Registered: 1519680064 Posts: 3
Reply with quote #1
Here's a question... I pay my dance studio to have a choreographer set a solo for my child for competition. Then that choreographer decides to share the same choreography (sometimes in full, sometimes a large chunk of it) with other people DURING our competition season--either in private lessons not associated with said studio or at drop-in classes also not associated with said studio. The choreographer also decides to share the choreography on social media (performed by other dancers, not my child). Has anyone ever encountered this? Our studio owner has not and has told me to talk to the choreographer about it. The choreographer says it is his work and that he gets inspiration by teaching it elsewhere. I feel that it's disrespectful for the choreographer to do this. My childs warms up before performing her piece at competitions and dancers from other studios in the area are doing her dance behind her as she warms up. And, honestly, I don't know if other dancers are performing this same solo at competitions we do not attend! Second, I feel like this is a commissioned work that I paid for, so shouldn't I at least have some say in its being shared or not?
High Silver Member
Registered: 1516896573 Posts: 101
Reply with quote #2
While I appreciate your perspective, unfortunately I think all of this should have been discussed before you agreed on a price and paid to have the choreography set. The price may have been considerably higher for what you are requesting.
I would have assumed as you did, and it would not have occurred to me that this would happen, and I wouldn't have been happy about it... but unless "exclusivity" was discussed there really isn't anything you can do about this.
Registered: 1490819226 Posts: 255
Reply with quote #3
Hmm, I think I would have assumed that I paid for a custom piece for my child. I would have assumed that also the choreographer would have been more sensitive in the sense that he/she would not want their work used, un paid for. Now, those are all assumptions which don't lead to the answers.
Clearly if I were you I wouldn't work with that choreographer anymore, especially since you do not agree with his/her practices. But in the future, I would most certainly ask the questions you have here before hiring anyone. Now that I read your post, I want to ask those questions too, if I hired an outside choreographer. I'm coming from a viewpoint of limited experience - but I would have been as shocked as you with the response.
Registered: 1517870509 Posts: 65
Reply with quote #4
There is a cheerleading movie where this happened: BRING IT ON. I agree that choreography is owned by the creator but is seems unethical to teach the same choreography across different studios for competition. It definitely makes what you paid for and what your daughter recieved less valuable. It also shows that choreographer doesn’t have real skills if he has to teach the same thing over and over. I don’t think there is anything you can do unless you have a contract stating this choreography is for your child only. But now you are wiser and you can prevent his in the future by asking questions that you didn’t know to ask before.
High Platinum Member
Registered: 1349104304 Posts: 3,676
Reply with quote #5
My DD has been to master classes where a choreographer teaches the choreo from a solo he/she set. I think it happens all the time.
Registered: 1329494474 Posts: 6,346
Reply with quote #6
I've seen it. It happens more than we think, I bet. Particularly w/choreos who work w/lots of different studios across a region or perhaps even the country. I suspect their argument would be that they are 'sharing' their work w/you... allowing you to use it. Not 'giving' it to you. And since it's 'their' work they can do whatever they want w/it.
eta: tbh, I'm not exactly sure what I think about it because what I think depends on who's perspective I'm taking. I can make a pretty good case for either side actually.
High Platinum Member
Registered: 1266718806 Posts: 3,586
Reply with quote #7
We went to a nationals in Las Vegas one year and one of our senior soloists had the same choreography (give or take a little) and song as a senior small group who was also competing there. We live in Michigan, they were from California.
How did it happen? Same choreographer. DD has had guest choreographers who have taught the same choreo or combinations at conventions too.
Registered: 1365519825 Posts: 2,141
Reply with quote #8
A few years ago I sat down in the audience to watch a contemporary solo category and my DD's solo music started to play. Exact same cut of a long song. I looked up and watched the almost identical choreo to my daughter play out across the stage. One turn was different, and one leap was different. Otherwise, the only other difference was the relative abilities and style of the dancer vs my kid. The program said it was from a studio we'd never been against before. I looked up their faculty and DD's choreographer was not listed. I just wrote it off to the sometimes decidedly UN-random nature of the universe.
