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mimieliza

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello! We are not new to dance, as DD (age 10) has been dancing for six years, but we are new to competition. Her studio doesn't have kids compete much younger than age 10 or 11. DD has been in a pre-comp "company" this year and will be on competition teams next year. She will also be doing a solo.

I am curious about different levels at competition - this year most of the newest/youngest kids competed in a "novice" level at competitions that had this as an option. Looking at the other kids in this level, this seems like it will be a good fit for DD for her first year of competition. But from what I understand, kids can be disqualified from novice level by competing too many routines? DD may be competing in as many as six routines, including her solo, which may disqualify her for novice at some comps (I'm thinking Starquest, specifically).

Do you think it's better to just do all the routines and bump her solo up to the intermediate comp level (at Starquest, that would be "Classic") or should we minimize the number of routines she is in to make sure she can still compete at the novice level? I just want her to have a good experience and be on a fair playing field for her experience/ability level, which is modest at this point.

Thank you for your help!
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #2 
If she has learned all the routines already, then she is a member of those groups, and I have to believe the other group members and her teachers are expecting her to perform. So honestly I don't think you have a choice to step out of a group. Groups trump solos in terms of importance because you can't let your teammates down.

I also wouldn't spend my time worrying about the levels. Her teachers should be selecting her levels and following the rules. As for any concern about competing higher, I always assume everyone in advanced beats everyone in intermediate, and everyone in intermediate beats everyone in novice. I know that might not always be true in a head to head competiton, but it is a fair assumption.




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mimieliza

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Reply with quote  #3 
She hasn't learned the routines - this is for next season. We still have time to decide which routines she will be in and which we will opt out of. She has the option to compete in tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop small groups, and a musical theater large group, plus a solo. Of course she wants to do them all. I'm just trying to decide if she should compete in all groups, or only do some of them. Our studio is small, and so they let us know what the kiddos qualify for based on auditions, then give us the option to decide if we want to do all groups or limit their participation to just a few (to make it easier for families to budget time and money). Once we turn in our contracts, we are committed for the season, and they will learn choreography over two weeks in August. 

It's good to hear I shouldn't worry about her level - I just don't want her to be competing at an intermediate level and sticking out (in a bad way) because of her inexperience.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks for clarifying.  I would make my choices about which dances to accept based on time, stress, and cost.  If you start more slowly, you can always add more in future years, but most people find it harder cut back later.  Of course, all of that is up to you, and I hope she enjoys competing!

As part of that decision making though, if you are considering a novice level solo, I would recommend you go to a comp and actually watch some 10 year old novice solos and some 10 year old intermediate and advanced solos.  Solos are very expensive - realistically $1500-2000 for one year all costs included. I recommend you watch and see what you might be buying before you invest.  
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #5 
My question would be what level are the groups competing and are they competing at the right level.  In Canada novice is for dancers who have never competed before so 75% of the group must be novice.  If a dancer is in all novice groups (legitimate novice group) than there is no issue with them competing a novice solo whether they have 1 group or 10.  Most of our comps also say that groups can be at any level but if the dancer has never competed a solo before they can be novice for one year.
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jule425

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Reply with quote  #6 
Most competition rules say if it's your first year you can compete novice. Now, your DT or SO might decide she could compete at intermediate. The only one I can think of off hand that limits how many each level can be in is VIP. I'm sure there are others, but that's the only one I know off the top of my head. More than likely your SO will know the rules and place her where she belongs.  I don't know about Starquest, but you can be intermediate at VIP for solo but do all your group dances at novice if the majority of the group is novice. 
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #7 
Your SO will decide what level for what competition. You just need to figure out what the right amount for her... and you is. We have kids who go Intermediate at some comps and novice at others based solely on rules ... and sometimes she bumps them up. I think you will fine a range of ability in every level. Some comp rules limit the amount of dancers in a routine that are a higher level than the routine or make the routine compete at the level of the highest dancer in it. So our team has dancers from novice to advanced but almost all our group routines compete Advanced. Let the SO figure all this out, etc. and just make it a positive season for her!
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elastigal

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Reply with quote  #8 
I echo above, you SO will place the kids in the appropriate level. My DD's mini team is competing pre-comp this year based on the number of hours they take for their groups (they were all novice last year) and for some of the solos that a few minis are doing, a couple are pre-comp because of their individual hours and the others are novice as they are first time soloists. That's at the majority of comps we go to this year. We are going to a comp next weekend that has very different rules on what is novice and not - they define novice as having never competed in a particular type of dance (i.e., ballet, lyrical, tap) - we have one of our junior kids doing two solos this year, one she's competed in before and she's placed in the advanced competitive/elite category but her other one is a new dance type to her and she's competing as a novice for that solo (all her groups compete advanced competitive/elite); our minis added a third group dance this year and this new dance is in the novice category while their two other dances are in pre-comp as they competed those dance types last year. Very weird rules.
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czmcdaniel

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Reply with quote  #9 
Let your SO decide where to put her...that's why we pay them...
As far as # of routines... The only thing that I have encountered that would disqualify her as a novice would be if more than 50% of her group routines are leveled up.  This was why my 5 yr old never competed as a novice, because her group routines were with older kids who danced the level above.
In reality I don't think it makes much difference experience wise... in fact I think there are more kids put in the lower levels that belong in the higher levels that she would need to compete against... but that's just my 2 cents... 
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rubydancemom

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Reply with quote  #10 
Looking at her options, I would pull at least one of the small groups. Typically in a first year at our studio, you can do 3 group dances and a solo, but no more. We have had several girls do that as their maximum, and they find out it's too much. 5+ group dances are reserved for once you move up to intermediate, so there is confidence you can remember and perform well in that many dances. And, I will echo others, the SO should be the one worried about levelling the dances. Parents don't have input on that here.
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #11 
She's 10. You aren't new to the studio. They should have a good grasp of what she can handle. if you are willing or able to pay and she wants to do it then I think a conversation just saying you want to make sure they think she can handle that and/or what they suggest would be helpful. We've had those conversations before.
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Bonbonmama

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Reply with quote  #12 
When Dd started competing, she was 13 and new to competition dancing BUT had been doing ballet for 10yrs. We only go to one comp that has levels like that, and DD was put in the novice category for her solo. I questioned it and SO said the comp registration does it for you (asks how many years dancer has competed). All DDs group dances were in the intermediate (or whatever) category, totally appropriate. I didn't agree that DD should be considered a novice, but it was out of our hands.
For most other competitions there really hasn't been any "levels" and I much prefer that. [smile] We have since been to Spotlight, which does have a novice section but DD competed in the "normal" section along with her teammates who have done comp dance a lot longer. Still totally appropriate placement for her as she has been DANCING just as long.
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