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Mom2Girls

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Reply with quote  #26 
I get it--it didn't seem worth it to me, either. [rofl]
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bopmom

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancermom128
I have to ask...how exactly does one master the art of master classes? And at 9 no less, how incredible!


I was wondering the same thing.  Any tips I can share with DD12
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DanceTumbleCheerMom

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Reply with quote  #28 
Still wrapping my head around the geographical differences for age vs grade. But not bring from NYC must be under achieving and ignorant.
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
I'm also fascinated by competition teams that are not attached to a school or studio. Where would I find such a team?  I've never ever heard of that.


I hadn't, either until this summer.  But I now count some "dance friends" among those who belong to such a team in a neighboring city.  I still can't quite get my head around how it all works, but the dancers do train, and the team is legit.
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459

Oh no.  None of that.  Just fascinated by the idea of such little kids with such big plans. And parents who make the choice to take them so seriously. It's not my reality.  Nor the reality of anyone I know in real life. 


Sadly, I do know a real life parent or two hell bent on making stars of their 9 year old kids, whether the kids want it or not!
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave9988


I hadn't, either until this summer.  But I now count some "dance friends" among those who belong to such a team in a neighboring city.  I still can't quite get my head around how it all works, but the dancers do train, and the team is legit.


And they go to standard dance competitions like ADA and Bravo and Tremaine?

I guess that's what threw me.  Of course, as I said to someone else, it may just be a matter of semantics.  I know people who compete without a studio too.  We call them "independents".  [smile]  
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave9988


Sadly, I do know a real life parent or two hell bent on making stars of their 9 year old kids, whether the kids want it or not!


And even though I don't personally know any of those either... that's what I suspect most of these situations really are.  Daughter/son took an interest and displayed some talent. And momma RAN with it.  But will forever insist they were just following their child's lead. 
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disneymom2two

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Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanceTumbleCheerMom
Still wrapping my head around the geographical differences for age vs grade. But not bring from NYC must be under achieving and ignorant.

I'm in MA.  While it's not common, there are a few towns/cities who have a December cutoff which could result in a 9 year old in 5th grade.  I was surprised so I looked it up on the Dept of Ed website and there are 8 including Worcester, Brockton, and Old Rochester.  In my town, you need to be 5 before 9/1 which resulted in my daughter being in 5th grade this year and turning 11 next week.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #34 
We have a December 31st cut off date to start school so DS was 4 when he started and 9 in 5th grade but we are in Canada and I know it is different up here.
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JojosDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #35 
Quote:
Originally Posted by disneymom2two

I'm in MA.  While it's not common, there are a few towns/cities who have a December cutoff which could result in a 9 year old in 5th grade.  I was surprised so I looked it up on the Dept of Ed website and there are 8 including Worcester, Brockton, and Old Rochester.  In my town, you need to be 5 before 9/1 which resulted in my daughter being in 5th grade this year and turning 11 next week.


My DD WAS 9 when she started 5th grade as well.
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459


And they go to standard dance competitions like ADA and Bravo and Tremaine?

I guess that's what threw me.  Of course, as I said to someone else, it may just be a matter of semantics.  I know people who compete without a studio too.  We call them "independents".  [smile]  


Yes, standard competitions including Hall of Fame, NYCDA, Jump. 

I wouldn't call them "independent entries" exactly... they enter group numbers, wear team jackets, etc., and are entered into competitions and conventions under the name of this organization.  Their dancers do attend numerous conventions, master classes, summer intensives, etc., but they do not offer any regular classes.   

It's a bit different from the model I'm used to, but it seems to work for them.  I wish them well.
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Sidhe14

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Reply with quote  #37 
Anyone else in So Cal shaking their head because they haven't taken their DD there for a "dance visit"?
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Julzso

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Reply with quote  #38 
Good evening.  I hope this post finds everyone well.  After a short hiatus, I see this thread has picked up a little steam.  I appreciate the engagement but have to admit to having a visceral reaction to some of the posts.  I don't want to make any judgements or false assumptions, so I am posting this response for the sake of clarity.  

