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LittleMonkeyMom

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Dd is 12, so just moving up to teen at most competitions this year. She is doing a jazz/open solo this year and her teacher is really pushing the acro tricks.

Dd has just taken a pretty big growth spurt, and is inconsistent with her aerial and back handspring (she had the aerial last competition season and got the back handspring over the summer before she grew) as a result. DT is really pressuring her to take extra tumbling lessons and “get both tricks back”.

I am hesitant to push dd on tumbling. I worry about injury, particularly after a large growth spurt where muscles may still need to catch up with bone growth.

DT is very concerned about scores/placement without the tricks, but I feel like I’ve seen plenty of dancers do well without those things. Is there a significant increase in acro tricks in dances once you hit the teen age group? Is there something I’m missing? Thoughts?
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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #2 
My oldest DD is 15, so I've sat through hundreds of teen solos. [smile] I think it can be regional, but it definitely seems that the acro tricks are few and far between in the teen category, especially a back handspring. Since the dancers are older and have (at least the advanced dancers) had more training, it seems like they focus more on technique and artistry. In fact, DD and her contemporary choreographer decided to do her solo with no turns or tricks at all, so she can focus on technique and "make the judges feel something instead of trying to impress them with turns". I do know that if a trick is performed without good technique, you will definitely get marked down. 
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prancer

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I totally agree with rdsmom - tricks diminish at the teen level.  My dd is a former gymnast - and she does far fewer "tricks" in teen than she used to in the younger levels. 
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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #4 
It's not cheerleading.  She will be just fine without gymnastics
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Ktyyyyyyy

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I feel like the tricks peak in the junior age group. I have seen many teens place with no tricks at all. I feel like back handsprings are really uncommon to see in any type of solo.
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Jinkerbelle

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I have to agree with what everyone else has already said. I have another question though, has anyone else noticed that in the teen category for solos that jazz typically doesn’t score as well as a lyrical or contemporary solo? From my experience that is what I feel I see happening. There have been a handful that will place but not nearly as many as the lyrical or contemporary solos!
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momcrew

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinkerbelle
I have to agree with what everyone else has already said. I have another question though, has anyone else noticed that in the teen category for solos that jazz typically doesn’t score as well as a lyrical or contemporary solo? From my experience that is what I feel I see happening. There have been a handful that will place but not nearly as many as the lyrical or contemporary solos!


Maybe because we are both in metro Detroit but I absolutely see this. I also think it's trickling down to juniors as the lyrical and contemporary categories are getting larger every year. 

I would have a "plan b" for her solo. What can she do in those combos instead of the aerial or back handspring in case she's having an off day? Also, any "trick" that isn't performed technically sound is going to bring down the score. I think dancers are better off keeping their solos simple and showing off what they are good at, technically, rather than loading it with a bunch of tricks they are only ok at doing. You don't get points in competitive dance for trying. 
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Jinkerbelle

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Quote:
Originally Posted by momcrew


Maybe because we are both in metro Detroit but I absolutely see this. I also think it's trickling down to juniors as the lyrical and contemporary categories are getting larger every year. 

I would have a "plan b" for her solo. What can she do in those combos instead of the aerial or back handspring in case she's having an off day? Also, any "trick" that isn't performed technically sound is going to bring down the score. I think dancers are better off keeping their solos simple and showing off what they are good at, technically, rather than loading it with a bunch of tricks they are only ok at doing. You don't get points in competitive dance for trying. 

I think that is very good advice!
I’m glad I’m not alone in my observation! I wonder if it is at least partially because it is easier to sense a connection or emotional feeling to a lyrical or contemporary solo than jazz... and maybe by the time the dancers are old enough to compete in teen or senior category that is what the judges are really looking for?
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dave9988

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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatball77
It's not cheerleading.  She will be just fine without gymnastics


A million time, this!!!!

Yes, strange but true - you can win a dance competition by dancing!!!!!!!!!
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinkerbelle
has anyone else noticed that in the teen category for solos that jazz typically doesn’t score as well as a lyrical or contemporary solo? From my experience that is what I feel I see happening. There have been a handful that will place but not nearly as many as the lyrical or contemporary solos!


