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Dancenl

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Reply with quote  #1 
So my DD will be doing her first solo this year and she is competing in a few comps. She has to compete aganist some other girls in her studio that are on a different team. They are all the same age but the other girls are on a better team. She's been working really hard and is hoping to make that team next year....Soo today at the studio we seen some of there solos and I feel like the choreography is way better then hers....I think she can do more but they have different teachers so she's not pushed as hard. I'm not sure what to do.....should we try to add something to her solo or just leave it...I don't want to piss off the teacher....but at the same time I don't want her to compete aganist her friends and be embrassed that hers isn't as good. She doesn't know she is competing aganist her friends yet cause the competition just combined the categories and I don't want to tell her. What do I do???
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Lorax

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Reply with quote  #2 
Oh boy, dancenl, there's a lot to talk about.

First, you may not realize it, but changing choreography is sort of like changing an artist's painting. Some dance teachers might not care, but a lot could be very upset by it. It's their original work.

Next, you're in a tough spot having to compete against friends. My advice is to have your daughter compete her solo as close to her own version of perfection as she can. No missed opportunities for technique, turn out, pointed toes, facial expressions that engage the audience, knowing what story she is telling and communicating her energy to the world. A simpler but cleaner routine will trump a more difficult routine any day.

All of the girls will know about the difference in choreography, they will put 2 and 2 together on their own. I'd stay out of that part. Look around and get the lay of the land to figure out what your daughter needs to do to be choreographed by the other teacher for next year and try to stay on the positive path of looking forward to that goal.

Do everything you can to keep your eyes and your energy on your daughter and on her journey and on keeping it positive and enjoyable for her. Comparison is the thief of joy, and comparison to friends can destroy friendships fast.

Don't do anything but encourage your daughter, listen if SHE is upset by this, but don't plant those seeds. She may just perform her solo and be ecstatic and then you can both stay above any drama that might pop up otherwise.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #3 
This is very good advice.  She needs to concentrate on her own routine and do the best she can with it.  You definitely will anger the teacher if you say something about it.  How old is your DD?
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jamquint1

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Reply with quote  #4 
Do not try to change the choreography. This will not benefit your dancer. Anecdotally, my daughter, 6 at the time, did her first solo and competed against 7 and 8 year olds on a more advanced team. My daughter worked her butt off to clean her routine to make it the best version of itself...every toe pointed, every leg straight. At nationals, she actually got 3rd when her older studio dance friends came in 4th, 5th and several did not place. My daughter's choreography was much more basic than that of those other girls, but she danced that solo CLEAN. Take that into consideration. 
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rubydancemom

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Reply with quote  #5 
Solos are a slippery slope at our studio. My DD is also doing her first. She is going against every one of her teammates, and she is 2 years younger than all of them. This will be their 3rd or 4th solo, but her 1st. She is also going against a couple girls on a lower team, one of which I think can outscore her. (Now, not technically a better dancer, but she performs the hell out of her musical theatre solo, and it will score well at the comps we attend). I gave her the pep talk that she needs to focus on her solo and do her best. Don't worry about the overalls.

The SO choreographed for my DD, and she played to her strengths. Another teacher choreographed some, and you can tell the girls had too much input and put in leaps and turns that are too difficult for them. If you can do a clean double, do a clean double rather than hopping through a triple. I would never tell a choreographer that DD is more capable than the dance she is given. Some moms have gone there, and they now have the teacher that is letting their girls try stuff that is too hard for them, and they will be disappointed to see the performance and score.

The bottom line is: How a dance places is based on 3 subjective judges opinions and how you dance one day at one time. So many of the girls turn it into, "so and so" is better than "so and so" because her solo won. Those girls need a refresher on how to be a good teammate and how comp judging works. A simple, clean solo performed well can outscore the solo loaded with quads and difficulty. Some comps don't even award points for difficulty. The super entertaining, simple solo can outscore the serious, difficult contemporary, as showmanship is a large part of the score at most comps, and one genre is easier to "perform" than another.