I'll begin by apologizing if I violated some unspoken criteria for an introduction post.  I was really happy to find such a group.  No one told me about it.  I did a random google search using dance mom and support, and this website popped up.  I poked around a little and decided to join.  In my exuberance I wanted to share and be a little more open than merely saying hello and where I'm from in my introduction.  I didn't want to be too wordy, so I gave a timeline of my journey; what we've experienced thus far and where we're at.  Possibly I jumped in too quickly without realizing the idiosyncracies of this board.  Possibly in my desire to not be too lengthy I gave some sort of false impression because there was no backstory, only the timeline.  Maybe on a line or two where I was feeling playful it read unclear.  I thought an emoji would express that, but I guess it did not.  Digital communication is tricky.  You can't feel a person's energy, you can't see subtle body language, you can't read any social cues online.  You don't see soft eyes, smiling eyes, and can't make instantaneous corrections to diffuse miscommunication.  I have questions and things i've been mulling over and trying to figure out as my daughter transitions  from recreational to being a more serious dancer which I assumed this website would be a great place to do so, but I wouldn't have placed those questions on an introduction post.  

While I'm not a frequent message board user, I do have an idea of how they work.  I do understand that they all have a culture and social climate.  I also realize people may have been on them for a while and have developed a sort of digital relationship with users/usernames they've become friendly with.  This board seems to be pretty massive and appears to have some longevity.  I'm sure there is a large range of diversity here.  I would believe some threads would feel more inspiring than others, some will pique more of an interest than others.  I envision a plethora of families here with many different goals, paths, and experiences.  I feel disheartened that I seem to have appeared to have done something wrong.  I don't believe I used inciting words, I don't believe I was rude to anyone, I don't think I made any reference to anyone's children.  Based on some replies maybe I fumbled at trying to explain myself, but it's all a judgement call whether to be quick about an answer which might appear and read curt, or to be a little lengthy to paint a little bit of a picture and try to explain perspective.  I don't think i've disagreed or deemed anyone's answers or feedback as wrong to incite the bit of cynicism, sarcasm, and passive aggressiveness that's coming out. It's disheartening to get the impression that some are enjoying the banter.  It's feeling a bit mean and I hope this is not the culture of this board.

I'm a non confrontational person and discontent unsettles me.  I try not to judge and I'll always be respectful even if I feel that something is not for me or to my liking. I employ a live and let live motto.  I apologize for being lengthy.  I realize this is cyberspace and that I could just move on and all parties will move on.  This board was here without me just as I existed in the world without this website.  However, perception can sometimes deceive us and being strangers in cyberspace complicates it further.  I will take ownership if my perception is false or unclear and I ask that if this refers to you to do the same.  As is stated in my intro my daughter is moving out of recreational dancing.  In fact, I'm of the belief that while users might be at many different levels, my assumption is that a large number of users are really experienced.  I image many users have amazing dancers with amazing stories and journeys.  My kid was not a competition kid or company kid, she just pranced around, had fun dancing, and participated in yearly recitals before the events in the timeline.  I'm posting this dissertation in hopes of halting the devolving and derailing of this post/thread.  This is my hail mary attempt to stop a sinking ship so I don't have to disengage.  I was so hoping to learn from people and gain insight and offer support if I can.  I'm not sure if I can use this site to the best of my ability if my username is attached to negativity, or a circus around a post gone wrong.  I'll reply to the few questions/comments that appeared in my inbox and hopefully I don't have to leave this group.  Thank you for your time and patience.
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Julzso

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Reply with quote  #39 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancermom128
I think you're assuming that most of us don't know what goes on in NY. Some of us have kids in college there, live there, have trained there. We're well aware of the opportunities that exist in NYC. 


Hello,

I didn't make any assumptions at all. I'm actually not native to NY.  I'm originally from Miami. I've been in NY for 14 years.  What was surprising to me is how accessible things are.  I imagine there to be art institutions in most cities and even if something is not in the immediate vicinity it's a drive away. What was most surprising to me about NYC was the the amount of access, how easy it is to find it and get to it, and how it's not necessarily exclusive.  It's so common that you don't have to work hard to find it and people generally enjoy networking.  I was most shocked at how you can create a path out of pure passion and it will grow organically.  I was trying to express access, not exclusivity.  Apologies if it did not come across that way.


