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Cupcake

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Reply with quote  #1 
Do your dancers practice their competition dances at home?

This is our 1st year doing it this way:

A 2-3 hour choreography session in Nov or Dec, one for each dance. Then they won't touch it at the studio until the 1st Fri of class this Jan. Then, they are going to have a dedicated half hour per week per dance.

We are supposed to practice it at home between the choreography session and next week, with a video we took.

The other Moms and myself are concerned that when we get back, their teacher is going to be pissed at both the kids and us parents that they don't know the dance well enough. Our kids are only 7, 8, and 9, and are not phenoms at picking up choreography. And, we parents are for sure not dance teachers.

We have gotten together with a few of DD's friends over break to practice, and lord it was a HOT MESS!

I'm just scared for this competition season. At least our 1st competition isn't until the 2nd weekend in April.

Is this a common practice? Or is it as odd as I think it is?

Thanks!
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AussieBalletMum

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Reply with quote  #2 
This is similar to how we work here.  But we don't get the choreography class at the beginning.  We basically have 30 minutes every fortnight to learn the dance and then, when it's finished, to work on it with the teacher.  It's up to the kids to practice in between classes.
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DanceForFun

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Reply with quote  #3 
That sounds like a lot on the shoulders of young kids and parents. This year our SO changed the way solos, duos, and trios are being handled. Kids used to take private or semi-private classes in which they had instruction then worked on the routine weekly.  This year the kids had two weeks (really only four classes of an hour apiece) over the summer to learn the routine and get together as a group once per month to run the routines with the SO.  Not all the kids worked with the So , some worked with other teachers who are not there to give critiques, suggestions, etc.  THey are supposed to work at home in between which is all well and good but my living room is not a dance studio.  There is not space to do things properly.

The moms are all a little dubious about how things will go at the competitions this year.  I'm not sure I will sign DD up for her duo next year. In my mind, it was the semi=private lesson that was important - not learning a routine at lightning speed.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #4 
Both studios DS attended had weekly classes from October to May to learn and clean all comp dances.  As they got older things tended to move faster and they could spend some time on technique in their choreography classes (they had separate technique classes as well) but as little ones they needed those weekly classes to learn and retain their choreography.
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Cupcake

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tappinmom
Both studios DS attended had weekly classes from October to May to learn and clean all comp dances.  As they got older things tended to move faster and they could spend some time on technique in their choreography classes (they had separate technique classes as well) but as little ones they needed those weekly classes to learn and retain their choreography.


That is what we did the past 2 years. By this point in the year, we were cleaning things vs still learning.
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Cupcake

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanceForFun
That sounds like a lot on the shoulders of young kids and parents. This year our SO changed the way solos, duos, and trios are being handled. Kids used to take private or semi-private classes in which they had instruction then worked on the routine weekly.  This year the kids had two weeks (really only four classes of an hour apiece) over the summer to learn the routine and get together as a group once per month to run the routines with the SO.  Not all the kids worked with the So , some worked with other teachers who are not there to give critiques, suggestions, etc.  THey are supposed to work at home in between which is all well and good but my living room is not a dance studio.  There is not space to do things properly.

The moms are all a little dubious about how things will go at the competitions this year.  I'm not sure I will sign DD up for her duo next year. In my mind, it was the semi=private lesson that was important - not learning a routine at lightning speed.


Exactly how I feel! Practicing in our small living room, not able to judge placement with other dancers...it is just a prelude to disaster.

I'm pretty nervous about how we will do this year.
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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #7 
I think it's a little much to expect from minis. My DD's are older, and they learn choreo in late summer/early fall. They have Wednesday evenings dedicated to choreo rehearsals, so they run and clean dances once a week, for anywhere from 10-45 minutes a piece. 
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #8 
I actually have a rule, that my kids are required to practice at home. The deal is, if they want to dance they need to put some time into practising. It doesn’t have to be excessive.

I learned this the hard way as a kid. I danced all my life and I never practised, I always forgot the routines, and it became very stressful every lesson. I would go in not knowing the work from the previous week and then we would add on and I would not have a clue what I was doing.

So one day, one of my teachers called my parents in and said I needed to practice at least three times a week and my parents had to sign a form to say that I did it. So I did, and wow what a difference. It only took a week or two of this and I realised how much it helped and always practised without supervision from then on.

From then I could go into class and enjoy it, I knew what I was doing, I didn’t fall behind, and I got a lot more out of class. The teachers could help me improve instead of spending the lesson going over the same work. I was much less stressed out and enjoyed every class more.

Ask the teacher if you can video the routine in class, so they have a guide if they forget what to do. Once it is really in their heads it won’t look so terrible, it’s when they are trying to remember what they are doing that it gets very messy.
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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #9 
We practice at home - our group dance by ourselves (DD is 8) and our solo too. I requested and get the music from the DT so we have it. We also record when we are in class so we can remember the moves. This year (not last year) we started a dance notebook where my DD wrote down the dance - each move.

I think at home practice allow us to focus on other things - outside of group positioning that need to be worked on - and frankly we don’t work on during the group dances. Like pointing of toes, hand and arm positions. And skills - like ensuring turns are done properly. We can work on the details of the moves and then do positioning when the class is all together. There are lots of things to focus on at home - and like the above poster I think it’s really valuable for them to have this extra practice. And for you as a mom - I’m not a dance teacher - I figure skated growing up! I really have no clue - but I do know what looks right - and also can see what my DD is having trouble with to talk with the DT about how to do it better. Or google! [smile]

That being said if your first comp is April and you will start weekly - then you will have time to get some things in order for the minis. My DD last year her group was 6-7-8 and now 7-8-9 so I know exactly the age you are working with. [wink]. Our first comp is Mid Feb - and we are still not complete with our choreography yet - hopefully this weekend we will complete it.
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #10 
My kids have always practiced at home. Most competitive athletes in sports don’t only practice during practice- they do drills on their own. I think of it the same.

