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crafty1

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Reply with quote  #26 
Actually, I think in some ways both Cynmckee and Heidi are right.

These young ladies do have some training and talent. They seem driven and hard-working.  What they have above a lot of other things is face and name recognition. That is both positive and negative. They each have a fan-base, but they also have the baggage of their mothers' behavior on this "reality" show.

In the entertainment business (and with a lot of things), it's not what you know, it's who you know. They have made a lot of contacts in that business already. Who knows, maybe the moms are easy to work with in real life?

A friend of mine has a son who is in LA and auditions for a lot of roles for TV and movies (and does get cast). At 13, he is already savvy enough to tell her that this is the only thing he does where it doesn't really matter if he does his best or not at auditions (although he always tries his best). If he plays basketball or takes an algebra test, doing/trying his best matters. What matters at auditions is if his best is what they are looking for at that particular audition for that role, over someone else's best.

So, no these Dance Moms girls don't need to be the best. They only need to be what the casting director is looking for.

So, I guess what really matters is what these girls want out of their lives/careers.
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459

eta:  and.. IDK... I'm pretty darn sure that the reigning YAGP winner has no interest in doing a music video with Sia.  Nor do plenty of other young dancers.  Not every dancer considers "any" job a "good" job.  IMO what these kids have is really not to be envied so when people suggest that it is, or that others are in fact envious, I do worry a little about perspective.  When these kids start landing legitimate gigs based on their talent and not their celebrity status?  Then, and only then, will I stop to take  notice.


I think when it come to the entertainment industry, for the most part a gig is a gig is a gig.  That is why American celebrities do all kinds of commercial work in other countries.  They have contracts that say that they wont show these in the US, but they still do them because it is work.  I think you can hold your breath and hope for a Bolshoi offer after turning down an ABT offer.  Some would believe that is holding out for your principals while others would believe that is pure folly.  You were trained to dance, so dance.  I think, of course, that dancers will stay in their main course of study, because that just makes sense. So I'm not suggesting that a ballet trained dancer would take a hip hop commercial job just because they could.

I think that the reason that we, as dance parents, want these kids to fail is because the Maddie experience is telling our kids that they can succeed without having to sacrifice and without putting the hard work in.  That there are shortcuts.  We want to be able to point to those kids and say "See!  Slow and steady wins the race."  While that is a noble sentiment, it is only partially true.  For some, there is success with a quicker, less honorable means.  For some, a solid background will help a lot but not get them to the finish line they were hoping for.  Some will take the standard route and be able to make a living.

I think that success in the dance industry is a crap shoot at best.  While I don't watch the show, because I think TLC is profiting off the back of children, I don't begrudge whatever means the kids want to take to get to where they want to go. Maddie, Chloe and Nia (damn I had to google those kids names to get them right...I am old) seem old enough to start to make some decisions about what they ultimately want in life.  Makenzie...not so much.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #28 
I don't want Maddie or any of the dm kids to fail.  Statistically though, they are more likely to run into problems just like any child star.  Let's do the list Judy Garland, Dana Plato, Todd Bridges, River Phoenix, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Jodie Sweetin, Corey Haim, Lindsay Lohan, this list goes on and on.   The problem is throwing fame at kids who are way to young to handle it.  It unnaturally builds their egos until they think they are gods/goddesses.  Then the fickle fans find them out of favor and even jokes and then they are lost with nothing.  It's a big crash.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynmckee
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459

eta:  and.. IDK... I'm pretty darn sure that the reigning YAGP winner has no interest in doing a music video with Sia.  Nor do plenty of other young dancers.  Not every dancer considers "any" job a "good" job.  IMO what these kids have is really not to be envied so when people suggest that it is, or that others are in fact envious, I do worry a little about perspective.  When these kids start landing legitimate gigs based on their talent and not their celebrity status?  Then, and only then, will I stop to take  notice.


I think when it come to the entertainment industry, for the most part a gig is a gig is a gig.  That is why American celebrities do all kinds of commercial work in other countries.  They have contracts that say that they wont show these in the US, but they still do them because it is work.  I think you can hold your breath and hope for a Bolshoi offer after turning down an ABT offer.  Some would believe that is holding out for your principals while others would believe that is pure folly.  You were trained to dance, so dance.  I think, of course, that dancers will stay in their main course of study, because that just makes sense. So I'm not suggesting that a ballet trained dancer would take a hip hop commercial job just because they could.

