Register Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 7      1   2   3   4   Next   »
1tinydancer

Avatar / Picture

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,002
Reply with quote  #1 
Such a controversial subject! So I have a question for all the comp dancer moms out there.

If there were no levels, would you still have your dancer going to competitions?

Would I? Probably. My dd was novice her first year, intermediate her second, and has been advanced ever since.
0
momcrew

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 554
Reply with quote  #2 
It is what I like best about competitions attached to conventions, no levels. My daughters did a convention in Chicago a couple weekends ago and there was a small comp attached to it. No levels and only 2 age groups; junior 8-12 and senior 13+. 
0
LeapYear0208

Avatar / Picture

High Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 106
Reply with quote  #3 
Yes, because that is how convention competitions work. It is rare that the levels are 'correct' anyway. My DD competed in the lowest at every leveled comp last season because it was her first time competeting. She was up against kids that have very clearly been doing this 2+ years, one with the same solo as the previous year (thanks google). So while my daughter was in novice, first time ever on stage, she was up against someone that should have been in the next level, if not 2 levels above for that one.

She actually placed in the overalls for the 2 competitions that were conventions and only one that wasn't.
0
dave9988

Avatar / Picture

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 665
Reply with quote  #4 
Yes, DDs have only ever competed at either conventions (no levels) or in the top level.
0
prancer

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 961
Reply with quote  #5 
Absolutely.  I think levels are a great disservice to dancers.  If your dancer is not ready/willing to compete against all other dancers, then saving the money you would have spent on competitions and using that for more training would be better.  For anything outside of a competition - think high school dance team, local company Nutcracker role, etc. - you have to "compete" against all dancers.  There are not levels in real life.
0
Ktyyyyyyy

Avatar / Picture

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,485
Reply with quote  #6 
Yes! I actually wish there were no levels. It's a competition, so go compete. Even dd's first year on team, she competed in the highest level because the majority of competitions stated in their rules that levels depended upon the number of hours a dancer danced per week. Back then, most comps only had two levels, and anything over three hours a week put a dancer in the advanced level. Of course many studios didn't adher to the rules, but thankfully our studio always did. The only exception was KAR with their absurd 5 level system.
0
ballerinamom13

Avatar / Picture

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,777
Reply with quote  #7 
dd never competed in anything but the top levels, even her first year.  Why?  Because competing against those better than you makes you realize how far you have to go.  There is no other point IMO.  As prancer said, life has no levels. If you can't compete with the best, keep working until you can.  Just way it is in my house...
0
tendumom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,119
Reply with quote  #8 
That's how it was in the "old days." No levels just age divisions. 
0
elastigal

Avatar / Picture

High Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 112
Reply with quote  #9 
We've only been in comp dance for two seasons (novice, then pre-comp and this year will be full on competitive) and I agree that I'd love to see no levels, or at least only two levels - Novice (never competed before) and Competitive (everybody else). I think the middle level - intermediate, pre-comp, whatever the particular comp calls it - it pretty useless; there is usually such a narrow range for that level to apply (be it hours or years of competing) that it seems to me why bother with it. Our team generally doesn't focus on placements in overalls - while they are nice to get, we tend to focus more on personal growth. So I guess another reason why I think the mid-level is useless.
0
DanceMomLaura

Avatar / Picture

Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 382
Reply with quote  #10 
I prefer no levels, such as convention competitions.
0
dancingpeanut

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,498
Reply with quote  #11 
Dd competes almost exclusively at conventions or competitions with no levels. On the rare occasion when she has attended a comp with levels, she has only competed at the highest level, even in her first year, taking only 3 houra of dance a week, including rehearsals. So yes, and we much prefer it.
0
jamquint1

Bronze Member
Registered:
Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #12 
I would prefer no levels, honestly. Our studio has the philosophy of "If you're going to compete, then compete." So, all solos and groups compete at the top level, even their first year competing. My 6 year old competed this year for the first time. She did not place at any of the competitions until nationals. It clicked with her that "oh, I have to work really hard if I want to get better like those other dancers." 
0
Jacaranda

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,113
Reply with quote  #13 
Yes, because in our competitions there are no,levels, just age groups.
0
pookaprincess

High Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 163
Reply with quote  #14 
I like levels as we don't have the option to take more hours of dance and other than driving 2+ hours each day for 1 of 3 kids every day there isn't any way to get more hours.  I know some people here do that, but I think there is a place in competitive dance for a more recreational not planning to make a career of dance kid.  DD did a tap solo this year and gets about 1/2 hour of tap a week.  It is what it is. 
There are no other places to dance that have just performance opportunities or anything.  I'm not sure why it bothers those who take 10+ hours and compete only at advanced that my dd's studio competes little kids at novice and the teens/seniors at intermediate (most kids take 2-5 hours depending on if they do acro or not...and that includes rehearsal time)
0
emmymom

Avatar / Picture

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,504
Reply with quote  #15 
No levels would be perfectly fine.  Life very seldom gives you "levels".

