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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #1 
Since I don't dance, all I really expect of DD is to be respectful in class, have fun, and remember the choreography. She's only 7, after all. But DTs told me she needs to work on:

Turnout in her pique turns
Feet (slight sickle in left foot in passe)
Keeping her spot at the same point in her double pirouettes - DD is lowering her eyes when she spots the second time
Posture - slight swayback in pirouettes-DD needs to remember to tighten abs. DT says this is common for kids with naturally bendy backs like DD.

Is it just me, or is this a lot of detail for a 7 year old? DD seems to enjoy the extra attention and prefers the teachers who give her more correction, but even as an adult I would have a hard time with this level of scrutiny. Should I worry about this? She enjoys class, and DT's say she's doing well overall.

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beachgirl

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Reply with quote  #2 
Sounds about right for a 7-year-old to me. Our 7-year-olds hear corrections just like those.
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #3 
Doubles for a 7 year old?
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jazzminesun81

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave9988
Doubles for a 7 year old?


Lol, see, this is exactly why I'm asking what normal expectations are! Is that not normal?They wanted to put doubles in their musical theater and jazz numbers but only 2 girls in the group can do consistently clean doubles. DD isn't one of them, as she apparently needs to work on her spotting and posture[wink] DD is in petite company this year. I notice the mini company girls and non-team girls are still cleaning their singles. Her friends from school that go to a different studio are still working on pirouette prep and balancing and do not do single pirouettes yet.
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melissa745

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Reply with quote  #5 
If the expectation is that she should work on those things, then fine. If the expectation is that she needs to master them, then it probably is a bit much.

My comp dancer is 10 (almost 11) and she just mastered her double pirouette a few months ago.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #6 
I do think it's a lot for a 7 yo.  Not necessarily in terms of corrections but in terms of expectations.  With the exception of the double pirouette.. I think that's absurd.  Being a parent of a soon to be 16 yo dancer I think it's just absurd.  Sorry, my bias is showing, I know.    
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
I do think it's a lot for a 7 yo.  Not necessarily in terms of corrections but in terms of expectations.  With the exception of the double pirouette.. I think that's absurd.  Being a parent of a soon to be 16 yo dancer I think it's just absurd.  Sorry, my bias is showing, I know.    


See, this is why I'm asking. I haven't been around that long so I have no idea what's reasonable or not reasonable. I'm not sure that they expect a double pirouette but rather that if she's doing one, they want her to do it cleanly? Not all of the girls in the class have a double, clean or not.

But it seems like at this studio they are always pushing. When DD finally got to the point where she was landing her side aerial consistently with straight legs, pointed toes and enough height, DT basically said, "Great job! Now clean up your arms." Then DD started working on cleaning her arms, but she lost a bit of height. DT doesn't expect all kids in that class to execute a perfect aerial, but if they're going to do it, she wants it clean. It's just a constant stream of correction and while I understand the necessity in higher levels/older ages, it's overwhelming to hear it for my little one, even if it doesn't bother her.

PS. Heidi, I'd love to hear your story. You always have great advice and perspective, but you seem so disillusioned I always wonder what the story is behind the distrust.
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Mom2Girls

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzminesun81
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
I do think it's a lot for a 7 yo.  Not necessarily in terms of corrections but in terms of expectations.  With the exception of the double pirouette.. I think that's absurd.  Being a parent of a soon to be 16 yo dancer I think it's just absurd.  Sorry, my bias is showing, I know.    


See, this is why I'm asking. I haven't been around that long so I have no idea what's reasonable or not reasonable. I'm not sure that they expect a double pirouette but rather that if she's doing one, they want her to do it cleanly? Not all of the girls in the class have a double, clean or not.

But it seems like at this studio they are always pushing. When DD finally got to the point where she was landing her side aerial consistently with straight legs, pointed toes and enough height, DT basically said, "Great job! Now clean up your arms." Then DD started working on cleaning her arms, but she lost a bit of height. DT doesn't expect all kids in that class to execute a perfect aerial, but if they're going to do it, she wants it clean. It's just a constant stream of correction and while I understand the necessity in higher levels/older ages, it's overwhelming to hear it for my little one, even if it doesn't bother her.

PS. Heidi, I'd love to hear your story. You always have great advice and perspective, but you seem so disillusioned I always wonder what the story is behind the distrust.