I think that the reason that we, as dance parents, want these kids to fail is because the Maddie experience is telling our kids that they can succeed without having to sacrifice and without putting the hard work in.  That there are shortcuts.  We want to be able to point to those kids and say "See!  Slow and steady wins the race."  While that is a noble sentiment, it is only partially true.  For some, there is success with a quicker, less honorable means.  For some, a solid background will help a lot but not get them to the finish line they were hoping for.  Some will take the standard route and be able to make a living.

I think that success in the dance industry is a crap shoot at best.  While I don't watch the show, because I think TLC is profiting off the back of children, I don't begrudge whatever means the kids want to take to get to where they want to go. Maddie, Chloe and Nia (damn I had to google those kids names to get them right...I am old) seem old enough to start to make some decisions about what they ultimately want in life.  Makenzie...not so much.


FWIW let me first say that I don't think there's a right & wrong here.  Just a difference in personal opinion.  And sometimes it's not even that as much as it is that we're not on the same page. Case in point... the term 'legitimate gig'. What I said was that I'm waiting for them to land "a legitimate gig based on talent NOT on celebrity status".  That's MY definition of legitimate.  All gigs are gigs, yes, but imo not all are legitimate. Paris Hilton has made music videos.  Kim Kardashian has made movies.  Does that make Paris a legitimate recording artist? And Kim a legitimate actress?  Not in my eyes.  IMO it takes a lot more than an "opportunity" to establish yourself as a professional in an industry.  The kind that will stand the test of time.  It takes real talent & the respect of your fellow professionals.. neither of which can ever be handed to you.  And so THAT is what I'm using as a barometer here.  Not an opportunity, or two, or three.  Not a paycheck, no matter how big.  And not a fan base, no matter how loyal. Right now these "kids" are making the very most out of their 45 minutes of fame but that, to me, is not a sign of anything to come. The real test of that is going to be what happens when the show is ancient history & they can no longer capitalize on their celebrity status.  When no one cares that they were on Dance Moms.  When many no longer even recognize their name.  Some seem to think that for them success is no less likely than any other young dancer... maybe more given their time in the limelight.  I respectfully disagree. Maybe take a good long look at what has happened to other child "stars", which is really what they have become. Sadly, the odds really aren't in their favor.  


And with that I'd like to add.... you've said more than once now that "we" as dance parents want these kids to fail.  And since you've made it clear that "you" don't want that I feel like I want to ask.... who has said that they want them to fail?  Just because people aren't rallying behind these young girls doesn't mean they wish them any ill will.  Honestly, I think maybe you're overthinking things. And that's coming from the Queen of Overthinking (me).                    


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sansha

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Reply with quote  #30 
Re Heidi's post, I'm thinking about a special I saw about another child star, David Cassidy. He decided to quit  The Partridge Family because he wanted to play his own music, rock, not bubble gum pop (he was in his mid twenties playing a teenager and it got to him). 

His fame was much greater than the DM crowd, and more legitimate.  He had a hit network (not cable)  TV show (it ended when he decided to quit).  He was on the cover of every teen magazine for years.  He had numerous hit records and albums (not music videos on youtube).  He played to sold out crowds at huge concert venues every weekend while the show was on.

When the Partridge Family limelight faded after the show went off the air, and the teeny boppers got a year or two older and not interested in bubble gum stars but their own boyfriends,  he went back to TV roles to pay his mortgage. He'ld show up for a casting call and wouldn't even be auditioned.  He was a has been in his mid twenties a year or so after the show and its publicity machine ended. And he could actually act, play and sing.  It doesn't  take long for fans to grow up and move on. 

For the DM girls, who can't really act or sing and whose dancing technique has become second rate in comparison to serious contemporaries, what can they do?
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #31 
The track record for child celebrities certainly is very poor, it is very difficult to be worshipped in the limelight before you are even old enough to develop any sense of humility and then be dropped right out of it when your cuteness does not win you roles anymore.

The percentage of celebrities who have died young from drug overdose or suicide is significantly higher than the general population. I do hope beyond hope that this does not happen to these kids. Part of me think though these kids will have a better reality check than most because Abby will never let them forget that they are flawed and replaceable.

