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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone,

My first question so please be kind [smile] My DD7 has been taking dance since she was 4 fairly recreationally (3 hours a week last year). She loves it and I pretty much just sign her up for whatever classes she tells me to [smile] other than that I don't know much. When I observe class she seems to hold her own but I can't comment on her ability beyond that. Apparently last semester a choreographer took an interested in her and invited her into two performance company routines (we don't have a comp team). One is a contemp trio and another a jazz group number. She is very excited and I don't mind her doing it, but I have no clue what I am signing her up for [biggrin] I tried YouTube and most contemp pieces are very fluid and require lots of flexibility (she does have that), but most seem to be danced by kids older than 7... Jazz is sharper and has more rhythm but a lot of YouTube numbers seem to be borderline or even over the top inappropriate for a 7 year old. Our studio is pretty conservative when it comes to choreography/costumes but it still made me pause to think of my DD is something like what I've seen. Please shed some light on what I might expect. Thank you in advance!
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My2DanceLoves

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Reply with quote  #2 
Jazz does not need to be inappropriate.  There are plenty of studios that keep things age appropriate.  You said your studio is pretty conservative so I think you have your answer right there.  I wouldn't worry about it.  I would imagine she is in a jazz group with children of similar age? 
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #3 
I don't think anyone here can tell you what to expect as every studio and choreographer is different. My suggestion would be to look up old videos from your studio or ask someone to see recital footage.
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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you! Yes, they are all 7-9. I am not overly concerned (I haven't had any cause in the past 3 years), but still a little in shock over some of the YouTube numbers [smile] I am more curious as far as educating myself on the two styles just so that I can nod in appropriate places when my daughter tells me about them. The way our studio is structured is that they only start separating classes into styles for ages 8+ and even then those are all optional, other than pre ballet/ballet. That starts at 6. So until now DD had her ballet class once a week and then her "core class" twice a week that is by age and years of dance. During Ballet they mostly do barre. To my untrained/uneducated eye they stand in different positions and the DT goes around and corrects each girl, moves arms, feet etc. "Core" class is still some barre and then they do turns, leaps, and some dance combinations, that sometimes turn into a parts of a dance they learn for a show and sometimes don't. Those combinations can be in different styles. DD says they are jazz, contemporary, character. So this focus on a specific dance and specific style that is separate from "core" is new to me.
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kmpmom

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Reply with quote  #5 
I think you're asking a lot of the right questions and for the right reasons!  You're off to a great start as a dance mom!  Jazz can be very fun and completely appropriate for young dancers.  As for "contemporary", it's definitely a style that's more commonly seen being performed by older dancers BUT .. it may be a simple "terminology" issue.  Talk to your studio owner about what the routines would be like.  Ask her if she could show her something similar.  That way it will ease your mind as to what will be asked of your 7 year old.

Good luck!
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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you so much for your help! Everyone seems to know everything without having to ask and half all these dance activities planned years in advance. And I just feel out of my depth. And this is a fun activity for a 7 year old!!! 
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crafty1

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Reply with quote  #7 
First, welcome to the forum! This is a great place to learn.

You are off to a very good start. You are learning. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

I agree with My2DanceLoves (I actually agree with her a lot [biggrin]). If your experience with your studio is that their dances are pretty conservative, I don't think you have anything to worry about.  Has your daughter been at the same studio the whole time? If so, how were the recitals? That will also give you your answer.

Find one of the more experienced performance dance moms, and get friendly. Let her mentor you. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Maybe one of the choreographers/dance teachers can even suggest which one might be a good mentor.

Good luck, and have fun!
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Shaylenek

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Reply with quote  #8 
EJIDance - Welcome and know that MOST of us had no clue what we were doing as dance moms when our kids started dance.  I know I never danced.  I just put her in whatever her teachers suggested the early years and didn't take an interest in learning more until she was about 9 and they suggested she start going to another town for serious ballet.  Ask and ask!  That is the only way I learned.  Oh and trust your parental instincts.  If something looks or feels wrong about a class or a piece for your daughter, tell the teacher/director.  
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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yes, my girls have been at the same studio since the beginning although we did visit a few before signing up. The SO is an old school former dancer from Eastern Europe. She runs the younger age division pretty much like a ballet school so there was never any question of age appropriateness before. It's only around 8 years old or so that she loosens the reigns a little and allows other "new" [smile] styles. No hip hop though [biggrin] SO approves choreography for every dance herself. I have been to the recitals. The dances themselves are usually completely age appropriate, but some of the song choices for the older girls did give me pause. My guess is that the SO didn't really grasp the full meaning of the words and the girls and the young hip choreographer chose not to enlighten her [smile] Again, thank you and I will definitely make sure to talk to her teachers and more experienced moms about expectations and music.
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