Around us we see almost exclusively contemporary solos at competitions, lyrical used to be a popular style, but not any more.  So your question is a good question - most solos that place well are contemporary, but most solos entered are contemporary, so it's hard to tell.  We see more styles represented in the group competition, and we definitely see better representation by other styles in the overalls.

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momcrew

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinkerbelle
I think that is very good advice! I’m glad I’m not alone in my observation! I wonder if it is at least partially because it is easier to sense a connection or emotional feeling to a lyrical or contemporary solo than jazz... and maybe by the time the dancers are old enough to compete in teen or senior category that is what the judges are really looking for?


I can see that. A few of our juniors did lyrical solos last year and that was probably their biggest critique, connecting to the music. 
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cram

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Reply with quote  #12 
You are right. The older the dancer the fewer the tricks. The open category varies from an acro type of solo to a completely contemporary or a jazzy solo. It all depends on the choreographer. If you tell your choreographer NO to the tricks, which we did with my oldest DD when she was 13 (she was a gymnast before dance but at 12 had many pains due to growing and was scared to do tricks) then they will have to listen. The result of us getting rid of tricks helped my DD focus on her technique and make every move count, it has made her a better dancer since before that she relied on her tricks. Her open solos usually do well but it is highly due to her technique and the great choreography. Your choreographer should know how to add 'tricky' things that are not your typical aerial. If your dancer is strong enough to propel herself to do aerials and backhandsprings then she is strong enough to learn a move that shows her strength without sacrificing her body and losing technique in the process.
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Jinkerbelle

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prancer


Around us we see almost exclusively contemporary solos at competitions, lyrical used to be a popular style, but not any more.  So your question is a good question - most solos that place well are contemporary, but most solos entered are contemporary, so it's hard to tell.  We see more styles represented in the group competition, and we definitely see better representation by other styles in the overalls.


Funny you mention that about lyrical solos, I have actually noticed contemporary solos now far outnumber any other style even lyrical. 🤔 especially teen and senior categories.
I think at our studio many dancers will sign up for the Contemporary solo and it will end up still being a lyrical. Not all but most.
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heidi459

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinkerbelle
I have to agree with what everyone else has already said. I have another question though, has anyone else noticed that in the teen category for solos that jazz typically doesn’t score as well as a lyrical or contemporary solo? From my experience that is what I feel I see happening. There have been a handful that will place but not nearly as many as the lyrical or contemporary solos!


Back when my dd did comp I noticed that trend as well but, if I"m honest, I'd have to say it was because most of the jazz numbers simply weren't that amazing.  Those that were.. & there were always a small handful... did in fact do very well.  But good strong well performed jazz is not easy is to pull off.  and that's what the judges are looking for once the kids are older/more mature.  Cutesy just won't cut it anymore, you have to be able to "really" dance.  Even w/contemporary you can get away w/a lot of posing.  Dd's old studio would (& still does) clean house w/those types of contemporary numbers at every comp.  Very impressive.... but not a lot of "dancing".    

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Jinkerbelle

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Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459



Back when my dd did comp I noticed that trend as well but, if I"m honest, I'd have to say it was because most of the jazz numbers simply weren't that amazing.  Those that were.. & there were always a small handful... did in fact do very well.  But good strong well performed jazz is not easy is to pull off.  and that's what the judges are looking for once the kids are older/more mature.  Cutesy just won't cut it anymore, you have to be able to "really" dance.  Even w/contemporary you can get away w/a lot of posing.  Dd's old studio would (& still does) clean house w/those types of contemporary numbers at every comp.  Very impressive.... but not a lot of "dancing".    


Yes I see what you are saying! At this past nationals I did see a teen jazz solo place first overall... it was really energetic and powerful but I couldn’t watch the whole thing because it made me kinda uncomfortable. It was so sexy and over the top I couldn’t help but think I was glad that was not my daughter.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #16 
My daughter's solo will actually be a test case on the category question this year.  It could be contemporary or jazz or open, but it is the same dance regardless of category.  I am not sure how the studio will enter her, or if we will ever be encouraged to enter it differently as the season progresses.  I can let you know after the season how it went.