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Julzso

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Reply with quote  #40 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachgirl
Welcome! Is the pre-professional program your DD in a ballet program or a pre-professional competition program? I know that term is used interchangeably sometimes on these boards and with her interest in commercial dance I was wondering which path she is taking? Our studio could be lumped into "pre-professional" but we don't call our program that. We are a competition studio but prepare dancers for the commercial dance industry. We train heavily in ballet, but our dancers don't usually go into ballet companies.


Thanks for the welcome.  The school my daughter is at has a modern dance company.  Their junior division trains in ballet, but as they move up in levels they add other dance genres into the curriculum.  If her interest continues, by the time she finishes she'll be technically trained in ballet and will be able to have the option to continue to train in their independent study program, go into a certification program, or go to Fordham which they have a partnership with and enroll in their BFA program.  She loves ballet and company dance just as much as she appreciates and enjoys commercial dance.  Our time is mostly focused on training at her school, but we're keeping up with commercial dance by taking classes at a commercial dance school as well as going to the drop in classes and master classes.  My goal is to let her attend about 2 conventions a year since she enjoys those also.  I'm assuming this is enough to give her the outlet of commercial dance.
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Julzso

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Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidhe14
Anyone else in So Cal shaking their head because they haven't taken their DD there for a "dance visit"?


That was a joke.  I'll be specific and say that she knows about the Buildabeast Experience and wants to go.  She had some dance friends attend this summer.  She's also aware of Millennium Dance Complex.  We're not competition dancers, so we don't travel or follow a circuit, but do know of conventions and such that take place in CA.
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Julzso

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Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
I'm also fascinated by competition teams that are not attached to a school or studio. Where would I find such a team?  I've never ever heard of that.


We have independent dancers/choreographers who will put together these teams and create their own circuit of dancers that compete.  They practice and such and when it's time to compete they'll rent a venue for the event.  We also have choreographers that will audition kids to become a part of a group.  They won't compete like the above mentioned, but they will perform at different events, perform routines that go online, and sometimes they do some local traveling. 
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #43 

Quote:
 I was trying to express access

 

After training in NYC, my dd has been taken aback by the lack of access in some places, especially her current city! Even if she were home, in the suburbs, she could find an open ballet or other class to take at least 5 days a week. She was shocked to find that is not the case in some cities, even those with a ballet company! 
 
So, your dd is in the Ailey Junior program. [smile] We know a few dancers who started there but then later moved on to more classical ballet programs when they got older. And dd has had many teachers from Ailey over the years and has a good number of friends in the BFA program and a smaller number who did the certificate program.
 
Where are you finding open classes that include her age group? Or master classes even? As I mentioned before (and you likely have not gotten to that yet... lots of posts here, including some just having fun), I have had that question asked of me several times and I am not aware of that sort of thing for younger dancers, even in NYC except for occasional individual exceptions. 
 
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Psmom

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Reply with quote  #44 
Honestly this board is fantastic. You are very wordy. You're also writing in a very formal, term paper worthy style. Try casual conversational, to the point posts. I'm not trying to offend you. You didn't understand the reaction you got and I'm explaining it. You really will enjoy the board if you choose to stay. This is the diverse group of people you imagined. A very large number of us have brought our dancers toNew York to take advantage of the plethora of opportunities there and also appreciate how accessible they are.
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Julzso

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Reply with quote  #45 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancedaughters


I know you are not asking for advice, but it's the nature of internet boards that you'll end up getting some anyway, so take this for what it's worth.  I have a kid who had a passion for performing arts from very early on, and who was able to do a small amount of professional work as a child.  She probably could have done more if we had decided to pursue it in a different way - you never know for sure but I've seen comparable kids and how it has played out for them.  My kid is in college now, and still hoping to work professionally as a performer as an adult.  My advice is this:

1. Be sure to distinguish between the value of training and building skills vs. the value of working professionally as a child.  They overlap but they are not the same thing.  Some professional jobs will be good learning/training experiences or just good life experiences.  Some will not.  The ones that are not will help "build a resume" but your child professional resume will not mean much when you are an adult, so don't get caught up doing things your child doesn't enjoy and doesn't learn from, or things that overextend your family, if the only value you see in them is building the resume.