Personally I think Maddie's gig with Sia and the other gigs she has been offered are far more real than what the other girls are doing. I mean Mackenzie, Kendall, Brooke and Nia all recorded a music video. None of them are particularly talented singers, they recorded it because they decided to go to a recording studio and do it and then sold it based on their fame. At least Maddie was actually invited to do a few gigs by people who do have a bit of a reputation in the entertainment industry.

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dancemonkey

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Reply with quote  #32 
To the person comparing the scholarship for the two boys. I believe there is no way to compare the financial scholarship from two different schools to two different individuals. It's like comparing apples to oranges. Pointe Park and Pace are two very different schools. Also financial packages are put together on many different factors from need to merit. Isn't wonderful two schools deemed theses gentlemen worthy of scholarship. As for Maddie I hope she has a long successful career. I wonder how long she'll be around after the show wraps?
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancemonkey
To the person comparing the scholarship for the two boys. I believe there is no way to compare the financial scholarship from two different schools to two different individuals. It's like comparing apples to oranges. Pointe Park and Pace are two very different schools. Also financial packages are put together on many different factors from need to merit. Isn't wonderful two schools deemed theses gentlemen worthy of scholarship. As for Maddie I hope she has a long successful career. I wonder how long she'll be around after the show wraps?


NYCDA scholarships are given to a group of participants based on an audition.  They do not fill out need forms.  They were competing directly against each other in the same exact audition.  Of course they are comparable.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #34 
Re: Nycda scholarships

I'm not versed in the details of NYCDA, but it is likely the scholarship offers are coming from the schools themselves, based on what what their representatives saw at the convention and competition.  That is how it works at YAGP.  Scholarship offers from colleges are based on what money they have available, and who they think will bring benefits to their program.  I got a full tuition scholarship for music which was at least partially based on the fact that I played a relatively rare instrument.  Most of the kids who played the same instrument got at least a partial scholarship, while I never met a single flute player, for instance, on a "merit" scholarship for music at that university.  

Costs for one university program are seldom equivalent to costs at another.  Annual tuition at Pace is $40,000 a year, but $34,000 at Point Park.  The costs of living in NYC to attend Pace would naturally be higher than the cost of living in Pittsburgh.

The dance programs at Pace and Point Park have different focuses.  Pace has degrees in Musical Theater and Commercial Dance.  Point Park has degrees in Ballet, Jazz, and Pedagogy.   

Apples to oranges in my opinion. 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #35 
@cynmckee....  I have to agree w/ggsmith & dancemonkay.  These scholarship amounts are predetermined & based on factors unrelated to the dancers themselves.  The most likely scenario is that they come directly from the schools.  The less likely scenario would be that they are funded by NYCDA themselves.  But either way, the point is that they are not made up on the spot.  NYCDA's job at audition time is to match the different offers to those dancers they believe to be the best match for each program.  Completely different fruit.  

Also, it saddens me to think an SO would want to plant that seed w/little to nothing to back it up. You say both dancers were equally as talented & there was no application.. so no additional info was available to help make the decision.  Now consider that each scholarship can only be awarded to one dancer.  What is it exactly about the final decision that screams 'political' or 'unfair'?  Just because the Pace scholarship happened to be larger and was awarded to a dancer who'd been on the circuit longer? Maybe (probably) they thought that dancer was the better fit for that particular program based upon what that program looks for in it's dancers. Maybe their familiarity w/him did play a part but not in the way your SO is suggesting.  Maybe they had a better sense of who he was as a dancer.  They're giving away a 200,000 scholarship.. they want to be sure they're giving it to the best possible candidate.  Your SO makes it sound like there's no rhyme nor reason to the process.  Not likely.         

That said, the point that politics is often at play where real world decisions are concerned, & that life is not fair, is absolutely true. But I just don't see how it relates to the discussion of success in the long term.  A connection here, a favor there, can certainly give someone an opportunity or a leg up in the game, but it can't take them the distance.  And that's what most folks are commenting on here.  The likelihood that these kids will go the distance.
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Lunafly

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Reply with quote  #36 

@cynmckee I definitely don't want her to fail. I'd love to see her be successful, but right now her brand and training are all over the place. What's next a clothing line and a fragrance? I guess if all she wants is fame, go for it. I don't think that is what Maddie wants though, I think that's what Melissa and Abby want.

Maddie has always said she wants to be a "triple threat" with an emphasis on dance. I might have missed it as I don't watch the show anymore, but I've never heard her say she just wants to be famous for the sake of being famous. Makenzie maybe, but not Maddie. She's worked too hard for that.

