nynydancer

YAGP youtube videos causing angst

28 posts in this topic

I have a 13 yo and a 11 yo. The 11 yo is currently at ABTYD, where she was well placed and making some really nice friendships. Some of these kids are competition dancers, and so now DD has a bee in her bonnet about YAGP.

 

We started looking at youtubes for YAGP in her age group, and I am stunned to see 10 yo kids doing Giselle and Kitri on pointe. Not just just one or two videos, but a lot. Holy cow! I thought my kid was doing okay, and so did she! My kid wants to be a professional dancer, and I am trying to support her as long as she has the desire. But should my 11 yo be doing Kitri on pointe by now in order to be on the right path?

 

I feel like Ms Leigh will say "no", and that logic says "no", and everything I have learnt on this forum says "no", but the proliferation of these videos makes it look like this is a new normal.

 

I will say at ABTYD, even at the top level, they are doing reasonable pointe and nothing crazy. They are learning a modified Giselle variation and most of the kids in this group are 12-13.

 

And please note, I mean absolutely no disrespect to kids or parents who are doing these competitions and variations on pointe at a young age, I just want to understand if this is what it takes to help a kid become a pro.

 

 

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Maybe you can balance out your angst by watching the lovely little dancers on flat on youtube. Meghan Fairchild qouted her teacher in one of her interviews that stuck with me: "you won't be the best, and you won't be the worst". A great perspective!

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If you can find it show her the video of the young lady that took first place (not Hope Award, but first place) in the pre-competitive category at the NYC finals this year as she was not en pointe due to an injury. She was en pointe at her regional but managed to score well enough for first place in the finals without being en pointe.

 

In our region of the country there are a lot of dancers from the traditional competition world, dancers that train in all genres, that compete in YAGP so there are many younger girls en pointe in the pre-comp category and they do well. It is a more recent trend so I don't know how these early successes will transition into the junior and senior categories as they come up against more seasoned classically trained ballet dancers.

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You got it right on what I would say, nynydancer! Personally, I don't even believe in the existence of a pre-comp category, and that age group learning classical variations which were created for principal and soloist professionals is, IMO, just wrong.

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I think that the the pre comp category is great and my DD learned a lot doing it. DD did not do anything flashy. Just a simple, clean variation.

 

That said, I also agree that it is NO indication of potential. And really if you can watch those Kitris closely they can be pretty sloppy.

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One thing to keep in perspective, nynydancer. You'll never hear a professional dancer or even an older dancer look back and say, "Wow, I was the best 11 year old ever in ballet. I wish I could still perform my variations that well." They all look back and laugh at themselves and their parents inflation of themselves. "And we really thought this was good?" It is a process and that's how it should be.

 

Justifications aside, being an amazing 11 year old is simply being an amazing 11 year old. Sometimes with hard work and dedication that person becomes a similarly amazing 18 year old or 25 year old. But not always. Train well, train continuously, keep checking to see if her progress continues to put her in good company every year and if not, re-evaluate often. One thing for sure, there will always be someone who can do something better. How you use that information and translate it into harder work is what really matters.

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Amen to that, Momof3!!! We did not have videos way back when, but there are, unfortunately, photos! When I was sorting boxes while "remodeling" my garage a few years ago, I found my Junior High School yearbook. (Yes, back then 9th grade was still Jr. High, not High School.) I was voted most talented, and I looked at that photo and just went OMG!!! At 14, while the legs and feet were always good, I had the world's worst sway back. Not only that, I was in black tights and leotard with pink pointe shoes. :ermm: If you cut the photo to just the legs and feet in croisé 4th on pointe, fine, but boy did I have a long, long way to go on the upper half! :wallbash:

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We noticed that a lot of these dancers (who placed well at this year's YAGP Finals) were not as technically good in class, and, some were injured not too long after YAGP Finals from all the rehearsing and multiple competitions they do. Also keep in mind, some of these girls performing these variations have been competing them for multiple years in multiple competitions (and not ballet competitions only). A lot of the pre-competitive dancers are from the Jazz comp world.

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The winner this year was on an episode of Dance Moms, so I'm sure you're right about the routine being used at other comps.

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The judges in Seattle last year seemed to prefer pre-comp dancers on flat. There were only three dancers on pointe that made the top twelve (the hope award winner was one of the top girls at finals who ended up spending this summer in a boot due to a growth plate injury).

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IMO, most of those videos from students are only there for bragging rights. For example, a good turner posts videos of multiple pirouettes, a good jumper of big jumps. It's much harder to really capture artistry and the fine details that are required for a mature, finished dancer. I always felt that they had a high potential for unnecessary intimidation. Watching videos of great dancers (professionals) is a good thing. Watching videos of onesided, unfinished dancers.... not so much!

 

Edited for note to moderators: I didn't realize this was for the under 13 forum. Please delete if you need to!

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In our region of the country there are a lot of dancers from the traditional competition world, dancers that train in all genres, that compete in YAGP so there are many younger girls en pointe in the pre-comp category and they do well. It is a more recent trend so I don't know how these early successes will transition into the junior and senior categories as they come up against more seasoned classically trained ballet dancers.

I'm confused by this. When you mention the "traditional competition world" are you referring to the jazz comp world or the ballet competition world?

 

The reason I ask is that it's pretty rare, in our area at least, to see an10-yr-old dancing on pointe at a jazz-type of competition. They rarely score well, let alone look very good technically. So I'm surprised these kids are scoring well at YAGP

(Frankly the teens and seniors from comp studios that do pointe routines aren't that great either.)

 

I would've much more expected stronger contemporary performances from the comp kids.

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I think you're right that *generally* kids aren't great on pointe from jazz comp studios. There are a rediculous number of comp studios, at least in my area. There's always going to be that one great ballet student from each studio. That's who they send to YAGP.

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Phx115 - dancers that started off in jazz comp schools, moved to a more ballet focused school at some point yet continued to compete in jazz comps (not doing ballet at the Jazz comps, just contemporary, lyrical and jazz type numbers) then competed with the ballet school at YAGP. Basically kids that didn't grow up in a classical ballet-only environment. Look at last year's pre-comp top 12 from the NYC finals and you'll see that some of those students have trained in multiple genres of dance for years and have been successful in traditional jazz-type comps as well as YAGP.

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IMO, I think it is an absolute advantage to have training in all forms of dance up until maybe 9-10 years of age, before ballet becomes more necessary. There are so many things to be gained during those years- musicality, turning, coordination, stage experience, etc.

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