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sylya

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Hi all,

I was recently at a Nuvo regional with DS10, he is in the mini room for classes. He was asked by one of the teachers at the convention to come up front and dance the combo on the little stage. Awesome to be chosen out of so many kids of course so DS did it but he later told me he didn't really want to. DS is pretty shy, performing a solo is okay since he knows the dance and has practiced it over and over again but the combo he performed he only knew for like half an hour.

He asked me if it was okay if he would say no if he was asked again at another convention. I told him it was fine if he didn't want to since i don't want him doing things he is not comfortable with but do you guys know if the teacher would be okay with that?

Maybe i'm worrying over nothing but this has been bugging me for a while now.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #2 
If it’s a lot of kids being called up, he could pretend not to hear his number.

But otherwise, yes I think he needs to go up. It’s like a teacher calling on you in class - you need to answer. Going up when invited is an honor, and it’s a reasonable social expectation in the convention environment that kids who are called up - go. If he isn’t comfortable, maybe you could wait another year or two before going to conventions.
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ggsmith

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I think you should encourage him to go up.  It is an honor, and a privilege, and it is good to push your boundaries on occasion.  However, if he isn't comfortable, I don't think he should feel he has to go.  He has the right to say no, in this situation and others that he will encounter in his life.  I don't think he should have to skip conventions entirely, just because he doesn't want to dance at the front of the room.
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sylya

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Quote:
Originally Posted by prancer
If it’s a lot of kids being called up, he could pretend not to hear his number. But otherwise, yes I think he needs to go up. It’s like a teacher calling on you in class - you need to answer. Going up when invited is an honor, and it’s a reasonable social expectation in the convention environment that kids who are called up - go. If he isn’t comfortable, maybe you could wait another year or two before going to conventions.


Yeah he really was the only one but holding off conventions just for that doesn't seem right either (he has been doing them for 3 years already he just never gets called up which is logical since he was always one of the youngest in the room). He greatly enjoys them and learns a lot from the different teachers, it also actually helps with his confidence to dance with so many other kids. He has no problem doing it in his own studio since he knows the kids and it's never more than 20 kids watching him, this room was huge with maybe a 100 mini's watching him.
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5678StarMom

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Reply with quote  #5 
As he gets older and as a boy especially, in my experience it will happen again. The (limited) experience I have with conventions is that they try and recognize/encourage all boys when appropriate, especially talented ones.
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sylya

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5678StarMom
As he gets older and as a boy especially, in my experience it will happen again. The (limited) experience I have with conventions is that they try and recognize/encourage all boys when appropriate, especially talented ones.


Yeah i do expect to happen more often especially since he has started training more seriously now. I think that it will just take some time for him to get used to it and get more confident but i think forcing it won't help either. We also just started a new studio this season so a lot of changes for him, that might have influenced his confidence aswel.
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classydance

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Being singled out at a convention and "asked" to dance the combo with a small group is actually an honor.  The idea is that the rest of the dancers can watch and learn from your son. So, to say no, is to reject an honor. And FYI this is part of MT and commercial dance culture. If you go to an open class as a 20 year old at Broadway Dance center and the teacher says, "You and you. Front and center and do the combo." You don't say no. Every dancer wants to perform, be seen, and be told that their dancing moves people or entertains them.  
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AnnaBeav

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Reply with quote  #8 

We have only been to one convention but I have seen instructors having their assistants do the dance as well if the child feels uncomfortable alone. 

He could always say, "Could we do it together?" I am sure the instructor would accommodate that somehow.

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sylya

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Quote:
Originally Posted by classydance
Being singled out at a convention and "asked" to dance the combo with a small group is actually an honor.  The idea is that the rest of the dancers can watch and learn from your son. So, to say no, is to reject an honor. And FYI this is part of MT and commercial dance culture. If you go to an open class as a 20 year old at Broadway Dance center and the teacher says, "You and you. Front and center and do the combo." You don't say no. Every dancer wants to perform, be seen, and be told that their dancing moves people or entertains them.  


I get what you're saying but we are not talking about a 20 year old professional here but my 10 year old son and it's not an open class where the goal is to be seen but a dance convention where the goal is to learn. He dances because he likes it and he has not decided yet if he even wants to do this professionally, for now it's just a fun sport which he happens to be good at. He knows it is an honor but that doesn't make him want to do it, he is thankful for it but he is not confident enough to actually do it. 
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sylya

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaBeav

We have only been to one convention but I have seen instructors having their assistants do the dance as well if the child feels uncomfortable alone. 

He could always say, "Could we do it together?" I am sure the instructor would accommodate that somehow.



That is a good idea, this teacher didn't have an assistant (other teachers in other classes did) but maybe he could in that case just ask if another kid could do it with him, that way he wouldn't have to do it on his own
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ggsmith

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Quote:
Originally Posted by classydance
... If you go to an open class as a 20 year old at Broadway Dance center...  


In that case, you might not say no.  But we are talking about a 10 year old child who is dancing for fun at a convention.  Kids need to be taught to speak up and define their boundaries and speak up when their boundaries are crossed.  Thinking of the current #metoo movement among other things.
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dave9988

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sylya


I get what you're saying but we are not talking about a 20 year old professional here but my 10 year old son and it's not an open class where the goal is to be seen but a dance convention where the goal is to learn. He dances because he likes it and he has not decided yet if he even wants to do this professionally, for now it's just a fun sport which he happens to be good at. He knows it is an honor but that doesn't make him want to do it, he is thankful for it but he is not confident enough to actually do it. 


Dancing in front of people, even something you haven't known for long, is part of learning.  While dancing may be something you do for yourself and your own enjoyment, it's also an art that by nature is meant to be shared, and requires exposing some vulnerability. 

He did it - no one mocked him.  Chalk that up a win.  Encourage him to do it again. Confidence is the lesson.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave9988


He did it - no one mocked him.  Chalk that up a win.  Encourage him to do it again. Confidence is the lesson.


Well said Dave.  I've been struggling with a response to this thread. Being asked to dance at a convention is like being asked to read your essay to the class in school.  It can be uncomfortable, but it's a reasonable social expectation and developing social confidence is a good thing.  Kudos to him for stepping up!

We all need to learn to push through moments like these to develop the confidence we need to succeed in life. Mastering small challenges like this builds assertiveness and the type of confidence that helps us say no when/if we find ourselves in inappropriate situations or if/when someone tries to take advantage of us.  

#metoo 
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