2. You will be able to help your child in many ways, and you'll meet lots of other people who can help.  You can do the agent/manager thing for yourself, up to a point, or you can get someone else.  You can coach your kid for auditions, or you can hire someone.  The one thing nobody else can do is be your kid's parent.  Your #1 job is to look out for the well-being of your kid, because nobody else has that as their top priority.  We worked with great people who were wonderful with kids.  Many (maybe most) people in the business who work with kids are very good with them and very nice people.  But they have lots of other priorities and responsibilities.  Be the mom.  Make sure your kid is getting enough sleep, having fun, living a balanced life, having some space to make mistakes and learn from them.  Professional work can be part of this life, but it has to be just a part of it, not the thing around which everything else revolves.  

Note that I'm trying to tell you about these things not because I think you are on a bad path, but because you are at the beginning of a path with a lot of twists and turns and forks, and it can be nice to think ahead about what's out there.


Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I do have a dd who loves performing arts.  Dance is her favorite, but she also likes drama/theater, as well as voice.  My goal is to put more focus on training and building skills.  I don't have a definitive idea of how I'll go forward.  My daughter made dance friends who work professionally and is inspired by them.  I know her passion was not initiated by them because she was asking for this before she met them.  She also wasn't the kid who watched a ton of kid actors/dancers on tv and such, so I'm assuming this is something sincere.  She was always the kid who wanted to be in the play or dance club at school.  When she's at sleep away camp she always participates in anything performing arts.  I'm trying to find the balance between letting her try these things out, but not losing the essence of her being a kid. 

Right now we are just exploring.  I talk to her more about being appreciative of her training, as I think there's more longevity it that.  I'm trying to approach it from the perspective of having fun and trying things out and if something happens, it happens.  This will probably sound contrary to what you've been reading, we're lucky to be able to poke around at things without going crazy or being obsessive.  We haven't gotten to the point of thinking about management.  If she landed a few jobs that she'd have fun at and feel accomplished about I'll be happy.  Thanks for sharing your experience and giving me food for thought especially around how this kid stuff translates when they're older.


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Julzso

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Reply with quote  #46 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom

 

 

After training in NYC, my dd has been taken aback by the lack of access in some places, especially her current city! Even if she were home, in the suburbs, she could find an open ballet or other class to take at least 5 days a week. She was shocked to find that is not the case in some cities, even those with a ballet company! 
 
So, your dd is in the Ailey Junior program. [smile] We know a few dancers who started there but then later moved on to more classical ballet programs when they got older. And dd has had many teachers from Ailey over the years and has a good number of friends in the BFA program and a smaller number who did the certificate program.
 
Where are you finding open classes that include her age group? Or master classes even? As I mentioned before (and you likely have not gotten to that yet... lots of posts here, including some just having fun), I have had that question asked of me several times and I am not aware of that sort of thing for younger dancers, even in NYC except for occasional individual exceptions. 
 


Hello,

When it comes to master classes, we take them at BDC, or at other studios when certain choreographers come to town.  The choreographers will post and say they're in town and/or BDC (or Peridance, sometimes other studios in the boroughs) will post them.  When master classes are not held at the two aforementioned, they will be at multipurpose studio spaces.  If you follow choreographers on social media, you'll stumble upon these posts.  We meet these people at conventions, through word of mouth, or hear of them online or on dance shows.  In terms of kids going to these master classes and drop ins, some of them are actually geared towards kids, or if you go to some studios it will be the choreographers choice/discretion as to whether they allow kids.  They usually will (although not always) because those that took the time to know who they more than likely know what's expected.  Local choreographers employ the same rules.  The easiest are the up and coming choreographers, certain groups that surround a genre, or those who teach at schools that will also teach classes at these multipurpose studios.  It's mostly word of mouth and social media for those also.  The larger schools like Ailey, SAB, and such I think are more strict about younger kids coming to classes regardless of skill level.