We have had dancers in the exact place your DD is in, and they have won first overall with their solo, then fully expected to be placed on the higher team the next year because they "beat" those girls. It just doesn't work like that. If your DD wants to make the higher team, find out what skills, levels of flexibility, etc. are needed to make that team and work on those in a private. 
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Mamala

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Reply with quote  #6 
I understand why you feel the way you do, because it's very difficult not to compare. However, just because her friends' solos may be technically more difficult, that does not mean that they will score better. If your DD performs her solo beautifully, then sometimes that's better than having a more difficult routine that's not perfect. Also, if your DD's choreography is less difficult than that of her friends, I'm assuming it's because the choreographer is giving her what she feels your DD is capable of. If she's in a lower team, then obviously she is not at the same skill level of those other girls. I think I would then expect her solo to be at a lower skill level right?
I wouldnt even mention it to your DD. Maybe she's not even paying attention to that sort of thing. Hopefully she's not analyzing other kids' solos and just focusing on her own. That would be the best thing she can do. And if she happens to say something to you about it, just remind her to do her best and have fun with her solo because it's not about anyone else.
How old is your DD?
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Dancenl

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks everyone for the great advice....u are all right for sure! I like the solo, it is very pretty it's just not doing alot of things she is capable of. But I think u guys are right, we are gonna make a very clean, expressed solo. I'm proud of her either way, I just don't want her to think just cause she's not doing pencil turns that she's not good and not going to place. I'm just gonna have to have a supportive uplifting convo with her.
I would never piss off the teachers, I've heard a few mom's doing that and now their dd are paying for it. But we have a few mom's that are not so nice, it's crazy!

Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate it, this is her first solo so I'm a newbie too lol

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Lorax

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Reply with quote  #8 
Good luck, Dancenl. 

When we were in a hyper competitive studio where comparisons were made by the DTs and SO literally multiple times every day I would remind my dancer that no matter what you do or do not get choreographed to do, no one can take a skill away from you. Work that skill, perfect that skill, own that skill and know that you can do it. When you see the other dancers choreographed into a skill you did not be happy for them, and don't feel jealous or sad that you're not doing it, because you'll know that you can do it. There's that saying, do something so well that no one can ignore you. 

Best of luck with her solo !
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dancelivelovelaugh

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorax
Oh boy, dancenl, there's a lot to talk about.

First, you may not realize it, but changing choreography is sort of like changing an artist's painting. Some dance teachers might not care, but a lot could be very upset by it. It's their original work.

Next, you're in a tough spot having to compete against friends. My advice is to have your daughter compete her solo as close to her own version of perfection as she can. No missed opportunities for technique, turn out, pointed toes, facial expressions that engage the audience, knowing what story she is telling and communicating her energy to the world. A simpler but cleaner routine will trump a more difficult routine any day.

All of the girls will know about the difference in choreography, they will put 2 and 2 together on their own. I'd stay out of that part. Look around and get the lay of the land to figure out what your daughter needs to do to be choreographed by the other teacher for next year and try to stay on the positive path of looking forward to that goal.

Do everything you can to keep your eyes and your energy on your daughter and on her journey and on keeping it positive and enjoyable for her. Comparison is the thief of joy, and comparison to friends can destroy friendships fast.

Don't do anything but encourage your daughter, listen if SHE is upset by this, but don't plant those seeds. She may just perform her solo and be ecstatic and then you can both stay above any drama that might pop up otherwise.


I so heart what you wrote, all of it.  Excellent advice!
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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #10 
The thing about comp dance is that as the years go on, the kids realize they are competing both with and against their friends and teammates in different ways and in different years. Hopefully your studio has a supportive vibe, and encourages dancers to watch and cheer for each other during their solos, even if they compete against each other. One of DD 15's strongest solo competition is also her dance BFF. They warm up and stretch together, and are each other's support back stage before they go on. Sometimes DD beats her friend, and vice versa. Some years, their solo just "works" for them, and some years, it's a little off and doesn't score as well. These girls have danced together since they were 8 and are there to support each other. It's actually a beautiful thing to watch, so I hope you have a chance to see it at your studio someday!
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #11 
Definitely don't mess with the choreography.  That is the choreographers vision and nothing good can come from it.

