Posted 19 October 2011 - 03:36 PM
It's hard to make blanket statements about anything RDA (or blame RDA blanketedly) since so much is region specific in terms of planning, dates, location, etc. And how studios react to it based on even more narrow restrictions like school district policies coupled with how far from each festival a studio lies, etc. etc. etc. This factors into issues with school schedules, etc. There is no way for each RDA region to please each schedule because school schedules are so different in each district. I would venture that the schedule of the Southern schools would be most problematic with Nationals dates since they get out of school for summer in May. Just like it affects SI scheduling because schools start back early August.
However,because my DD was interested in a dance career, I saw the missing of school for RDA no different from all the many other opportunities that are presented to students for missing school in their activities other than this particular activity isn't a part of most schools. Athletes miss for Region, State competitions. Band and Chorus students miss not only for festivals but also for the yearly "fun" trips or performances like MENC Convention and the like. The Foreign Language clubs miss for travel. While some of those activities are curricular, it doesn't mean they are more sound for an individual. RDA attendance is no more educational disposability than any of those activities are. It just isn't sanctioned by the schools in some instances. Luckily, we had several dance parents who were leaders enough to fight in the school district of the studio for RDA attendance to be excused. We did not live in that same district but presented the package that they presented to the board to our principal and he requested excused absense for my daughter as well. She did take AP classes, and while it certainly was stressful and difficult, it wasn't impossible because of her focus and desire to attend AND keep up her grades.
The "running kids ragged" quotient isn't a fault of RDA, it's a fault of how we live our lives now and how much we allow our kids to participate in and dedicate themselves to. It is also within our hands to control. An organization shouldn't be responsible for limiting that. The organization should provide the opportunity, each studio and family within should institute choice. Our studio always allowed choice in attending RDA. Possibly because the company was large enough to do so. You just had to state that choice prior to being cast in a piece. Once you allowed yourself to be cast, then you were "choosing" to attend.
Balance in everything ballet!