Laughing at the idea of a 7 year old having a clean double.
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Balletmom13

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Reply with quote  #9 
I also have a second grader. She is right now only training in ballet and is just working on balancing. They have not yet started pirouettes yet, let alone doubles. Besides that, those corrects are very specific and if she understands them, she would probably be to make an effort to fix the mistakes.
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzminesun81
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
I do think it's a lot for a 7 yo.  Not necessarily in terms of corrections but in terms of expectations.  With the exception of the double pirouette.. I think that's absurd.  Being a parent of a soon to be 16 yo dancer I think it's just absurd.  Sorry, my bias is showing, I know.    


See, this is why I'm asking. I haven't been around that long so I have no idea what's reasonable or not reasonable. I'm not sure that they expect a double pirouette but rather that if she's doing one, they want her to do it cleanly? Not all of the girls in the class have a double, clean or not.

But it seems like at this studio they are always pushing. When DD finally got to the point where she was landing her side aerial consistently with straight legs, pointed toes and enough height, DT basically said, "Great job! Now clean up your arms." Then DD started working on cleaning her arms, but she lost a bit of height. DT doesn't expect all kids in that class to execute a perfect aerial, but if they're going to do it, she wants it clean. It's just a constant stream of correction and while I understand the necessity in higher levels/older ages, it's overwhelming to hear it for my little one, even if it doesn't bother her.

PS. Heidi, I'd love to hear your story. You always have great advice and perspective, but you seem so disillusioned I always wonder what the story is behind the distrust.


As far as corrections in general go, they are compliments. And the day they stop coming you should pack it up and go. So don't feel like your child is being picked on. I always tell my 16 year old the day you achieve perfection is the day it's time to stop.

And BTW I don't see Heidi as either disillusioned or distrustful. Not sure that you know her well enough to to make that judgement. She has her eyes wide open, if that's seen as distrust then I think that's a bit sad.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #11 
I don't see anything wrong with the corrections she has been given to work on as long as they are not expecting a 7 year old to be able to perfect these moves.  She is definitely at the right age to work on spotting, arms, feet and engaging her core but a double at that age is out of the norm.
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Dancingdd

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Reply with quote  #12 
I would just be concerned with her feeling like it's not fun and in a few years wanting to quit. Are the kids smiling in class? Do they look happy when they enter and leave? She's only 7.
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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #13 
I second the comment about specific corrections. A good teacher notices these things and teaches how to fix them. It's better to fix them when she's little rather than have to un-learn bad training when she's 13. That being said...

  • There are different schools of thought in the dance world. 
  • Studios are different. Different emphasis, style, technique, expectations, hours of training, etc. 
  • Ballet is a "slow burn" type of teaching, for the most part. A 7 year old would just be starting intro to ballet, with one class per week. 
  • There are "famous" competition studios and dancers out there that have 7 year olds training 20 hours a week, plus extra gymnastics. 
  • There is no "normal". It's more important to find what's best for your family and your dancer. 
  • At 7-having fun is the most important thing! 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzminesun81


PS. Heidi, I'd love to hear your story. You always have great advice and perspective, but you seem so disillusioned I always wonder what the story is behind the distrust.


I apologize if that's the way I come across to you.  I don't think anyone who knows me would describe me as disillusioned or distrustful.  I'm actually more of a glass half full kind of person.... but that doesn't mean I'll allow myself to leave my critical thinking skills at the door [smile]       

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JulieDB

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Reply with quote  #15 
As for the doubles...  Not all 7 year olds can do them or be expected to.  But if she is doing them, she needs to be doing them correctly.
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My2DanceLoves

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Reply with quote  #16 
It's all been said , but I had to comment on what I see as being a bit of a scary trend with large expectations for very young dancers. [eek]
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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #17 
Did you ask the DT what she needs to work on, or did the DT come to you with this info?  I would not be excited about a teacher giving me instructions about what my child needs to learn from them.  But if you asked what she needs to work on, that's a different story.

Personally, I am all for teachers telling the kids what some of the important technical aspects are, even if the kids can't do them yet.  We've seen 12-13 year olds who seem ignorant of the basics.  They think if they are making two rotations on a pirouette, that's good no matter what their arms/legs/feet are doing.  