As far as competing against team mates that is just a fact of life.  DS always had to compete in groups and solos against multiple team mates and we were lucky that at the second studio they were all very supportive of one another.  First studio was a different story and they would rub it in your face if they beat you.
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DanceForFun

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Reply with quote  #12 
Definitely leave the choreography to the teacher!  Your dancer could end up paying a dear price for interference in this area.  I agree with what the others have said in terms of making the dance the best it can be.  I would also add : encourage her to enjoy this experience.  You only have your first solo once - it's a milestone!  Tell her to go out there and let her love of dance shine through.  It is inevitable that friends will compete against one another.  Just about everyone on my DDs team has a solo or duo this year and will be up against one another.  They are pretty evenly matched so it's anybody's game.  Fortunately, they are a close bunch and supportive of each other. HOpefully your dds friends are the same way.  Good luck and enjoy the season.
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LeapYear0208

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Reply with quote  #13 

I am comfortable with our instructors/choreographers (we pick for solos) that I may ask if there is anything that can be changed as she grows. IE, has a different amount of turns, or a harder trick, etc. My DDs solo changed 4x last season, only parts. There was a simple sequence that turned into her aerial once she got it down on the floor. There was one spot where she was laying on the ground doing something but it got changed to a chest stand when our SO saw the dance. It didn't change the choreography a ton, but just showcased things she was able to do. It may be beneficial to do a 30 min private where the choreographer asks her to do different things and see if they can be accomplished. 

My DD has one pass in her solo this year that we changed right before going backstage last weekend because she was on a small stage instead of the large stage. She did a 2nd aerial instead of her roundoff back step out. We will see how she feels about it this weekend, her SO nor her choreographer will be there so I will just tell her to do whatever she feels most comfortable with, however she will be on the large stage this time. 

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Dancenl

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Reply with quote  #14 
She did her last solo class this past weekend and she changed a couple things. Turned a double to triple piroutte and a side leap to a different type of side leap ( I can't remember the name of it). But it's looking good and she's feeling good about it and is going to really clean it.

Thanks again everyone for your advice.
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2tinydancers

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Reply with quote  #15 
My daughter is always competing against her friends. That’s just normal for us. The girls are all best friends and they root for each other. I tell her she isn’t competing against her friends. She’s competing against herself. Don’t focus on the place but on the score. St every competiton her goal should be to beat her best score. My daughter is the underdog at her studio. But she worked her but off practicing her solo and placed higher than some of the girls who she feels are better dancers and have much more experience. She needs to focus at being the very best at he solo and not let what others are doing distract her. Good luck!!
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AusDM

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Reply with quote  #16 

My daughter's last lyrical was technically "tame" in comparison to many others in her age group, however the choreographer played on her strengths as a story teller.  So while she may not have been doing a lot of the big tricks that some others were, she would often place high, and sometimes win, because of her ability to sell the routine as a whole.  Never forget the drama that can be showcased in a routine 😉

Different dancers have different strengths.  Let her settle and mature into the routine, and watch it grow along with her.

I wish her all the very best with it. 

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elastigal

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tinydancers
My daughter is always competing against her friends. That’s just normal for us. The girls are all best friends and they root for each other. I tell her she isn’t competing against her friends. She’s competing against herself. Don’t focus on the place but on the score. St every competiton her goal should be to beat her best score. My daughter is the underdog at her studio. But she worked her but off practicing her solo and placed higher than some of the girls who she feels are better dancers and have much more experience. She needs to focus at being the very best at he solo and not let what others are doing distract her. Good luck!!


This is what I tell my DD who is doing her first solo this year - don’t focus on your friends, focus on you. Her solo should be novice this year too but I had her placed in elite/competitive, same as her groups, for that very reason - doesn’t matter who she competes against as she is really only competing against herself.
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Billpayer2000

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Reply with quote  #18 
Lots of great wisdom here. I would add that there are a million life lessons learned when preparing to perform a solo...that is the real prize.  It requires hard work, preparation and the right mental attitude.  Placing, or even winning is great, but place your expectation on doing a clean, technically great performance...that's where the real victory is found. Hope she has fun. Let us know how it goes. 
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Dancenl

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Reply with quote  #19 
She's been working hard to get it clean. It should be ready for first comp. She's finding it hard to get some facial expression in there. I printed off all the lyrics and she googled what the song is wrote about but she's finding it hard to relax and just put herself out there. Sometimes she does and it makes such a difference! Which she knows. Also her leaps are getting better but she needs to get more height. Over all she's doing well and is feeling good about supporting her friends even if she competes aganist them.
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