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5678StarMom

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Reply with quote  #51 
Sophia Lucia gave up traditional comp a couple years ago and she's only 14, plus she has the resources at home to get the top training now to catch her up. Also due to those resources she probably had more than enough proper training when she was still competing. She's definitely a good example of transition to ballet, but an unlikely and unique one. And although I would now call her a ballet competition kid, she's not still doing both ballet and regular competitions other than a solo here or there. When's the last time she was on a comp team or competed a group? Brady Farrar and Quinn Starner are also good examples of comp and ballet kids with amazing talent and resources that have done well in both worlds, but they both focus on ballet more. And these kids are all primarily soloists (or pas de duex) vs ensemble dancers, and it's yet to be seen how that will translate to a career if they choose to pursue one. I've clearly thought on this a lot, lol!

My DD14 is at a great ballet intensive in Pennsylvania. Top ballet company, pretty competitive program to get into. She's a comp dancer who's always put ballet training first, and who got additional ballet training. Last year was her last competition year. She and 1 other girl in the dorm are the only recent competition dancers she can identify. She says she feels far ahead of many of the ballet only kids in every style (jazz, modern, contemporary) except classical ballet, where she is at least on par with peers but not quite as confident that she's standing out. She is happy she's well rounded but wishes she had more regular ballet training the last few years.

Anyway, I think that as DD14 gets older and ballet gets more competitive, we see less and less comp kids at ballet things. The focus becomes less on potential and more on training, and the sheer amount of training hours required of a pre-professional in the mid to upper teens wouldn't allow for much of a competition career.
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Dancinandlovinit

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Reply with quote  #52 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5678StarMom
Sophia Lucia gave up traditional comp a couple years ago and she's only 14, plus she has the resources at home to get the top training now to catch her up. Also due to those resources she probably had more than enough proper training when she was still competing. She's definitely a good example of transition to ballet, but an unlikely and unique one. And although I would now call her a ballet competition kid, she's not still doing both ballet and regular competitions other than a solo here or there. When's the last time she was on a comp team or competed a group? Brady Farrar and Quinn Starner are also good examples of comp and ballet kids with amazing talent and resources that have done well in both worlds, but they both focus on ballet more. And these kids are all primarily soloists (or pas de duex) vs ensemble dancers, and it's yet to be seen how that will translate to a career if they choose to pursue one. I've clearly thought on this a lot, lol! My DD14 is at a great ballet intensive in Pennsylvania. Top ballet company, pretty competitive program to get into. She's a comp dancer who's always put ballet training first, and who got additional ballet training. Last year was her last competition year. She and 1 other girl in the dorm are the only recent competition dancers she can identify. She says she feels far ahead of many of the ballet only kids in every style (jazz, modern, contemporary) except classical ballet, where she is at least on par with peers but not quite as confident that she's standing out. She is happy she's well rounded but wishes she had more regular ballet training the last few years. Anyway, I think that as DD14 gets older and ballet gets more competitive, we see less and less comp kids at ballet things. The focus becomes less on potential and more on training, and the sheer amount of training hours required of a pre-professional in the mid to upper teens wouldn't allow for much of a competition career.


I agree with this - which is why I would expect that the summer intensives, which is the off-season in the comp world aside from nationals, is when you see comp kids attending ballet intensives and such. During the year there is no way that they'd have time for a pre-pro ballet program in addition to the rigors of a comp team (I know there are exceptions). But, that doesn't mean that they aren't getting good ballet training during the comp season as well. Many comp studios bring in ballet teachers from pre-pro ballet schools and ballet companies - our studio is one of them. I agree with you that age is a factor in all this - at the violet level there were only a few comp kids, at my daughter's younger level, a heck of a lot more (although Lex is only a year older than her, but he's just that good. My daughter was 14 that year so he must have been 15.) But, as I mentioned in my first post, after her last ABT experience, she briefly considered leaving the comp world (this crazy train!) for a ballet school, but it didn't last long as she loves to compete. She was just on the ballet high I guess that week...but once she was back to the studio she had made up her mind to stay. 
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #53 
Sophia Lucia trained at Master Ballet Academy for at least 2 years.  MBA is my dd's home school and is intense.  She trained her butt off and actually became a TECHNICALLY good dancer. She was always talented but training with MBA allowed her to turn the corner and we are talking about 20 - 30 hours a week of ballet training. And she learned to partner which is such an important skill that so many kids never learn.  She very rarely does regular competitions any more, like others mentioned.  