I also have to disagree that "a gig is a gig". She needs to maintain some sense of direction with her training. The last thing I want is to see Maddie become a reality TV notation on IMDB. She deserves better! The Hollywood world is business first and does not put art first the way dance companies do. They will squeeze every dollar they can get out of her as long as her "momager" allows it. It's not healthy and overall I think that's the reason for the negativity toward the article. It has nothing to do with Maddie, but more-so the seeming exploitation that she's exposed to. 

As an aside, I would think when auditioning for any company or theater being a YAGP winner would hold more weight on a resume than being in a music video.


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Twinkletoesx2

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunafly

@cynmckee I definitely don't want her to fail. I'd love to see her be successful, but right now her brand and training are all over the place. What's next a clothing line and a fragrance? I guess if all she wants is fame, go for it. I don't think that is what Maddie wants though, I think that's what Melissa and Abby want.

Maddie has always said she wants to be a "triple threat" with an emphasis on dance. I might have missed it as I don't watch the show anymore, but I've never heard her say she just wants to be famous for the sake of being famous. Makenzie maybe, but not Maddie. She's worked too hard for that.

I also have to disagree that "a gig is a gig". She needs to maintain some sense of direction with her training. The last thing I want is to see Maddie become a reality TV notation on IMDB. She deserves better! The Hollywood world is business first and does not put art first the way dance companies do. They will squeeze every dollar they can get out of her as long as her "momager" allows it. It's not healthy and overall I think that's the reason for the negativity toward the article. It has nothing to do with Maddie, but more-so the seeming exploitation that she's exposed to. 

As an aside, I would think when auditioning for any company or theater being a YAGP winner would hold more weight on a resume than being in a music video.




I believe Maddie and Makenzie do have a clothing line though the name escapes me.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunafly

I also have to disagree that "a gig is a gig". She needs to maintain some sense of direction with her training. The last thing I want is to see Maddie become a reality TV notation on IMDB. She deserves better! The Hollywood world is business first and does not put art first the way dance companies do. They will squeeze every dollar they can get out of her as long as her "momager" allows it. It's not healthy and overall I think that's the reason for the negativity toward the article. It has nothing to do with Maddie, but more-so the seeming exploitation that she's exposed to. 



I think they all deserve better than simply a reality TV notation. I think I was missing something because I never saw Maddie as being head and shoulders above all the rest, at least not in the earlier seasons when I was a regular watcher. I don't think there is a sense of direction in training for any of them at this point. Sadly, I think they all suffer in terms of dance training and in terms of their adolescence. It amazes me that this show is still on, but obviously there are dollars to be squeezed out. And, on the other hand, it popularizes dance and anything that popularizes the arts can't be all bad. 

As far as a "gig is a gig," I am starting to learn that is not the case. There is a hierarchy of gigs in any world. I am slowly learning about that hierarchy in the dance world (esp musical theater). Dh and I thought dd should audition for something but those in the industry who are advising her have very specific visions of what she should and should not audition for at this point. 


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Danceter

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Reply with quote  #39 
All this talk of "child stars" and how they are absolutely bound to fail, and examples of people who have crashed and burned. What about the people who got a lot of recognition as children who went on to have successful happy lives both in and out of show bussiness? Natalie Portman, anyone? Jodi Foster? Danicia McKeller? Raven-Symone. Both Savage brothers. SHIRLEY TEMPLE? It's just not as exciting when someone isn't dead on the bathroom floor, is it?

These kids are not bound to fail. Suggesting that they are seems weirdly sadistic. None of them are even in high school yet. They have a ton of time pursue other things. You're all painting them into the "entertainment" corner because that what they're doing RIGHT NOW. As kids! Nia seemed like a really bright girl, and she comes from a highly educated family where I suspect university is very much expected. She now has a lot of money to fund that, which is awesome. If she wants to dabble in music and acting, it's far better to do that now at 13, when a television show is already funding her private tutoring, than when she should be focusing on college.

