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Marnitalane

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Reply with quote  #1 
Just wanted to vent....another year of competitive dance has come and gone, and another year we've watched the same girl be front and center in every hip hop routine she's in. (And she's in a LOT.) Its so unfair to the other kids. It's killing morale. These kids are 11-13...give others a chance. Especially others that tumble. (I know we should leave, but my daughter only does hip hop and wE wouldn't be able to find another hip hop studio)
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'm sorry. Witnessed this at prior "studio" and saw the destructive path it plows through both dancers and their parents. I don't know your specific situation but we now drive a good bit, but it is worth every minute. Toxic environments are no place for children. This is supposed to be a place  of growth and recreation, not a demoralizing situation. I wish you luck and am sending you hugs.
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #3 
To play devil's advocate ...

Maybe this dancer is actually the best, hardest-working, or/or most dedicated dancer?  Who remembers and applies corrections most quickly and consistently?  One who runs "full out" in the studio as if is she is on stage?

Obviously I do not know your specific situation.  If this dancer is the owner's daughter or niece, then well, there you go (though that doesn't automatically negate the above possibility).

Not every studio is, or should be, an "everybody gets equal stage time & position" studio.  But ours certainly is not.  Very few dancers get solos or "lead roles," and they tend to be the same dancers every year.  How much is favoritism vs. the result of work or talent can make for (at times aggravating) late night conversation at the bar.  But if there's a move in a group dance requiring flexibility, I know which dancers will be featured.  Something requiring turns?  I know how the lines will shift.  Amazing feet? A bright smile, good acting, maybe some sharp movements? Strength for lifts? Yep, there will be shifts for those as well.  Despite all that, there are still some dancers, certainly in the 11-12 age range, buried almost entirely in the back.  When I watch in class, sometimes it's clearly obvious why (lack of attention, effort, or focus in class; technical skills a hot mess), sometimes less so. 

I've shared a story before where a teacher told my youngest - give your best effort EVERY TIME, and you'll be in the front row, but for now you're going to the back.  It was a great wake-up call!  She eventually earned her spot back.  Since then, her progress has been amazing, and I couldn't be more happy with the teacher.

Again, I don't know the specifics of your studio, its goals, or anything of the children who dance there. 

And I am truly sorry to hear that you are frustrated.

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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #4 
I don't mind when the same dancer is front and center in all dances if she truly is the best dancer.  It's always nice when the kids in the back get to come up front for a few 8-counts at least though.  It's good to see everyone!

You mentioned leaving but really, that is a common problem.  Comp studios want to do well at competitions so of course they put their best people in the front.  Like Dave said, hopefully lines are changing for different parts so that different dancers are getting a chance to be up front.  Is the dancer you were talking about the only one front and center for the entire dance?
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Marnitalane

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi. Thanks for all these great replies. Some of these comments are totally true. The dancer in front DOES work hard and is a great "actress". Unfortunately though, they also put her in front for jazz pieces, and she's got possibly the worst feet and legs at the studio. (Thankfully my child only competes hip hop, but the jazz people are certainly miffed!) To top matters off, the dancer in question tells her peers she's the "star" ..... well that's obvious! This is a director/teacher/parent issue. The girl is 12. Ridiculous.
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #6 
We have a little of that although our formations change frequently in dances so it's not always as obvious. The girl who has previously in years past been the primary focus has become less so- she doesn't have the facility or flexibility. It's way more obvious than it used to be. She has the best memory for choreography so she was always front and center when they were little for that reason... but people have caught up and surpassed her and she's struggling not just in dance but emotionally about it. The new favored dancer is full of herself... and the SO doesn't notice her mistakes... well at least until the videos come out and there she is front and center messing up. I have a feeling some things may be changing next year. The other kids feel vindicated. My daughter is typically in good positions with featured parts, etc but she's the most corrected/yelled at dancer in the studio so no one envies her 😂 That being said in the comp world the judges are being sure to check out those back corner "buried" dancers--- they need to be on par as best as possible. We had one blow a double turn and she called her right out- said I've seen these kids so triples and quads in other dances you need to carry your weight. We've also heard judges tell everyone to dance like a dancer they've picked out and it's not always the front center girl. We've also got 2 great dancers who will never be front and center bc they're too tall. It looks awkward. At least until the others catch up. So there's always a lot that goes into it... but yeah, I imagine there is not much you can do if you want to compete and be only hip hop
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Dance1SLife

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Reply with quote  #7 
We have this same issue in our studio. I know exactly why this kid with the flailing monkey arms and overly exaggerated faces to the point they are freakish, crappy extensions, flexed feet, etc. stays in the front of every single group dance, even though she places 6 or 7 in her solo. This kid like the one you're speaking about tells all of the team memebers that the girls have problems with her because shes the best and in the front of every dance. One class even gave her a turns solo in a group dance (she is still doing it even though she is nowhere near consistent enough with the combo) when their are other girls in the group who can actually do the turns. It's all stupid studio politics because her Parents help around the studio. It's funny though because my child and plenty of other girls place higher in solos and are usually in the first or second line but a teacher told me this year they wouldn't put her in the front because the other parents complain since my child wins solos she can't be in the front of group dances as well. Call me crazy but wouldn't you want your best dancers front and center? I guess not if you just want parents to keep shelling out cash because they believe their kid is the best. I think it's silly because the judges at comps always critique the other girl who magaically gets to stay in the front of every dance no matter what the judges say, but any other kid forgets to put one arm up for .5 seconds and that other child is instantly moved to another line. It sucks but it's a good lesson to tell your kids to work to their best ability and it doesn't matter what line you're in as long as you are doing the best at your part, because the right people will notice you. If you're going to shine, you'll shine no matter where you're placed.
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3mama5678

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Reply with quote  #8 
Just my opinion- your child's teachers want EVERYONE to succeed. But it's competitive dance, and the teachers are putting said student in the front for a reason. They are the best dancer or the best performer. Maybe it came naturally or maybe the child worked for it. I know as a mom it sucks to not be able to see your child 'shine', but are you there for them to improve or to be a star? Go to a less competitive studio if you aren't interested in a challenge. I always say 'You're only as good as your back row.' Try googling 'I was a back row dancer' and give that a read. Being front and centre isn't what a lot of moms think it is.
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