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elastigal

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Reply with quote  #1 
This really annoyed me last year and it's happened again this year. Last year was my DD's first year competing and her Mini group did a theme for their ballet number. It was very tastefully done as in not over the top in your face, their costuming was age appropriate and they had a cool prop that helped tell the story. Someone we know dances in the same Mini level as my DD at another dance studio in our town, one that is way more competitive than ours (their attitude is winning is everything, sort of thing). I was talking to her last year ahead of competition season and discovered that her Mini group was doing the exact same theme for her ballet number, no prop but their costuming was way more in your face with this awful headpiece that left no doubt what they were supposed to be. So I thought maybe coincidence. Then this year my DD is doing a theme for another one of her group dances, this year tap, really fun bright age appropriate costumes that aren't over the top and another fun prop that helps tell the story. So I'm talking to this girl a month ago, she was over as I was putting DD's costumes away after we had a dress rehearsal. She takes one look at DD's tap costume and then starts telling me about her Mini tap group number - which you guessed it is the exact same theme as DD's Mini tap group and it sounds like her costume is very similar to my DD's (DD's is custom made) and once again they are going to have a big awful headpiece to tell their theme. I haven't mentioned it to DD's tap teacher yet but I'm definitely going to ask the question if the teachers from our studio are overly friendly with the teachers from the other studio. If it was the same teacher that it happened to again this year then I'd really wonder but it being a different teacher in a different dance genre. Just seems like a non-coincidence. 

Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing, another studio having nearly identical group dances to your own?

ETA: our studio has been in business for over 30 years, this other studio only for 7.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #2 
Yes this happens, and it happens frequently, and especially with younger dancers who tend to rely more on themes.  

Maybe the teachers are talking, but other logical reasons are available too:
Themes naturally come out of overused songs like I'm in Love with a Monster, so its not usual to have some overlap.
It could be that both studios saw a cute dance by another local studio last year.
Or both studios saw an inspiration piece on TV, or online, on a live stream or in a show.
Or both studios judge at competitions and saw a similar number elsewhere.

One year we had a great musical theater number that I hadn't even heard the song for before.  Another studio did the same thing the same year we did and it was definitely a theme.  Turns out, the year before both of us did the dance, a well known studio had done this piece and it had been popular online. The song also showed up on a list of underused musical theater songs online.  I've seen it locally every year at comps since.


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momcrew

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Reply with quote  #3 
What songs are we talking about here? It could just be that the song is popular and I'm sure a common theme arises from popular songs.

ETA: When my oldest was a mini we did a music box dancer ballet theme. The next year I saw several music box dancer numbers. I don't think any of those studios were copying us, it was just a popular theme at the time. 
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elastigal

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Reply with quote  #4 
Last year it was a very specific animal theme - our music was from the Nutcracker and we had a freestanding prop built that was a feature in the dance; not sure what the other studio's music was, I didn't recognize it when I heard it (I saw the routine performed at a community event, not at a comp). This year we're doing a very specific type of candy for our theme - music is 3 songs spliced together (DT chose them herself) that the lyrics of are about this specific candy, the kids hold handheld props of this candy and we have a freestanding prop that also matches the theme and is used in the dance; not sure what the other studio's music is but I know their costumes are very similar to ours and they will have large headpieces of that specific candy and their dance is called a very similar name. I don't know if we will see them in comp this year but I'm super curious to see what their dance looks like. When I showed the dance friend DD's tap costume she looked really surprised at how similar her outfit will be. I personally don't remember seeing dances for this particular theme last year but I do know there are a number of youtube videos out there of it. It's just really irritating that two dance studios in the same small town (we're a very small town though we do have 4 studios based here) have pretty much the same dance. 
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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #5 
Sounds like it is just a coincidence to me.  You're saying the music is different but the theme is the same or similar.  I would say that happens a lot, especially in the minis. 

One year my teen DD did a trio to Colorblind by Counting Crows.  We ran into 3 or 4 other dances to that song that year, and it was so strange because nobody could figure out why.  It hadn't been used in a movie or anything, and different groups were using different versions (covers or the original) of the song.  An improbable coincidence but it was a coincidence nonetheless.

Anyway, I can tell from your descriptions that you prefer the way your studio is doing it, so I'd say just be happy about that.  Whenever I talk with my kids about someone having the same costume or the same music, I just say "if the judges are going to hear that song 3 times, let's hope your dance is the best", LOL.  We went to a comp once that didn't have very many productions, but our production was The Wizard of Oz, and there was another Wizard of Oz production there, too.
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elastigal

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Reply with quote  #6 
We saw that last year at one comp. Three musical theatre acts in a row - first one did Coffeebreak, second one did something original, third one did Coffeebreak - it was a Coffeebreak sandwich! My DD and I were laughing about it at the time. Total coincidence, the studios that did these routines are like 2+ hours away from each other, just happened to be at the same comp. Should be an interesting comp season!
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