I've just never understood the all out cheering from winning top intermediate studio or grand national intermediate line champion.  I have always wanted all my children to aspire to their highest potential, I think setting the bar lower is only asking them to achieve to that level.  If reading at the 7th grade level is adequate, why continue to work on reading?  

I just don't ever understand the rationale of lowering the bar.  I see why the competition companies do it; so they can please more studios with more winners and that way they make return customers.  But, I've never understood a studio who only competes at the intermediate level and the parents who think that its OK.  Again, why not shoot for the moon?

I've heard of some studios who have the same kids in novice for three years!  C'mon who are they fooling?  And then they have kids dancing 15 hours a week for 7 years competing in intermediate all of their competitive lives!  Why?  Where is the glory in that kind of thing?  


1
hsealover

Avatar / Picture

Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 251
Reply with quote  #16 
Yes! DD is going to be competing intermediate this year, that's where her DT feels is appropriate. DD definitely isn't an elite dancer, but we both know it isn't about the placements. It's about celebrating the love of dance, getting feedback, and performing. It's supposed to be fun. We'd feel the same about competitions whether there were levels or not.
0
tappinmom

Avatar / Picture

Double Diamond Member
Registered:
Posts: 13,290
Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookaprincess
I like levels as we don't have the option to take more hours of dance and other than driving 2+ hours each day for 1 of 3 kids every day there isn't any way to get more hours.  I know some people here do that, but I think there is a place in competitive dance for a more recreational not planning to make a career of dance kid.  DD did a tap solo this year and gets about 1/2 hour of tap a week.  It is what it is. 
There are no other places to dance that have just performance opportunities or anything.  I'm not sure why it bothers those who take 10+ hours and compete only at advanced that my dd's studio competes little kids at novice and the teens/seniors at intermediate (most kids take 2-5 hours depending on if they do acro or not...and that includes rehearsal time)


People only get upset when studios cheat the levels and then feel like levels should be gone.  Unfortunately as long as there are levels you will have studios cheating just so that they can say they have a big win and that's what upsets people.
0
melissa745

Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,464
Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamquint1
I would prefer no levels, honestly. Our studio has the philosophy of "If you're going to compete, then compete." So, all solos and groups compete at the top level, even their first year competing. My 6 year old competed this year for the first time. She did not place at any of the competitions until nationals. It clicked with her that "oh, I have to work really hard if I want to get better like those other dancers." 


Our studio works exactly the same way. You don't make the team until you can compete at the most advanced level.
0
NCKDAD

Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 276
Reply with quote  #19 
We have a few soloists who compete intermediate- if they are paired together in a d/t then it is intermediate. If they are paired with at least one higher level dancer then they are advanced. Every single group is always advanced regardless of makeup of dancers. My older DD has only ever known highest level bc the SO only used to do that level, Now she reads rules and if one fits at a lower level she will put them there except the ones who are the strongest. At this point older DD would be offended to compete lower even though friends do. My younger DD floats levels depending on the comp and rules, but she was 7. And honestly at nationals The intermediate petites were stronger than the advanced so she would have placed higher (first overall) had she been advanced. I *think* based on what I've been told she will be entered all advanced this upcoming season bc that's where she should be skill wise, but she's actually taking less hours during the week this year.

And yes I would prefer no levels or two clear cut. To me it's the third level that really brings the gray area.

As for our studio when results are shared she always includes the level/ nothing to hide. Others in the area aren't so transparent.
0
nodrama15

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 81
Reply with quote  #20 
I like the levels, when schools actually adhere to the guidelines.  We attend a small comp studio....the max number of hours taken by any dancer is about 7....with most hovering between 2 and 5 hours.  We can't compete with the mega studios who have home schooled kids attending 25 hours per week.  Our kids love to compete against kids at their own level.  Why should comps be only for "elite" students.  Every other sport out there has levels....example, baseball has recreation, town travel, club and elite club.  We wouldn't expect a recreational team to compete against a club team. 
0
NCKDAD

Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 276
Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nodrama15
I like the levels, when schools actually adhere to the guidelines.  We attend a small comp studio....the max number of hours taken by any dancer is about 7....with most hovering between 2 and 5 hours.  We can't compete with the mega studios who have home schooled kids attending 25 hours per week.  Our kids love to compete against kids at their own level.  Why should comps be only for "elite" students.  Every other sport out there has levels....example, baseball has recreation, town travel, club and elite club.  We wouldn't expect a recreational team to compete against a club team. 


I like your point but so many don't bc a lot feel like that leveling down they can get the "first place" and the kids who get screwed are the actual ones who belong in that level. I always feel like there should be some criteria, like if you can do x,y, z skills you belong at a certain level or higher. I don't know what the criteria is but something.
0
nodrama15

Silver Member
Registered:
Posts: 81
Reply with quote  #22 
I agree totally - the leveling down is ridiculous.  There should be criteria for levels and it should be universal.  But we know that's nearly impossible.
0
rdsmom

High Platinum Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,502
Reply with quote  #23 
Yes, we would. DD's compete advanced anyway, so it doesn't matter to us. Too much obvious cheating by studios after a plastic trophy and some bragging rights...
0
NCKDAD

Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 276
Reply with quote  #24 
And yes, if there were no levels we would still compete. At least if they wanted to... bc the moment they say they're done... I'm out of here!
0
5678StarMom

Avatar / Picture

High Gold Member
Registered:
Posts: 684
Reply with quote  #25 
Kind of a reply to pookaprincess, kind of just a statement on levels in competition dance in general...this is going to be a long one.