The same goes for all these girls. I mean come on, guys? How seriously do you take what your own daughters are doing at 11,12,13? This is a period of exploration. They're not "ruined" because they were on an idiotic television show. You're all arguing about how catastrophic their lives are going to be, or how wildly successful, when the fact of the matter is that this show will go off the air and these kids will all most probably slip into quiet, normal lives.
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Lunafly

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Reply with quote  #40 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danceter
All this talk of "child stars" and how they are absolutely bound to fail, and examples of people who have crashed and burned. What about the people who got a lot of recognition as children who went on to have successful happy lives both in and out of show bussiness? Natalie Portman, anyone? Jodi Foster? Danicia McKeller? Raven-Symone. Both Savage brothers. SHIRLEY TEMPLE? It's just not as exciting when someone isn't dead on the bathroom floor, is it? These kids are not bound to fail. Suggesting that they are seems weirdly sadistic. None of them are even in high school yet. They have a ton of time pursue other things. You're all painting them into the "entertainment" corner because that what they're doing RIGHT NOW. As kids! Nia seemed like a really bright girl, and she comes from a highly educated family where I suspect university is very much expected. She now has a lot of money to fund that, which is awesome. If she wants to dabble in music and acting, it's far better to do that now at 13, when a television show is already funding her private tutoring, than when she should be focusing on college. The same goes for all these girls. I mean come on, guys? How seriously do you take what your own daughters are doing at 11,12,13? This is a period of exploration. They're not "ruined" because they were on an idiotic television show. You're all arguing about how catastrophic their lives are going to be, or how wildly successful, when the fact of the matter is that this show will go off the air and these kids will all most probably slip into quiet, normal lives.


I think you're taking what we're saying wildly out of context. Most of us are not suggesting that these girls are headed for death's door, just that the choices being made on their behalf do not seem conducive to their long term goals, and may in fact be harmful to their careers in the long term. Yes, they may have some instant gratification right now, but for the amount of time and hard work these girls put in they deserve more than that.

Melissa has dedicated her whole family's life to the stardom of her children so I think they should all be taking this VERY seriously. They're in a whole different category than most of us. What they're doing is far from just participating in an extracurricular activity, so I don't know that many of us can relate that to what our own children are doing.

Also the stars you mentioned above had actual talent management. The reality TV world is a whole different ball game with very little protections for those who sign up. These girls aren't even allowed into many dance competitions now because of the show so they're already being impacted.

You actually hit the nail on the head with the last sentence. Most of these girls will "go back to normal" when the show is over. The issue is that this is not the expectation that they're being given. They're all being told over and over that they're going to be stars. Maybe, just maybe one or two of them will. In the mean time they continue to be abused and exploited for everyone's entertainment. 


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sansha

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Reply with quote  #41 
These girls give interviews as part of their pursuit of fame. The goal is to be noticed and discussed. 

Those who buy into what their reality show purports - let's take the whole "national champs",  as if there's only one national , or that Maddie cant be beat - are wildly na├»ve.  Those who recognize and comment on where their reality show is unreal are labeled "sadistic" and negative.

I hope Maddie and the other girls are aware of reality. Though the others have been put down so much by their teacher, they can't have unreal opinions of themselves.  Maddie is the one who seems to have sacrificed the most in pursuit of a reality reputation that is based on fake comps and otherwise false pronouncements by her mentors. If her goal was to be a celebrity famous for being on a trashy reality show, if she said, I'm going to ride this fame train till the last station, and pile up $$ for college, and enjoy the ride, and then go back to real life, more power to her.

If, on the other hand, she actually means and believes the triple threat thing, I'd say many people believe she is either going about it the wrong way, or perhaps is mistaken in her abilities, or  is destined for an unpleasant surprise. That's why kids shouldn't be in reality shows.

Celebrity not only invites review and commentary, and for them, controversy,  it is pretty much dead without it.  And celebrity from controversy has been the DM game plan from episode #1.    If you're in the game, you don't get to say "buy into our reality show nonsense or we'll call you negative and sadistic". And guilt the public on being negative about children. Children shouldn't be in this game. When the emperor isn't wearing clothes, only a fan or a groupie sees clothes. Yes, these are little girls,  but the ones still in the game are complicit in knowing the comps are fake, the opportunities are staged, and the game is a game  - at least at some level.  When Maddie speaks of triple threats, rather than riding her reality train fame,   I don't think it is sadistic, but kinder, to hope she understands the non reality show reality, rather than get a devastating surprise later.

