and do it all again?  I wouldn't want to do it any differently.  It was perfect timing for her/us.
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disneymom2two

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Reply with quote  #5 
Mine's 11 and has done duet and trio but no solo yet.  Two girls on her team have solos; they're 9 and 10.  My daughter has a duet this year.  She said she'd rather do a duet and I like it because we split the choreography fees and practice fees.  
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #6 
My older DD was 8. She had done 1 year of precompany and 1 year of company before the solo. She had 4 groups and a solo that year. She was for sure ready at that point.

My younger DD was 5 when she learned it (turned 6 right when season started but Dance age was 5 that year for most comps)... in any case, she had been dragged to competitions and was fully aware of the scene, etc. She had done 2 recitals with 2 dances in each and in the one just preceding she was totally working the spotlight. She unbeknownst to me told the SO she wanted one and she agreed she was ready. And she was lol she was precompany that year so did her groups at 2 comps and her solo at all 4 comps and nationals. She placed every time (in Intermediate). She's the only one who has had a solo that young. The next year every one of her teammates wanted one and she let them do one but they weren't ready. It caused some drama. This year for her for solos it's just her and another of her teammates who is 9 almost 10 (my DD was 7 turned 8 during season)

Financially it's an expense for sure. Her first year we didn't pay a choreography or rehearsal fee and costume was not upcharged at all. She learned it crazy quick- like 2 45 minute chunks. (I mean, she's no phenom, lol- just a decent little kid for her age who' was very confident on stage-
So it's not like it was hard). We basically paid entry fees but for us we were already there doing the comp thing and it actually made it easier bc it gave her something to enjoy over the weekend.

Just know once you start it's very hard to go back... a few of our parents have tried and the kids have a really hard time with it. And a few have been recommended not to after too.
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #7 
Our Solo competitions all have a 3 years old solo division and some have a 3 years and under division and it's always pretty big. The 4 year old solo divisions are then twice the size.
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dancemonkaymom

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Reply with quote  #8 
My daughter was 11 when she did her first jazz solo after only one year of competition jazz. She was the only junior doing a solo from her studio and it made her feel very good until she realized she was a big fish in a little pond. it was then that we realized she was really good at tricks but how little technique she had. It hit her pretty hard and she didnt do another solo until we changed studios three years later when her technique drastically improved. She did solos every year until her senior year and while she wasnt the very best, she continued to improve every year.
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Momof3

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCKDAD
My older DD was 8. She had done 1 year of precompany and 1 year of company before the solo. She had 4 groups and a solo that year. She was for sure ready at that point. My younger DD was 5 when she learned it (turned 6 right when season started but Dance age was 5 that year for most comps)... in any case, she had been dragged to competitions and was fully aware of the scene, etc. She had done 2 recitals with 2 dances in each and in the one just preceding she was totally working the spotlight. 


Similar experience here. ODD was 8. YDD was 7. 
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Beccasmom

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Reply with quote  #10 
DD was 10 when she did her first solo. She started dance at 3 1/2 (was 4 by her first recital). Did the first 4 years as rec, then was asked to join company at 8. They only did one group dance in one comp that year, and 2 the following year, and then the year after that year she did her first solo, along with 3 group dances. She has done a solo every year since ( 2 last year), and a couple of duets and trios in some years. I feel like that timing was good, she maybe could have done one a little earlier but there would be no real benefit to starting any sooner.
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emmymom

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Reply with quote  #11 
DD was 5 and turned 6 during the season of her first solo,it was her second year on the competition team. She is now 19 and entering her sophomore year of college where she dances on her college dance team after dancing competitively for 14 years...

Looking back, I would never, and I repeat never, have done things the way I did with my DD and dance!  I don't regret that she danced and never will; it was one of the greatest gifts I could have ever given to her.  

But, I regret much of the road that we traveled in her dance life including things like solos, duet/trios, plus multiple small and large groups at 5, 6,7, 8 years of age...totally unnecessary and so much money and commitment. That's not saying that she didn't love every minute of doing them, she did!  And I enjoyed watching her dance every minute of those dances too (at the time), but it was all just so unnecessary to her development as a dancer. 

My advice is do what feels right in your head and gut; do not be influenced by your heart or you may easily be lead astray in the crazy world of competitive dance.  I got so sucked into it all with my DD, it was crazy (I never realized it at the time) and I actually think it's far worse today.  

Please know that my DD and I both miss it all terribly today; it was a huge part of our lives for 14 years and dance largely defines who my DD is today.  However, both of us realize how much time and money was needlessly spent on far too many numbers for all those years.  

DD was lucky, she had excellent training over the years even though she was at a comp heavy studio so it softens the realization a little bit, just a little though.  She would have had the same excellent training without 15 competition numbers as a 10 year old! 

Just remember, it's really all about the training, not the number of dances your child does a year or how many solos, duets, or extra groups they are in...it's the quality of the training he/she is receiving that matters in the end!  