Avery Gay is another perfect example. She was always a good competition dancer, but her solo from The Dance Awards in Las Vegas was much, much better technically than in the past. Her feet are excellent now and so is her turn out.  She has been at MBA working on her technique for years now and she's shown huge improvement.  

5678StarMom is right. As the age group increases there is no way kids taking 8 hours of ballet a week can compete with those taking 20-30, including partnering and variations classes, most on pointe.  Boys are totally different so anyone comparing a guy dancer to a female ballerina is comparing apples to oranges.  Pointe is a COMPLETELY different ballgame and boys do not have to have the extreme turnout that ballerinas need to "make it".  Yes, they need to turn out but they are doing it on flat.  So don't compare the two - it's not a level field and a comparison that just doesn't work.  Period.


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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #54 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancinandlovinit




Regardless, I'm not here to debate what absolutely no one in the ballet world would agree with anyway. But kids like Lex speak for themselves. Or maybe Sophia Lucia - a comp kid through and through and now doing amazing in ballet. Just don't doubt - or generalize - these kids. That's all.


I honestly don't understand how this topic is worthy of debate.  This is just one of those 'is what it is' moments. Certainly no one would suggest that there aren't comp dancers who receive strong ballet training. Or that dancers who start out in comp cannot ever make a successful transition to ballet.  But to say that it's really not unusual for comp kids to hold their own at the highest levels in challenging, selective ballet SIs?  Which of course implies that the ballet training offered at many comp studios is essentially the equivalent of what is offered at ballet schools (where the goal is to prepare the dancer for a professional "ballet" career)?  There is no debate there. There's not an ethical comp studio owner out there who wouldn't insist a dancer interested in pursuing ballet professionally move to a full time ballet program.  Which tells you all you need to know.  It's not about doubting or generalizing, it's about embracing the obvious.  And 'debating' does a disservice to those who really do need to know the truth in order to make the best decisions for themselves/their dancers.  

eta:  and fwiw I'm not implying that that is what you meant to suggest, only that's what someone might take away from your comments. Please remember that people aren't responding because they want to tell "you" that "you're wrong"... they're responding because they want to make sure that no one who might be reading comes away misinformed.

  

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dancindaughter

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Reply with quote  #55 
Sophia Lucia was part of Limitless with Master Ballet, so 2 years ago she was competing group dances with them.  We competed against them at all the Break the Floor competitions that year.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #56 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancindaughter
Sophia Lucia was part of Limitless with Master Ballet, so 2 years ago she was competing group dances with them.  We competed against them at all the Break the Floor competitions that year.


And taking about 20-30 hours of ballet.
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #57 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancinandlovinit


Well, I can only speak from our own experiences, but I'll address our own experience at ABT California, when my daughter attended three years ago. California, according to ABT itself on their website, is on par with New York - both geared towards advanced dancers. I know of at least 4 kids in the Violet level (the highest level) that were competition kids, 1 of which was from our own studio. But if you like, I'll name someone with a little more of a public persona - look up the talents of Lex Ishimoto - he was in the violet group at ABT that year. He is a competition kid from West Coast School of the Arts and was, by far, one of the most talented kids there that summer, if not the most talented kid - in ballet.

(My daughter was very excited to be able to partner with him on occasion that summer!)

That being said, we also know comp dancers that were accepted to and placed in the violet level at the NY site. My daughter wasn't there though, so I can't speak about that with the same level of experience. 

In my daughter's group, more than half were competition kids. One was from Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition. The year before, in Austin, same thing - more than half. (and YES I know that Austin is not on par with CA or NY) Maybe it's just ABT? I don't know. That's just our experience though. 

Yes, I 100% agree that some competition studios are not providing good ballet technique. I think however that the ones competing at an advanced level likely are. They also contain kids that are seeking extra training in order to improve, such as at summer intensives like ABT.

Regardless, I'm not here to debate what absolutely no one in the ballet world would agree with anyway. But kids like Lex speak for themselves. Or maybe Sophia Lucia - a comp kid through and through and now doing amazing in ballet. Just don't doubt - or generalize - these kids. That's all.