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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danceter
All this talk of "child stars" and how they are absolutely bound to fail, and examples of people who have crashed and burned. What about the people who got a lot of recognition as children who went on to have successful happy lives both in and out of show bussiness? Natalie Portman, anyone? Jodi Foster? Danicia McKeller? Raven-Symone. Both Savage brothers. SHIRLEY TEMPLE? It's just not as exciting when someone isn't dead on the bathroom floor, is it? These kids are not bound to fail. Suggesting that they are seems weirdly sadistic. None of them are even in high school yet. They have a ton of time pursue other things. You're all painting them into the "entertainment" corner because that what they're doing RIGHT NOW. As kids! Nia seemed like a really bright girl, and she comes from a highly educated family where I suspect university is very much expected. She now has a lot of money to fund that, which is awesome. If she wants to dabble in music and acting, it's far better to do that now at 13, when a television show is already funding her private tutoring, than when she should be focusing on college. The same goes for all these girls. I mean come on, guys? How seriously do you take what your own daughters are doing at 11,12,13? This is a period of exploration. They're not "ruined" because they were on an idiotic television show. You're all arguing about how catastrophic their lives are going to be, or how wildly successful, when the fact of the matter is that this show will go off the air and these kids will all most probably slip into quiet, normal lives.


I didn't say they are absolutely bound to fail.  I said they are statistically at a higher risk.  Shirley Temple Black for 1 isn't a good example.  Yes she turned out ok but that's only because when she grew up and wasn't cutesy anymore and Hollywood wanted nothing to do with her, she was smart enough to go a different route.  I could name a few others who did well like Ron Howard but I could name many, many more that didn't.


This isn't about exploration or stupid tv shows.  It's about an inflated idea of self worth.  These kids are put on a pedestal and when they grow up and aren't cutesy anymore, are thrown aside by the public for the next new thing.  That's a hard pill to swallow for most.  Not to mention they have tons of money to get all the drugs they need to dull the pain.
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Danceter

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Reply with quote  #43 
The thesis here seems to be that these girls have unrealistic notions about their futures. Find me a 13 year old child who doesn't.
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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danceter
The thesis here seems to be that these girls have unrealistic notions about their futures. Find me a 13 year old child who doesn't.


But most 13 year olds aren't being allowed/encouraged to exclusively live out these unrealistic notions.  

When my nephew was 13 he told his mom he didn't need to study his math because he was going to play in the NHL.  She didn't say "you're right - this school stuff is getting in the way of your hockey practice - let's homeschool and have you spend about 2 hours per day on all your work".  She said "go study your math; no math, no hockey."
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #45 
8 year olds are known to have unrealistic notions, yes.  But I actually think that by 13 most kids are starting to get a good sense of what the real world is all about and how they may fit into it.  These kids?  I'm not so sure.  And that is exactly the point.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #46 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danceter
The thesis here seems to be that these girls have unrealistic notions about their futures. Find me a 13 year old child who doesn't.


I guess you should meet my almost 13 year old dd.  She's had realistic goals for her life for several years now.

And this isn't about unrealistic notions at all.  It's not about dreams etc.  It's about being thrown into the world of American crazed fame that treats celebrities like gods one day and total jokes the next.  It's a sad cruel environment for grownups and not a place where I'd want my child to be.
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jlm645

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Reply with quote  #47 
My middle school children had a school activity last night and one part was an open house at which that every eight grader (13 and 14 year olds) had do to a presentation on their perspective career.  They were all realistic and achievable. 

One thing that struck me is that they had thought through what are the steps they need to start taking now that  will get them where they want to go.  That included academically of course, but also mentoring relationships, extra curriculars, community services, leadership opportunities, etc.  It was a good exercise in thinking about "begin with the end in mind."  

I'm not an expert on these girls at all, but it appears that they just started saying yes to every opportunity that came their way without thinking about if it is a good yes long term. And in my experiences that generally lead to decisions I wish I had made differently and can lead to people getting hurt. My impression from these comments is not that people want the girls to fail, but that they would like the families to slow down a little and think about the long term so that the girls are less likely to have those painful experiences. 
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Mittenmom3

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Reply with quote  #48 
I think the key to stars who have been in the industry since they were children is if they had a well grounded upbringing. The chances of growing up to be stable adults, whether still in the industry or not, is much better if they do. I'm not seeing a lot of balance in these over the top reality show personas. They have 15 minutes to capitalize on their fame and then its onto the next new thing. Some will move on and be fine; some won't. I hope for all the DM girls that they will all be in the former category.
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Ellie'sMom

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Reply with quote  #49 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynmckee
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459


And opportunities handed to them on a silver platter. This is not how the real world works & therefore isn't setting them up properly for a real future in this industry.  And then, finally, acknowledge the real risk of burn out & overexposure.  It really doesn't bode well for these girls.  