Your comment about how she got the legs right on the aerial and the teacher said "now clean the arms" reminds me of something that happened to me when I was about 9.  I was a competitive swimmer and had just achieved a time goal that I had (let's say it was breaking 20 seconds for 25 yard breaststroke, although honestly I have no idea what the specifics were).  My coach congratulated me and said "now you can aim for 19 seconds".  I responded with some comment about why we couldn't just enjoy breaking 20 and he said "what do you want me to say to you? I'm completely satisfied with what you've done? No need to improve anymore?"  I got it.  Just because the coach/teacher is encouraging you toward the next goal doesn't mean you haven't done a good job already.  It's just the nature of the activity to look forward and set new goals.  
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzminesun81


PS. Heidi, I'd love to hear your story. You always have great advice and perspective, but you seem so disillusioned I always wonder what the story is behind the distrust.


I apologize if that's the way I come across to you.  I don't think anyone who knows me would describe me as disillusioned or distrustful.  I'm actually more of a glass half full kind of person.... but that doesn't mean I'll allow myself to leave my critical thinking skills at the door [smile]       



Heidi, I totally get it. I often come across online differently than I come across in person. I definitely do not mean to judge or offend!
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #19 
I agree with DancindDD and RDS mom that fun is important, and DD is genuinely having fun. The kids are happy, especially DD. DD's bff from school had a Build a Bear birthday party this year, but it fell during DD's leaps and turns class. DD said she'd rather go to leaps and turns. Most of her friends are the same way and would rather go to dance class than just about anywhere. I was just overwhelmed at all the corrections!   

As far as what prompted the feedback, it's a combo. We get progress reports midyear, in January, and at the end of the year in June with placements for the following year. Some of the corrections were on her January progress reports. Some of it was a couple moms and I chatting with one of the DT's. We asked how our kids were doing, and those were the things she told me DD needed to work on, though she said both our kids have come a long way and are doing well. 

I totally agree with My2DanceLoves that there is a scary trend in large expectations for dancers, but I don't think it's just a trend in dancing. Her public school has her read 2 chapter books a week. They get a new book on Monday and have to finish it and fill in a sheet about the book by Thursday. On Thursdays, they get a new book and have to finish it and turn in the report sheet on Monday. This is in addition to the math pages and special projects.

It's reassuring to hear, though, that specific corrections are a good thing. It totally makes sense. 

Wow, RDSmom, 20 hours a week plus gymnastics! And I thought DD took a lot of dance. DD's studio requires 2 hours of ballet per week to be in the company if you're under 9. Definitely also reassuring that there is no normal. 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzminesun81


I totally agree with My2DanceLoves that there is a scary trend in large expectations for dancers, but I don't think it's just a trend in dancing. Her public school has her read 2 chapter books a week. They get a new book on Monday and have to finish it and fill in a sheet about the book by Thursday. On Thursdays, they get a new book and have to finish it and turn in the report sheet on Monday. This is in addition to the math pages and special projects.

 


Yes!  And it is that "trend" that I find absurd.  The double pirouette was just another example of how we are pushing our kids to do things that are not really developmentally appropriate.  And to what end?  In many cases for no other reason than to feed an ego (the parent's , the coach's, the instructor's, the SO's, etc.).  Which in turn sends the wrong message to our kids (imo).  So yeah, I do find it all to be absurd.... and I work very hard to make sure my own kids don't get caught up in it.
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bopmom

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Reply with quote  #21 
I just want to say this.
I miss my DD (almost 12) being 7 and doing her 1st solo [frown] . 
She certainly did not have a double, barely even a clean single.  ohhh how I miss those days.  she was so little and cute and sloppy LOL
since that year it's been more and more intense as she has grown.  ohh how I miss those mini years

edit to add: I know this post does not add anything to the topic, just me thinking out loud on how I miss my 7 year old since facebook just showed me a memory from 5 years ago and it happened to be her 1st time doing her 1st solo when she was 7.
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzminesun81


I totally agree with My2DanceLoves that there is a scary trend in large expectations for dancers, but I don't think it's just a trend in dancing. Her public school has her read 2 chapter books a week. They get a new book on Monday and have to finish it and fill in a sheet about the book by Thursday. On Thursdays, they get a new book and have to finish it and turn in the report sheet on Monday. This is in addition to the math pages and special projects.

 


Yes!  And it is that "trend" that I find absurd.  The double pirouette was just another example of how we are pushing our kids to do things that are not really developmentally appropriate.  And to what end?  In many cases for no other reason than to feed an ego (the parent's , the coach's, the instructor's, the SO's, etc.).  Which in turn sends the wrong message to our kids (imo).  So yeah, I do find it all to be absurd.... and I work very hard to make sure my own kids don't get caught up in it.