Lex is and has always been far more that just a comp studio. Yes he competed for years with West Coast School of the Arts but he also trained with a ballet studio as well. He's probably one of the most well rounded dancers in the country but he has spent years working on his ballet technique.

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duchessofdance

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Reply with quote  #58 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ballerinamom13


And taking about 20-30 hours of ballet.


Yup, however Sophia Lucia no longer trains at MBA- she moved back to California, and isn't dancing as intensely anymore. Just takes ballet here and there
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5678StarMom

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Reply with quote  #59 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ballerinamom13


And taking about 20-30 hours of ballet.


And she was 12 or 13. I don't think she's doing it anymore [smile]
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5678StarMom

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Reply with quote  #60 
Quote:
Originally Posted by duchessofdance


Yup, however Sophia Lucia no longer trains at MBA- she moved back to California, and isn't dancing as intensely anymore. Just takes ballet here and there


Interesting! I'll be watching what she does as times goes on. I wonder if she's burnt out by the heavy training schedule. Hope not, she's super talented. We've always loved her at our house.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #61 
And one year ago, she competed at IBC Varna 2016 and was actually too young to officially compete, but won a special award as Jack Beckham's partner.  I think she moved back to CA in August or September of last year.   Just saying - she didn't go to MBA to just compete with Limitless.
I know she also wanted to act and has been in tv movies, etc.  It wouldn't surprise me if she's doing much more of that.

AWARDS_Protocol_2016_Page_4.jpg 
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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #62 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5678StarMom
Interesting! I'll be watching what she does as times goes on. I wonder if she's burnt out by the heavy training schedule. Hope not, she's super talented. We've always loved her at our house.


She seems to be into her celebrity, and really financially it probably makes more sense for her to ride her celebrity train as long as she can instead of giving it up (she'd need to) in order to be in a company.  I don't think it would be possible for her really do it all and manage to complete her education (the movies and the modeling and the youtube and instagram and all the sponsorships along with full time ballet training).  And really, more power to her

There are a few comp kids/ comp teams that don't really work the same way that a traditional team does that will have kids who are very strong (like the Limitless group at MBA) I wouldn't consider any of these kids competition dancers, they're ballet kids who do a few competitions. 
These kids spend the great majority of their time doing technique and are only doing a couple group competition dances that they're not rehearsing weekly all year and the focus is really the solos (as opposed to the 10+ dances that most comp studios do).  You'll find this mostly in ballet schools.  My daughter's school did two competitions this year (YAGP and ASH) we had one group number (which we didn't take to YAGP because they sold out) and probably fifteen solos (with all our soloists over 11 doing two solos a classical variation and a contemporary solo).  Our group number rehearsed for an hour four times before the competition and won a technique award (because they have good technique) and two of our soloists received awards at ASH (ASH is different because they don't adjudicate and they don't have overalls). 
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #63 
Tate McRae is one who trains seriously in ballet in Calgary as well as training at a comp studio.  She wins at both YAGP and Dance Awards and seesm to have been able to get the best of both worlds so far.
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Dancinandlovinit

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Reply with quote  #64 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tappinmom
Tate McRae is one who trains seriously in ballet in Calgary as well as training at a comp studio.  She wins at both YAGP and Dance Awards and seesm to have been able to get the best of both worlds so far.


Thank you. Another great example. I could name 10 other female dancers in her age range who are just as good and are "comp kids" who are also EXCELLENT in ballet. I only mentioned Lex because my daughter attended ABT with him, so this was OUR personal experience. (I realize he's male and not on pointe.) And I'm definitely not saying that all comp dancers or even most comp dancers are "just as good" at ballet as those taking ballet full time. What I'm saying that there ARE comp dancers that are just as good - I was attempting to rebuff the assumption that it's just not possible. It is. But, like I said, those in the ballet world just don't want to hear about it. So on that note, I'll end here.
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5678StarMom

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Reply with quote  #65 
Once again, Tate McRae is absolutely awesome and talented, and has tons of resources. But she's only 14. There's a pattern with 14 year olds. She won't be able to do both at the level needed for classical ballet training long. Every single young dancer we have talked about is getting tons of pre-professional ballet training with their competition training. So why are they comp kids vs. ballet kids who do comp like meatball said? What's the definition of a competition kid...or definition of convention kid....or the definition of a pre-pro ballet kid...or the definition of a ballet comp kid (because a lot of the discussed dancers I would categorize as ballet competition kids, which is a whole different world!)