Really.  Think about it.  Given their ages, if they were typical kids we would all question the long term.  So very much can change in 10 years.  Now throw in all the complicating factors that exist because of their involvement on this show?  It doesn't make success any more likely.  In fact, it probably makes it less likely.


I kind of think this IS how the real world works.  I know most of us don't want to think that as we want the world to be fair and for the kids that pay their dues to win out, but it's not.  The fact that it was Maddie at the Grammy's and in 2 music videos rather then the reigning YAGP winner says that.  No matter what you think, the fact that she did that is a fact.  It's a tough pill to swallow. Her dance world might be small so in that world she is probably the best of the best and I am guessing there is going to come a time where there is a cold slap of reality.  But my kid has gotten that slap every time she has changed studios (we trade up.)

Let me give a more real world example.  We have two senior boys at our studio.  Both are beyond fantastic...professional level.  Both go to NYCDA nationals.  One gets a $200,000 scholarship to PACE the other gets $65,000 to Pointe Park.  Why the difference?  Politics according to SO.  The $200,000 winner has been in the NYCDA circuit for years while the $65,000 winner was relatively new to the scene.  Work ethic and talent the same for both kids.  Actually the $65,000 winner might be more driven and hard working since he comes from a poorer family and is "hungrier."

Say what you want about Abby Lee (and I think she is a calculated harpy), the way she has treated those kids has hardened them to stone.  Hopefully, they will be able to push through the hard critiques in the future and work hard (just as hard as some of our kids) to get where they want to go.  That along with a little therapy, might take them a long way.


I think the world works both ways. There are plenty of kids/people who get cast because of their name (or their parents name, ie Mikey Cyrus). There are kids who get cast because of their look, image or persona (either they look "perfect" or they have a look that may attract a new or diverse audience).

On the other hand, there are people who are award nominees or winners, who have a slew of credits on their resume, and still need to audition (with multiple callbacks) for roles (using the theatre world as an example). If anyone has ever seen the documentary "Every Little Step", you know what happens to a "famous" dancer who is competing for one of the roles in A Chorus Line. The bottom line is, you never know. My DD is learning this now in musical theatre; she's gone from lead roles to ensemble in the same theatre group, then auditions for another group and is considered for a principal role. There are so many variables- talent/abilities of the pool of auditions, type of role, who is casting, and of course, politics (aka the offstage drama).

On Broadway, Maddie being cast now would be considered 'stunt casting'. These are the people who are usually brought in to increase ticket sales, and may not have the talent of a Broadway caliber actor or singer.. Not saying she is not talented. She can dance (not my place to judge how good she is; everyone else does enough of that!). IMO, her acting and singing abilities are questionable, and until recently, I have not heard of a dancer who has been cast in this capacity (the guy from SYTYCD may be considered one, in the opinion of some). While she would absolutely boost ticket sales, the reality is, right now there are few opportunities for kids her age. Anime is done, Billy Elliot is done, the only feasible role for her right now would be in Matilda (and she is not getting any younger; they want those kids to be tiny).
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Ellie'sMom

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Reply with quote  #50 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danceter
The thesis here seems to be that these girls have unrealistic notions about their futures. Find me a 13 year old child who doesn't.


Whether or not their notions become reality, one of the major behavioral goals adolescence of adolescence is identity, which includes career goals (look up Eriksons stages of development).

I live in NYC, where the HS public school application process is incredibly focused on schools with professions/vocations. Not just performing arts (those were always there, but the numbers have increased), but now medical, education, journalism, culinary arts, aviation and the list goes on. We went through this process a year ago, and I was shocked at the options. They are really trying To focus these kids in a direction, that I feel it's a bit overwhelming (especially if you have no idea what you want to do). Those kids often end up in the generic high schools in their neighborhoods. But, they've made it very clear (at least at my DD's school) that not everyone will go on to college for arts or even end up in that career; more importantly, they may not WANT to, and that's okay, thus, the academics need to be equally emphasized and encouraged.

For the record, I entered high school with aspirations of being a professional dancer. I left HS and went straight to nursing school, and am now pursuing my PhD. My DD is well aware of this.
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