So this! It's not all about ego, either. I don't know that anyone actually cares if DD gets her perfect double but her. For her studio, I think it's more a matter of what DanceDaughters said about swimming. It's all about getting better than you were yesterday, no matter what level you are.

Sometimes the push comes from sheer laziness on the part of teachers or ridiculous standards. When DD was 3, one of her friend's parents told me he was kicked out of preschool because he couldn't focus and that the preschool's director actually suggested he be tested for ADD and placed on medication. Three years old! Of course the poor kid couldn't sit. Another mom posted in our local moms group the other day that her 4yo was being kicked out of a different preschool because he was "behind" because he couldn't write his name, etc. Luckily, DD's school doesn't expect them to sit all day, and they have "brain breaks" every hour so they can work out the wiggles.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzminesun81
So this! It's not all about ego, either. I don't know that anyone actually cares if DD gets her perfect double but her. For her studio, I think it's more a matter of what DanceDaughters said about swimming. It's all about getting better than you were yesterday, no matter what level you are.



Yeah, I don't disagree that once the kid is immersed in a competitive environment a lot of that push begins to be self induced, particularly if they have a competitive spirit... even moreso as they start to self identify ( "I am a swimmer", "I am a child genius", "I am a dancer").  But that's not your average kid, I don't think.  I'm thinking of the parent who signs your typical 5 yo up at the studio where the teachers actually want the 5/6/7 yos to learn skills that are more appropriate for 9/10/11 yos.  That's not the kid talking, that's the parent who wants her little Suzie to be a super dancer... & a teacher/SO who wants to win.  It has nothing to w/the kids.  Not about giving them what they need.  Not even about giving them what the kids want since at that age 99% don't have a frame of reference to know anything other than what they're given. It's the adults & their egos. The "Keeping Up With the Joneses" attitude projected onto the next generation.




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melissa745

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzminesun81
So this! It's not all about ego, either. I don't know that anyone actually cares if DD gets her perfect double but her. For her studio, I think it's more a matter of what DanceDaughters said about swimming. It's all about getting better than you were yesterday, no matter what level you are.



Yeah, I don't disagree that once the kid is immersed in a competitive environment a lot of that push begins to be self induced, particularly if they have a competitive spirit... even moreso as they start to self identify ( "I am a swimmer", "I am a child genius", "I am a dancer").  But that's not your average kid, I don't think.  I'm thinking of the parent who signs the 5 yo up at the studio where the teachers actually want the 5 yos to learn skills that are more typical of 8/ 9 yos.  That's not the kid talking.  That's the parent who wants her little Suzie to be a super dancer.  And teachers & SOs who want to win.  That has nothing to do with the kids & giving them what is developmentally appropriate.  Doesn't even have anything to do w/what the kids want since at that age 99% if them are going to accept what ever it is that they are told.  It's the adults & their egos.  The "Keeping Up With the Joneses" attitude projected onto the next generation.


It is that very attitude that has a local ballet school putting girls en pointe routinely at age 8. "Look how great our girls are!" Uhhhh, no.
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jazzminesun81

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzminesun81
So this! It's not all about ego, either. I don't know that anyone actually cares if DD gets her perfect double but her. For her studio, I think it's more a matter of what DanceDaughters said about swimming. It's all about getting better than you were yesterday, no matter what level you are.



Yeah, I don't disagree that once the kid is immersed in a competitive environment a lot of that push begins to be self induced, particularly if they have a competitive spirit... even moreso as they start to self identify ( "I am a swimmer", "I am a child genius", "I am a dancer").  But that's not your average kid, I don't think.  I'm thinking of the parent who signs the 5 yo up at the studio where the teachers actually want the 5/6/7 yos to learn skills that are more typical of 9/10/11 yos.  That's not the kid talking.  That's the parent who wants her little Suzie to be a super dancer.  And teachers & SOs who want to win.  It has nothing to do w/the kids & giving them what is developmentally appropriate. Doesn't even have anything to do w/what the kids want since at that age 99% of them are going to accept what ever it is that they are told. It's the adults & their egos.  The "Keeping Up With the Joneses" attitude projected onto the next generation.


This makes me so sad! I thought the point, especially for kids under 12, is to just explore everything you can to see what they like and let them pursue what they love. She's tried a lot of different things, but she always prefers dance. I always tell DD that there will always be people above her and below her and that the only thing she should worry about is doing her best. Her best, not anyone else's. I had one of those moms who always berated me whenever another kid received more awards/higher grades. Nothing was ever good enough because there was always someone better, and it was awful. I don't want to put my kids through that.
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