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jamquint1

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Reply with quote  #1 
My 6 year old daughter just finished her first year competing small group and a solo. We have been at our studio for 3.5 years and like it, but there are two other options that we are exploring. I think that the answer is to stay at our studio, but I'd love an objective opinion from other dance parents. First off, I live in a Midwest town of about 55,000.

Option A: Studio with about 30 competitive dancers. SO has run the studio for over 30 years. Her daughter has taken over the competition team for the last 5-6 years. The studio is very child-focused, good technique, focus on character. Nice parents and dancers. From my observation, the studio does best with younger dancers, but there seems to be a lot of attrition of older dancers to other studios. This year, only one of the Teens/Seniors placed. Several of the juniors placed. The petites/minis did the best. My itty bitty, for her first year, did amazing in my eyes. She got 1st in category for her first comp, 2nd overall for 5/6 year olds out of 17 at another comp, and 1st in category another comp. Got a high silver at her last comp. Womp. Womp. No biggie. The groups this year did not do that great, mainly bc of problems staying together. They are revamping things to improve this, so hopeful. 

Option B: Bigger studio whose main focus is in large groups and line. Decent technique, no major drama at that studio. Dancers/parents are happy there for the most part. If you want to do a solo, there's not much guidance. That might work for older/experienced dancers but not a 6 year old. She likes doing a solo. I'm worried that she might get lost in the shuffle.

Option C: Bigger studio that fares better at competitions than the others. It seems that there might be more focus put on results than on the child/dancer and less focus on character. I, personally, don't care for the skimpy costumes and song choices/twerking taught and performed at this studio. However, many dancers from Studio A have switched to Studio B. Parents seem to be happy there. I've heard there's a bit more drama amongst the dancers at that studio; not sure amongst the parents. Studio run by JoJo from Dance Mom's aunt to put things in perspective.       Thoughts???
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dmjrm4

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Reply with quote  #2 
We swithched studios last year and researched this topic a lot. How many teen and senior dancers are there at Studio B and C?  This would one of my two biggest criteria if I wanted the strongest dance studio for my DD.  Competition dance is expensive, and if you're going to pay that much money, you want to train with the best.  Second, you also want to choose the studio that requires the most ballet for the competition dancers.  Good ballet = good competitive dancing, there is no substitute.
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LABaby

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmjrm4
 Good ballet = good competitive dancing, there is no substitute.


I second this. What concerns me about your current studio is that several of the minis/juniors place, but not the teens/seniors. I may be reading into this incorrectly - and if so, I apologize - but in my experience, the minis/juniors is more about the performance/acro tricks then actual technique. If this is what you've experienced too, that probably tells you what your studio is focused on. Your daughter is only 6. Your studio from what you've said sounds like a great place for her to foster a love of dance and work on her performance skills for the time being. When she turns 8-9, that's probably the right time to seek out a more technique focused school. 
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jamquint1

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LABaby


I second this. What concerns me about your current studio is that several of the minis/juniors place, but not the teens/seniors. I may be reading into this incorrectly - and if so, I apologize - but in my experience, the minis/juniors is more about the performance/acro tricks then actual technique. If this is what you've experienced too, that probably tells you what your studio is focused on. Your daughter is only 6. Your studio from what you've said sounds like a great place for her to foster a love of dance and work on her performance skills for the time being. When she turns 8-9, that's probably the right time to seek out a more technique focused school. 


Yep. This is my thought as well. I think it is a great place for her to be right now, but may need to re-evaluated in the future. I feel like we would go to Studio C since she really enjoys the smaller group/solo routines, but not sure I'll be able to stomach some of the costumes/routines. That's my dilemma. Honestly, they do have good technique, lots of focus on ballet, stretching/conditioning. I'm not sure what's going on with the older girls. 
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #5 
At that age, I would go with strong technique.  Technique is everything - winning competitions is not as important as good technique.  I'm not sure what you mean on the solo guidance.  The studios DD has been at solos done during private lessons paid for by the parents.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #6 
If she is dancing for fun, no worries.  If you think she loves to dance and will keep dancing competitively in the future, I would look for 

Ballet
Technique
Strong older dancers

Older girls leaving your studio for the others, and not doing well at competitions are huge red flags for me.  Moving later only gets harder.  
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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #7 
She's 6.  Go where she's going to be happy (and where you think the atmosphere is good for her) right now.  A lot can happen in a few years, and by the time she's 9 or 10, you may be looking elsewhere or you may be very happy staying where you are, or you may find that she's interested in something completely different by then.  It's good to think ahead, but take actions based on what's right for right now.
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meatball77

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Reply with quote  #8 
She's six.  Keep her where she is, reevaluate when she's 8 or 9.  You may know if she actually has talent by then (and just because she's good at six doesn't mean she'll be even above average at 11) and know if you should move someplace where she can get more ballet (or maybe someplace where she can dance less hours)
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #9 
I have to agree that she is 6 and right now she should just go where she is happy.  In a couple of years you may want to look for a more technique focused studio.  Any studio that can't hold on to seniors or where the minis outscore the seniors concerns me.  And if you do decided to switch remember ballet, ballet, ballet.
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DJ

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Reply with quote  #10 
We are currently thinking about switching to a new studio as well.  My main focus is on whether a studio is capable of helping dancers reach their full potential.  This is an expensive sport/art and I want to make sure that we are getting quality training for the money we spend.  I want a studio capable of training dancers that can make top college dance teams and/or strong BFA programs.  Maybe my DD's won't reach that level, or maybe they will choose not to pursue dance in college, but for the cost and commitment I don't want to stay at a studio incapable of providing this level of training.  

 
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