It was some months later that I learned DD's choreographer, who has a teaching and choreography assignment with our studio, also sets solos at that other studio. Same solo. Same year. Wonder what her bladder felt like when she realized the two studios would go head to head. Thank goodness they were different ages or else they would have been in the same CLASS! She's a lovely choreographer and seems to be a nice and friendly woman but I lost all respect for her that day. Thank goodness DD wasn't sitting beside me.
Registered: 1448746147 Posts: 19
Reply with quote #9
I think it depends exactly on the degree in which the choreographer uses/copies your daughter’s choreography. I think it’s very hard to have something completely unseen and undone with dance being around for hundreds of years. What matters in my opinion is how it is executed . Question: Is it just a combination of skills or is it also copied down to the small nuisances your child has in her routine? (arms, hand placements ect.) I am not well versed in dance, but are their certain combos or skills certain levels are expected to have? I guess everyone (even top choreographers) have had to at least be inspired by other choreographers too. Certain, choreographers may put certain skills in most of their dancer’s routine so that it makes it known it is their choreography. I’d be concerned if there is a whole routine that is nearly an exact replicate of your daughters outside 2-3 combinations your daughter has. Who knows though if I paid for something too, I might catch some feelings as well. This is why I could never see myself paying for something like this. With all the money we as parents already put out! No judging you though. To each their own.
High Bronze Member
Registered: 1458412015 Posts: 44
Reply with quote #10
I was reading some comp reviews and saw something similiar just happened and had to check it out for myself to believe it. This was for groups, look at Revive winners from the California convention. The teen winner was “In Full Effect”, from the Dance Zone in Nevada, then Revive Phoenix Teen winner was In Full Effect from Dance Connection Scottsdale and the really bad part is the pictures even have the same costumes! I am sure the Dance Connection parents paid a pretty penny for the outside choreographer, you would think at least the costume recommendation:request would have been different.
Registered: 1519680064 Posts: 3
Reply with quote #11
Thank you for all of the replies! We are definitely shocked that this happens. I guess I just feel that it's really disrespectful to the dancer, especially in a solo situation. I have read on some other forums that many studios have their choreographers sign contracts for competition pieces, stating that the choreography is owned by the studio and thus cannot be taught elsewhere. In my mind, it was just a given that I was purchasing the choreography (and I mean the very specific choreography to the specific song...not just moves in general). I think our studio director will be thinking long and hard about how to handle this going forward. Right now she doesn't even know what to say or do about it. She doesn't want to offend (and possibly lose) the choreographer, but I think she also needs to look out for her studio and her customers (the parents who are paying a crap ton of money to have their kids do this!).
High Bronze Member
Registered: 1491451951 Posts: 41
Reply with quote #12
It's situations like this that make me thankful to be from a micro studio where our 3 teachers choreograph all the dances themselves.
Registered: 1394807833 Posts: 1,313
Reply with quote #13
Originally Posted by
angelashunter It's situations like this that make me thankful to be from a micro studio where our 3 teachers choreograph all the dances themselves. Me too!!!! All of DD's dances are custom to her for solos and her group dances for her group.
Registered: 1519680064 Posts: 3
Reply with quote #14
We came from a smaller studio where all of the teachers were the choreographers, so it just never occurred to me that this could happen (or that someone would actually do this)! It's really disheartening for the kids.
I honestly don't care about what happens with the choreography once the competition season is over, but I just don't think it's right to teach it elsewhere during the competition season.
High Gold Member
Registered: 1402459141 Posts: 642
Reply with quote #15
I don't think it was smart on the choreographers side because if word gets out that they teach the same choreography, then they will get less business the following year.
Which is why I think most outside choreographers would never do this if they think they will get caught. I have heard of it happening around here, it was group choreography and they never actually saw it in person. They had just YouTube searched the choreographer and/or song name and saw similar choreography was given hours away.