We get all the music on a CD so the kids can practice with the cut music.

She expects them to review and run dances on their own. It helps them be prepared.

My kids are 12 and 8- they’ve always done it this way since they started competing at 6 and 5.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #11 
Interesting.  It must be nice to have the space.  We do not have the room for DD15 to run her solos at home.  She on her own (I am not a dance teacher or a former dancer so I have never "coached" her) stretches and such but no running of songs.
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momcrew

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Reply with quote  #12 
My daughter will run her solo at home, usually about 15 minutes a day. There isn't room to go full out so she typically breaks it down by eight counts and works on the finer points. If nothing else it helps with muscle memory. Sometimes she'll work on group routines but not often. 
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elastigal

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Reply with quote  #13 
My DD practices her solo at home (she'll be doing a lot of that this weekend before her first private of the new year next week) and she does some group dances as well. Groups are harder as everything isn't complete yet. She tends to work on bits that she's not 100% confident on yet and then listens to the full music. They have their first tech rehearsal at studio in a few weeks so it should be interesting. 
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by momcrew
My daughter will run her solo at home, usually about 15 minutes a day. There isn't room to go full out so she typically breaks it down by eight counts and works on the finer points. If nothing else it helps with muscle memory. Sometimes she'll work on group routines but not often. 


Yeah there is no room for leaps, etc. but it definitely helps and also helps prepare.

For my younger one we practiced hearing your number and walking on stage too the first year 😂
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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCKDAD


Yeah there is no room for leaps, etc. but it definitely helps and also helps prepare.

For my younger one we practiced hearing your number and walking on stage too the first year 😂


OMG we still have to do that every time! I have to be the announcer!
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nicknoralove

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Reply with quote  #16 
My daughter's group is 4-6. We have weekly classes where choreography is worked on and we are expected to video and our kids are expected to practice and remember at class the next week. Two weeks ago we all got a tongue lashing (kids and parents) for no one remembering the new part from the prior week. (Not an abusive one we love our SO and teachers! But they let everyone have it - LOL).


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GlitzyGypsy

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Reply with quote  #17 
We are independent so once we get our choreo from the choreographer we are on our own until we hire an instructor to clean it in January. They gets lots of tech class time at several studios, some allow them to come in before classes are scheduled to use the space for 15-30 min. Other studios allow us to rent space for the drop in fee on a Sunday or at the beginning of the day. But mostly they work in the play room on rolled out Marley. I feel it is so important for young dancers to work on their own on solos as much as possible!
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jamquint1

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Reply with quote  #18 
Our studio encourages the dancers to practice their solo on their own throughout the week, but also have a designated semi-private 40 minute weekly time to choreograph and then clean their solos. We don't do much practicing at home of the group routines, because they run them twice weekly at the studio. 
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #19 
DS had a small tap floor at home to practice his tap routines and he could practice turns but that's it.  It wasn't big enough to do any kind of leaps or anything.  When he was younger he practiced a lot on his own but as he got older and he was at the studio 6 days a week that stopped.  He would listen to his music and visualize the routine or sometimes walk through it but that was it.
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyklane


OMG we still have to do that every time! I have to be the announcer!


I like to make up funny numbers like 6,957.25 repeating 😂
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #21 
Ok. Or schedule is different this week- but I paid attention to what we were doing at home just for this post- lol.

. It’s just been choreo. After time off both girls ran all their dances before the first day back. Then each night they’ve both reviewed as fully as possible to make sure it all sinks in... and then again before the next rehearsal (new choreo or anything scheduled).

Little more than usual bc we don’t have school or anything yet to occupy time (fewer hours of dance bc it’s just choreo currently) and it’s crunch time.
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changole

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Reply with quote  #22 
There are a surprising number of yoga studios in our area (it's a small town), and none of them run classes 'full-time.' Last year, DS's solo was choreographed by someone that isn't an instructor at his studio, so he was responsible for practicing it on his own. There were several aspects that he could practice in a small 'dance area' in our basement. To really run it and get the spacing, we would arrange to go into a yoga studio, or even a gym that had private rooms for yoga or pilates classes (since those would have the nice flooring!) We were usually able to do this very cheaply (or even for free). If practice space is an issue, maybe look into that?

This year, DS is part of a duo that is choreographed by one of his studio's instructors. She is taking the time to run and clean it about once a week. The amount of time during each session varies.

The studio was technically closed for 3 weeks because of the winter holidays, so he went from dancing 4+ hours every week night to hardly moving around.... So I did enforce stretching and practice time over the break. Normally, I don't. Instead, I encourage him to cross train (piyo, running, basketball, tumbling) to help strengthen and balance out his muscle groups when he isn't at the dance studio.
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MimisMom

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Reply with quote  #23 
Sounds about right. My daughter’s trio only had 3 sessions so far and they are halfway done. We were supposed to finish before Christmas but things came up. The girls got together a couple of times to practice and I’m sure it wasn’t perfect (we as parents are not allowed to watch while they practice at the studio ). My daughter just practices st home pretty much every day....just because she loves to dance and can’t sit still. 😜. I’m sure there will be lots of opportunities for them to practice before Comp in April. I wouldn’t stress too much.
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