There is definitely a place in the dance world for the more recreational dancer. I love to watch all of the kids on DDs team, even the kids with less dance ambition who take the minimum hours available. We have had plenty of dancers over the years who only take an hour of dance a week and 30 minutes of rehearsal every other week do a solo. I will say it forever, dance is for everyone, no matter the talent, ability, or commitment level.

That being said, wouldn't you agree that a competition is a performance opportunity REGARDLESS of if the kids all get a trophy? I would ask what the point is to the levels other than to ensure there are more trophies given out.

Why do levels bother me as a competition mom whose daughter is an aspiring ballerina? Because my "neighbors cousins sisters kid" dances and she won first overall ultimate dancer...so now everyone who knows her and saw her mom's video on facebook thinks her ability at the recreational level is as good as dance gets. And they associate her dance ability as a successful dancer with her accolades and awards with all the other successful dancers with their accolades and awards. So now a lot of non-dance indoctrinated/educated people who saw that video and don't understand that competitions have levels think "that is dance, this is a great dancers and this is as good as it gets" and although we can all understand why mom is proud, because of the award she won, someone who may have been interested otherwise might not be interested in seeing a professional performance. Or thinks that my daughter who takes between 8-15+ hours a week is the same kind of dancer who takes 2 or 3 hours. Or that my daughters level of athleticism is the same etc. Does it make the 2 hour dancer any less important...no, absolutely not. But I've never seen a mom brag about her daughter winning "recreational level", of course we don't differentiate levels as moms (I wouldn't expect us to). Also, when my daughter got 3rd overall in competitive level solos, her age counterpart at our studio in the intermediate level who won first was lauded from the rafters because 1st "champion" vs. 3rd, conveniently leaving out the levels to not draw attention (but this is partly a studio issue, because they weren't happy with DD leveling up). 1st sounds better than 3rd, and virtually no one understands leveling.

Another thing is just the general level of deception that goes on in my experience with levels. Our studio tells parents that "all the advanced level dancers take over 20 hours a week and are homeschooled" so it just wouldn't be fair to put our 8 hour a week girls up against them. In our area a 20 hour a week homeschooled dancer is a major rarity, and trust me, I've asked moms from the top competition studios that just win everywhere. I once was drinking in a hotel with the competition coach and we ended up at the same table as a mom from probably the best comp studio in the state. I, being the pain I can be, asked how many ballet hours were generally taken by the top dancers at this studio. You know, to compare hours of our intermediate team to their highly competitive one. They took 4, we took 3. And our general rehearsal hours were similar. DT seemed rather embarrassed.

Another layer of deception is not being up front about levels for the newest or youngest team members. So many new comp moms are so confused at awards ceremonies. They don't understand why or how divisions happen. I have had many a mom ask me what is going on with all the line ups and adjudication announcements. I explained levels to one mom of a 16 year old intermediate dancer last year. Her daughter has been on team for 5 years. So when some dancers win 1st overall recreational dancer at 16 (or any age), regardless of if they are in that category honestly or not, so many of these kids or parents think they have what it takes to be professional dancers someday. This mom did. They get caught up in the glory and either don't know better or intentionally stay blissfully unaware of reality.

Who is benefiting from all this winning? The biggest winners with money in their pockets are the competitions and studios. Studios get to advertise their winning competition teams and display tons of trophies. They are able to expand their teams (and team related fees and classes) to dancers who don't want to be as committed, and everyone gets a trophy and feels good about it. Because the studios are happy, they come back to the competitions.  And the cycle continues. Often with parents and dancers not being fully informed.

Just an aside, IMO. What really wins competitions? At some point technically trained dancers at similar ages and training levels are able to execute dance pretty much the same. What wins...awesome creative choreography and proper coaching/cleaning. 

I've thought a lot about this over the years as I fought with my DDs studio to properly level her from intermediate to advanced so this is a hot spot for me personally. We have for the last 5 years attended very typical leveled competitions, no conventions. When we started competing 8 years ago, lots of the comps we went to didn't have levels but all quickly added them due to studio and parental demand. DD14 finally competed advanced the last 2 years for solos and last year in advanced groups. She did great and so did the team and now feels like her competition career can be done and she is moving into more ballet based training. She is going to be in her first nutcracker and several full length shows instead.

I still have a DD7 (will be 8) who is competing. She will be intermediate level next year regardless of what the competition rules are, and will be taking a total of 6 hours and this will be her 4th year competing. Do levels really make things fair? I don't have a say with her level at this point.
1
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.