I don't want to end the discussion but of course it's everyone's prerogative not to respond. I'm genuinely interested in examples of dancers older than 14 or 15 who was able to do both at a high level (but not just solos in comp) and then break into classical ballet as a professional adult. Maybe the reason is those who continue competition dance don't want to be ballerinas, which is perfectly fine of course. Why the desire to prove they are just as good when they don't or can't train as much in the long term? Can't they train in ballet where they are for technique without having to be just as good as the dancers who train in ballet to become professionals...

Only person *I* can think of is Dusty Button. She's described as having a comp background, but I understand she also left comp dance at around 15 for full time ballet training.

It's definitely possible, but it's the exception and not the rule. Everyone has a different road to Rome, and Rome has differences for everyone. And I wouldn't call me "in the ballet world" at the point, as I'm in a fairly isolated area for ballet plus my experience has been as a comp mom for the last 8 years. My daughter definitely holds her own in ballet at 14, and is well aware that if she didn't make changes in her training NOW her dream will be completely gone in a few short years. It gets way more competitive.
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Dancinandlovinit

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Reply with quote  #66 
Well, for what it's worth, I said nothing about comp dancers who go on to become professional ballerinas. I would assume that most of these kids did not desire to become professional ballerinas, or they wouldn't be at a comp school. That's not to say that it's not possible but that wasn't what I was talking about. I simply mentioned that my daughter's sessions at ABT were full of comp kids who could "hold their own" and people freaked out. Then it was said that being accepted isn't the same as doing well in it and so I elaborated and mentioned Lex who was at the highest level at ABT and at the time, was very much a full-time comp kid. So I will still maintain that my daughter's sessions at ABT was full of comp kids - at advanced levels - who could very much "hold their own." I said nothing about any of them desiring to become professional ballerinas. I'd assume that most of them were there for the same reason my daughter was - to improve at ballet. Why would she or other comp kids want to improve at ballet if she didn't want to become a professional ballerina? To perform better at all of the other styles of dance. To perform better on the competition stage. Maybe, for some kids, even to work professionally in the commercial dance industry. Who knows. Not all of the kids at every summer intensive are hoping to be the next prima ballerina, and it's naive to assume that's the case - even at the higher levels. Our dancer who was at ABT that summer in the violet level very well could have been a professional ballerina - and she was a senior in high school, so older. But she was back on the comp stage that next season, where she was happiest. Like I said - don't generalize these kids. 
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #67 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459



I honestly don't understand how this topic is worthy of debate.  This is just one of those 'is what it is' moments. Certainly no one would suggest that there aren't comp dancers who receive strong ballet training. Or that dancers who start out in comp cannot ever make a successful transition to ballet.  But to say that it's really not unusual for comp kids to hold their own at the highest levels in challenging, selective ballet SIs?  Which of course implies that the ballet training offered at many comp studios is essentially the equivalent of what is offered at ballet schools (where the goal is to prepare the dancer for a professional "ballet" career)?  There is no debate there. There's not an ethical comp studio owner out there who wouldn't insist a dancer interested in pursuing ballet professionally move to a full time ballet program.  Which tells you all you need to know.  It's not about doubting or generalizing, it's about embracing the obvious.  And 'debating' does a disservice to those who really do need to know the truth in order to make the best decisions for themselves/their dancers.  

eta:  and fwiw I'm not implying that that is what you meant to suggest, only that's what someone might take away from your comments. Please remember that people aren't responding because they want to tell "you" that "you're wrong"... they're responding because they want to make sure that no one who might be reading comes away misinformed.

