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performancemom2003

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Reply with quote  #1 
Some background: my DD14 has been on a "performance team", a less expensive, less intense version of comp team where they mostly perform and do two non convention comps. She's also attended conventions and done pretty well.

We were considering, for next year, to have her compete indenpently.
Two main reasons for this are she loves her studio but to get recognition or good choreography takes a lot of money, and it's pretty big so a lot of politics and moms involved.
There's also a very good studio in our area that does extremely well (esp oh hip hop which our studio doesn't do) that she can't train at because the performance contract disallows it.

Plus there's also the flexibility that comes from getting to choose your schedule, competitions, etc.

For those of you who have competed independently- how do you do it? Is it more/less expensive? What comps allow entry? How do you arrange solos?
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #2 
My dd left her comp team at 14 for serious ballet and for the next two season brought a couple of solos to comps as an independent (4 or 5 comps each year).  Feel free to pm me if you'd like and I can answer specific questions for you
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NYFamily

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Reply with quote  #3 
Some comps & conventions won't allow it. I wish we had considered it for a year or two. One of my DD's needed a break from the team. That being said, comp days might get lonely as an independent. The kids get energy from each other before they perform. I've always found that to help their performances. Good luck to you!
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYFamily
Some comps & conventions won't allow it. I wish we had considered it for a year or two. One of my DD's needed a break from the team. That being said, comp days might get lonely as an independent. The kids get energy from each other before they perform. I've always found that to help their performances. Good luck to you!


Just a quick note that as an independent you aren't talking so much "comp days" are you are "hours".  My dd always took two solos and never spent more than part of one day.. 4 or 5 hours total... at a comp.  And most of that time was spent signing in and getting situated, warming up, getting dressed, doing make up, and running her numbers.  All kids are different, obviously, but she never felt lonely or had trouble gearing up to perform.  But then I do think that most kids who choose to go the independent route are different to begin with.  More independent (no pun intended) and in it for different reasons than the dancer who loves and fully embraces the team experience. Definitely not for everyone.... you really have to consider what you're getting yourself into it before diving in, it's true.
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #5 
Would she remain on the "performance team?"  Is there a chance she'd bump into the "comp team" from your studio at any of the competitions, or would you have the information & flexibility to schedule so as to not compete as an independent against her studio?

Also, as dancers get into their teen years, it seems to me that they know more and more local dancers.  Whether from conventions, public schools, church, master classes, whatever, if you are staying fairly local I'd think that the odds of bumping into friends from other studios would increase.  Whether they'd be social or more concerned with their own costume changes, make-up, warm-up, etc is another story. 
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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #6 
Does her "performance contract" allow independent entries?  Would the SO let you choose to do comps that the team is not performing at?  I ask that because (as other poster already mentioned) some comps do not allow independent entries.  Our SO will allow us to attend a comp that the team is not at - and we use the studio name (just one entry) in those situations.  It might give you more selection in comps to choose from.   We have done one by ourselves and will do nationals by ourselves in a few weeks.  With the conventions - it was hard until my daughter made a few friends and then she loved it.  But I agree -less hours - less time spent too!
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hsealover

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Reply with quote  #7 
DD has competed as an independent several times this season, and she loves it! We love getting to choose our comps and the amount of flexibility it allowed us to have. For most people, it increases responsibility, but it honestly just wasn't that different for us. We always used to check in, turn in music, and go it alone anyways, she was the only teen soloist from her studio for awhile(old studio) and her teacher never came to watch her anyways. The only added responsibility for us was the registration, which DD does herself. She's always been very independent. DD loves being alone at competitions because its an opportunity to really focus on her performances. She loves getting to watch other dances in peace and not have to worry about a bunch of costume and hair changes. She loves having to put herself out there and not have to deal with the drama of the studio. She's met so many more friends through being an independent and keeps in touch with a lot dancers she's met along the way. We love being able to stick with our own agenda. It has been so much more enjoyable.

DD also competes on a small team. It is also much more convenient than the larger team experience she had before. Less groups, less expensive, shorter competition days, more of a family type feel.

One of DD's favorite part of competitions are sticking around to watch dances all day, so the days aren't actually shorter, but just having the option to do what we want is very freeing.
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
My dd left her comp team at 14 for serious ballet and for the next two season brought a couple of solos to comps as an independent (4 or 5 comps each year).  Feel free to pm me if you'd like and I can answer specific questions for you


I feel as if this could be us in a few years...
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aking9957

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Reply with quote  #9 
There is good and bad that goes into being independent. I think first the child has to want to do it and be strong enough to do it without a team. We came from a place where there was a lot of jealousy and her age group shunned her when she won. Then the studio folded and everyone went their separate ways. We are the only ones that became fully independent competitors.
The good:
You can go to any studio you want for training, this means you can get all the best training for your child. At comps you show up, you compete, you leave. You don't have to sit there if you don't want. You can go to eat and get back by awatds. You can pick your choreographer. Sometimes you can pick the costume. Your only spending 100 or 200 a competition. You also have more say and more creativity. A LOT less drama.
The bad:
Not all competitions accept independents and there is a difference between the ones that do. Some you will never win no matter how amazing the performance is, you can place though and you are there for the feed back. You can tell these comps right away because they have studio awards, if your studio competes next year or at nationals, they get a discount. These comps should be done first so you get feedback. Then there are competitions that love true independents. They have a chance on winning their division at these because they know independents usually have to work harder. However, they are well aware you can get all the best training so you are also judged harder, technique has to be sound. Next, you have to do all the research yourself. This means contacting many competitions to find out if the accept independents. You have to keep a list and then start all over the next August. Your S.O. does a lot of work along with the dance teachers and directors to find comps right for their students. YOU now wear all those hats.

We just finished our second year competing as independents and no complaints. We miss having the other parents to chat with and miss some of the group dances but it's good. Just different and there is a lot to learn.
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