My dd is really happy about Ailey.  I think it's the perfect match for her because she loves almost all genres.  I had one SO at a local school tell me that it gets really intense and that a couple of her students who were accepted dropped out.  We're early in the game, so I guess I'll see what happens.  I'm hoping their fate won't become hers because I think it's a great opportunity.  With her commercial interest, she gets an instant gratification at these classes/in these environments.  I know she's young, but I do try to explain short term versus long term aspirations.  I've got many more years to go, I guess I just wait to see how it plays out.  
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #47 

Thanks! That makes sense. My dd did not start dancing there until her teen years, long after she left the comp/convention circuit. She is also not a huge fan of BDC for multiple reasons, though she did sometimes follow certain teachers there for tap and jazz. 

Kids leave for all sorts of reasons, I am sure. It's the same with anything. When dd was 10 and complained about a girl in her ballet class who used to fool around and talk in between exercises, I explained that some people love dance and want to dance as much as they possibly can. For others, 4 days each week is plenty and any more is too much. There are others that are perfectly happy with a once a week class. All are ok, it's a matter of finding the right place and the right level of commitment. Interests change too, especially in middle school and then again in high school The ones we know who left Ailey actually left for more intense ballet programs, so they left for more intensity, not less. 

 

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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #48 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julzso


Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I do have a dd who loves performing arts.  Dance is her favorite, but she also likes drama/theater, as well as voice.  My goal is to put more focus on training and building skills.  I don't have a definitive idea of how I'll go forward.  My daughter made dance friends who work professionally and is inspired by them.  I know her passion was not initiated by them because she was asking for this before she met them.  She also wasn't the kid who watched a ton of kid actors/dancers on tv and such, so I'm assuming this is something sincere.  She was always the kid who wanted to be in the play or dance club at school.  When she's at sleep away camp she always participates in anything performing arts.  I'm trying to find the balance between letting her try these things out, but not losing the essence of her being a kid. 

Right now we are just exploring.  I talk to her more about being appreciative of her training, as I think there's more longevity it that.  I'm trying to approach it from the perspective of having fun and trying things out and if something happens, it happens.  This will probably sound contrary to what you've been reading, we're lucky to be able to poke around at things without going crazy or being obsessive.  We haven't gotten to the point of thinking about management.  If she landed a few jobs that she'd have fun at and feel accomplished about I'll be happy.  Thanks for sharing your experience and giving me food for thought especially around how this kid stuff translates when they're older.




Camp shows, etc. - that's exactly what I mean.  Sometimes those can be more valuable training experiences than, say,  working background on a movie.  And way more fun.  Adult actors/performers take just about any paying job they get, because they have to make a living.  Sometimes child performers get pushed into that mindset - that any job is a good job - but when you are not doing it for a living, or maybe even losing money because of the extra overhead involved in having a child working, then that's often not the case.

Also, I didn't mention this but others may have mentioned it.  No matter how talented the kid is, opportunities for professional work almost all dry up during the teen years.  If they have a 10 year old character they need an actor who looks 10, and that actor will be in the 9-12 year old range.  But if they have a 14 year old character, they'll most likely cast an 18 year old.

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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #49 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julzso

With her commercial interest, she gets an instant gratification at these classes/in these environments.  I know she's young, but I do try to explain short term versus long term aspirations.  I've got many more years to go, I guess I just wait to see how it plays out.  


Oooof, were I asked to provide two words that do not describe dance training, my choice would be "instant gratification."
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5nfeyn9h

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Reply with quote  #50 
I think the important thing is to make sure that your daughter is enrolled in a school where teachers with a real dance resume work. You are fortunate to be in NYC because there is a lot of very poor dance training throughout the country and parents often do not know the difference! Look at where the teachers have danced, not just trained. If they went to Julliard, NYU or Purchase and have worked with legitimate companies, they know of what they teach! If not...stay away! Larry Rhodes (chair of Julliard) once told me, "It takes as long to become a bad dancer as a good one!"
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