It's just that simple...
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hsealover

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Reply with quote  #12 
DD started dancing when she was 7, her first competition was a comp/convention and she was 11 but competed as 12 because of her birthday and the time of year, and she had her first solo the year after that when she was 13. The timing was perfect for DD and really just depends on your child. I wouldn't change a thing, that year was a turning point for DD and she really blossomed into a true performer.
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udamom

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Reply with quote  #13 
My daughters were 9 and 11 with their first solos. My 11yr old did it her 2nd competition year, and my 9 year old did it her 3rd competition year.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #14 
DS had his first solo at 15.  He started dance at 2 and comp team at 4.  Both studios we attended had a rule that you had to have been on team for at least a year before you could get a s/d/t and you had to do a duet/trio before you could do a solo.  Up here most studios only offer s/d/t to their strongest dancers by invite only and the second studio felt he needed to work on his technique before he would be ready for a solo.  He did them every year from 15 to 19.  I'm glad that he wasn't offered on at 6/7/8 because once you get on that train you can't get off and it is a lot of pressure for a little one sometimes.
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elastigal

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Reply with quote  #15 
DD will be 9 in September and this upcoming season she will do her first solo. Last season at 8 she did a duet and loved it. It was her 2nd year on the comp team - first year she did 2 groups only. This year she'll have 4 groups + production and the solo. For her it is manageable and we feel she's ready for her solo. Only you k ow your child but for us we believe in the slow build up.
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SassyStar

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Reply with quote  #16 
My DD is only 6. This is her second competition year. She was offered a solo and I so badly wanted it for her. However, the cost of the solo, I knew we couldn't comfortable afford it. She was in a group and a trio. The other two girls in the trio had their first solo, so it did make my DD feel upset at first.

I'm not sure if next year if I will let her do a solo or not. It depends if a trio/duet is required.
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Dancinandlovinit

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Reply with quote  #17 
My daughter was 9. She wasn't ready. She only wanted to do a solo that year because everyone else was. By 10 and even better 11, she was ready. 
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Mumof4

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Reply with quote  #18 
My DD is 6 and this is her second comp year with solos. In Aus it isn't uncommon for little ones to have solos.
It's her first year in troupe and I found having a solo first amazing for her confidence.
She is an extremely shy child, won't talk to adults that she doesn't know very well. Even her friends parents. She would cry if I had to leave her with a babysitter.
Dance has always been her safe place (it sounds stupid because she's so little) but she never gets nervous before she goes on stage and she will happily go to any new dance class without nerves. She also knows she can't always win (she placed 3rd last comp)
It totally depends on the child and how they handle it. I am glad we did it for her. She's almost 7 and has 3 solos and a duo, her troupe too.
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amandafarris03

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Reply with quote  #19 
my daughter was 6.
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melissa745

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Reply with quote  #20 
I let my DD do one this year, at 11. I wanted her to have a year feeling confident as the oldest in the junior division before being thrown into the teen division.

It was good for us, because the teen divisions have about 20-40 entries, and there have been easily 100 entries in the teen division.

And I know overalls aren't the most important thing about a solo, but at least the odds are a bit better when you are fewer girls. It was a real confidence booster.
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LittleMonkeyMom

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Reply with quote  #21 
My dd did her first solo at age 8, but that was her 3rd year competing.

Year 1 she did small group only.  Year 2 she did small group, production & a trio.  So I felt like we built up to the solo over a few years & she was ready at that point.

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BallerinaPaisley06

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Reply with quote  #22 
My daughter did her first solo at 8 years old (she's almost 11 now) and she was ready and loved every second of it.  It's quite common here in my part of Canada.  She now does two solos each year for the past two years - ballet and jazz and does very well. 
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jamquint1

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Reply with quote  #23 
My daughter just finished her first year of competition, but 2nd year of exposition team and almost 4th year of dance classes. She will be 7 in a month, and competed both in a small group of 5-7 year olds and did a solo. I initially just had her in the small group, but she begged and begged to do a solo. I spoke with her DT, who supported her giving it a try with the caveat that if it became too much, she could stop or she could just have her solo spot weekly, but not compete the solo. She loved it, worked really hard, and ended up placing well at nationals 3rd overall in minis, elite level and 3rd at grand nationals. I completely realize that dance competitions are mostly like Whose Line is it Anyway where "the rules are made up and the points don't matter" but for her it was a big deal and it gave her a goal to work towards. I would say, don't push and it really depends on the dancer. I've seen 5 and 6 year olds in our studio compete solos when they did not seem ready IMHO
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #24 
It all depends on the child and your bank account.  Mine did her first at 6 and loved it, but that doesn't mean anything...
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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #25 
My daughter is 7 and this was her first year in comp.  She had one small group and a solo.  This year she has come so far as a dancer due to that one on one we get with solo practice.  So I get two benefits - her doing solo (which she really wanted) and that growth and development that comes with one on one focus.  Our studio is not a comp heavy studio, so next year she may add one thing - a solo, small group - and maybe a duet.  I am new to this world - and I found that she was comparable to dancers in her age/age group and she handled the scene very well.  Honestly she'd do way more if I'd let her, but we have plenty of time for that. 
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