  



Agree wholeheartedly with this.  So well said that I can't add anything more!
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #68 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancinandlovinit
Well, for what it's worth, I said nothing about comp dancers who go on to become professional ballerinas. I would assume that most of these kids did not desire to become professional ballerinas, or they wouldn't be at a comp school. That's not to say that it's not possible but that wasn't what I was talking about. I simply mentioned that my daughter's sessions at ABT were full of comp kids who could "hold their own" and people freaked out. Then it was said that being accepted isn't the same as doing well in it and so I elaborated and mentioned Lex who was at the highest level at ABT and at the time, was very much a full-time comp kid. So I will still maintain that my daughter's sessions at ABT was full of comp kids - at advanced levels - who could very much "hold their own." I said nothing about any of them desiring to become professional ballerinas. I'd assume that most of them were there for the same reason my daughter was - to improve at ballet. Why would she or other comp kids want to improve at ballet if she didn't want to become a professional ballerina? To perform better at all of the other styles of dance. To perform better on the competition stage. Maybe, for some kids, even to work professionally in the commercial dance industry. Who knows. Not all of the kids at every summer intensive are hoping to be the next prima ballerina, and it's naive to assume that's the case - even at the higher levels. Our dancer who was at ABT that summer in the violet level very well could have been a professional ballerina - and she was a senior in high school, so older. But she was back on the comp stage that next season, where she was happiest. Like I said - don't generalize these kids. 


"Freak out"? Seriously?  So we are "freaking out" when we have an opinion?  This board is about opinions. Most people here want to hear others points of view.  We don't "freak out".
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dancermom128

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Reply with quote  #69 
The only thing further I have to add is that most of these very high level ballet dancers who are also comp kids (ie. what Lex was) do not get that ballet training from their studio. They get it from the various ballet studios that are attached to their comp studio (ie. Westside Dance Project has their dancers in ballet at Dmitri Kulev, YYC Dance Project at School of Alberta Ballet). I'm not sure where Lex was training for ballet when he competed but it was outside of West Coast School of the Arts.

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Dancinandlovinit

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Reply with quote  #70 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancermom128
The only thing further I have to add is that most of these very high level ballet dancers who are also comp kids (ie. what Lex was) do not get that ballet training from their studio. They get it from the various ballet studios that are attached to their comp studio (ie. Westside Dance Project has their dancers in ballet at Dmitri Kulev, YYC Dance Project at School of Alberta Ballet). I'm not sure where Lex was training for ballet when he competed but it was outside of West Coast School of the Arts.



You very well could be right, and/or the comp studio is bringing in pre-pro teachers in-house. Either way, though, they are not getting 20-30 hours of ballet a week during comp season. 
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #71 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancinandlovinit
Well, for what it's worth, I said nothing about comp dancers who go on to become professional ballerinas. I would assume that most of these kids did not desire to become professional ballerinas, or they wouldn't be at a comp school. That's not to say that it's not possible but that wasn't what I was talking about. I simply mentioned that my daughter's sessions at ABT were full of comp kids who could "hold their own" and people freaked out. Then it was said that being accepted isn't the same as doing well in it and so I elaborated and mentioned Lex who was at the highest level at ABT and at the time, was very much a full-time comp kid. So I will still maintain that my daughter's sessions at ABT was full of comp kids - at advanced levels - who could very much "hold their own." I said nothing about any of them desiring to become professional ballerinas. I'd assume that most of them were there for the same reason my daughter was - to improve at ballet. Why would she or other comp kids want to improve at ballet if she didn't want to become a professional ballerina? To perform better at all of the other styles of dance. To perform better on the competition stage. Maybe, for some kids, even to work professionally in the commercial dance industry. Who knows. Not all of the kids at every summer intensive are hoping to be the next prima ballerina, and it's naive to assume that's the case - even at the higher levels. Our dancer who was at ABT that summer in the violet level very well could have been a professional ballerina - and she was a senior in high school, so older. But she was back on the comp stage that next season, where she was happiest. Like I said - don't generalize these kids. 


Not sure anyone freaked, just asked for clarification.  That phrase can cover a wide spectrum.
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5678StarMom

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Reply with quote  #72 
A lot of tone is lost in the written word. I was legitimately just having a discussion, not freaking out (if you were talking about me). I *wish* we had the resources (i.e. Money, location, and time) to keep my DD14 in both ballet AND comp like many of the discussed dancers.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #73 
Just here to support the 'no freaking out" theme.  All of my comments were level headed and care free.  Just participating in a discussion, that's all.  
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