Last year a very talented dancer in our area did something similar, and I remember it was entered as contemporary at one comp and as jazz at another - it placed well both times - so perhaps it doesn't matter all that much.  
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Jinkerbelle

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prancer
My daughter's solo will actually be a test case on the category question this year.  It could be contemporary or jazz or open, but it is the same dance regardless of category.  I am not sure how the studio will enter her, or if we will ever be encouraged to enter it differently as the season progresses.  I can let you know after the season how it went.

Last year a very talented dancer in our area did something similar, and I remember it was entered as contemporary at one comp and as jazz at another - it placed well both times - so perhaps it doesn't matter all that much.  

My daughter’s first year that’s how her solo was, it was up for debate if it would be entered lyrical, contemporary, open, or jazz. At the end of the day and at every comp it was entered jazz. She placed first at almost every comp that year as well. But when other parents or dancers remember that solo, they remember it as lyrical.
So probably right on, doesn’t really matter what it is entered in, as long as it is good and stands out. 😊
Best of luck this year, can’t wait to hear the updates! 😘
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Kfish1987

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Reply with quote  #18 
Everyone wants to do lyrical or contemporary for solos. That is why my daughter does tap and jazz solos. The last competition we attended, she was the only tap solo there in all the age groups. There wasn't even a jazz solo. It was either contemporary or lyrical. There were a lot of aerials. No back handsprings.

With regards to the tricks, my daughter got 3rd overall last year with her Jazz solo without tricks. But the 2 contemporary solos who were 1and 2 did have the aerial.
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DanceMomLaura

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinkerbelle
I have to agree with what everyone else has already said. I have another question though, has anyone else noticed that in the teen category for solos that jazz typically doesn’t score as well as a lyrical or contemporary solo? From my experience that is what I feel I see happening. There have been a handful that will place but not nearly as many as the lyrical or contemporary solos!


I agree with you as well.  I'm in Massachusetts and I see more lyrical/contemporary solos winning over jazz in the teen/senior categories.
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LittleMonkeyMom

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Reply with quote  #20 
Thanks everyone -- I really appreciate the feedback!

We didn't actually see that much tumbling even in the junior level last year (and really none in the teens, honestly) until we got to nationals (where there was a LOT & dances with tumbling did score higher there), but I think DT is remembering nationals & that's why there's a push. 

I also think, to one poster's point, dd has some non-tumbling skills that showcase her strength & ability just as well as an aerial or a back handspring & those could definitely go in her dance in place of the tumbling, so that's something we can talk to DT about for sure.

Thank you all again - you've made me feel much better! [smile]

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MimisMom

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Reply with quote  #21 
My dd (7) is doing a lyrical solo and she does not have an aerial or back handspring yet, so I was kinda worried how she’d do overall without these tricks compared to other dancers. But now you have made me all feel better by reading your responses. 😊.
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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #22 
In my short time, I find that the higher scoring minis (let's say 7-10) seem to have the most tricks.  Partially why we started tumbling at a gymnastics studio - as that's all I saw!  My DD is not a natural tumbler - and really does have plenty of fear (lol), so it's taken her a long time to even approach back handsprings.  She got her aerial 2 weeks ago - a surprise to me because we kind of put that trick 'away' for a while --so now we are working on keeping it.   At the same time however, she's really improved technique (all the new ballet classes she has) and honestly I wasn't really missing the tricks in this years dance. 

Although now DT wants to add the aerial.

She's 8, I have a feeling (or hope ) this won't last for long.  [smile]

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jule425

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Reply with quote  #23 
My daughter also will be competing age 12 this season. She has a musicale theatre solo, with too many tricks imo, and a contemporary with absolutely no tricks.  I will be interested to see how they end up comparing this year. Her contemporary last year was out of the box with a couple of tricks, and scored well. She placed 2nd place 3 out of 4 times with it.


 
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #24 
I have a trickless 12 year old. She nearly always places. Her technique is good. I feel like in teen technique matters even more and quality of movement. A well placed and well performed trick here or there can give a Dance a wow factor but it has to flow, fit and Isn’t a necessity. She probably wants your daughter to go full out and try from the beginning and then scale back or alter as need be. These growth spurts are killer.
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DancerTilDawn

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave9988


A million time, this!!!!

Yes, strange but true - you can win a dance competition by dancing!!!!!!!!!
I totally agree in the long run if all your kid can do is tricks then she is in the wrong sport
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