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Guest happycc

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Guest happycc

I am just so excited that there is actually a place I can talk about these things with other people.

 

Our school have dance performances time to time and my concern has been that my son is often given a solo with these very talented girls surrounding him. For the Nutcracker he was a party guest and in the other nutcracker he was the main character's little naughty brother.

 

Sometimes I feel uncomfortable thinking that they are giving him this solo because he is the only boy in the class. I mean the whole theme of the class's dance would be around this one boy.

 

My son is good but I feel that there may be other girls who might be better and should have a chance to be in the limelight.

 

I wouldn't doubt that other girls and their parents may feel a bit jealous and I don't blame them. The dance studio practically grabs these boys and make them the kind of the place practically. Although the oldest boy dancer at our studio just got into Juliard. So my guess is that he is truly a good dancer and has received good training there. He does strut around the dance studio though thinking he is the kind of the roost. My son and the few younger boys-three of them look up to him.

 

Does anyone else feel the same about this?

 

Carolyn

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Anybody with any sense will have no problem with a "party boy" or Fritz in Nutcracker being played by a boy.

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Guest happycc

No no no-obviously the Nutcracker party guest and fritz will be played by a boy. I guess I meant the dance shows at the end of the school year and actually any dance they do in class-has my son in the spotlight /limelight because he is the only boy in the class. Sometimes there may be two or three boys in the class and they will have them do a solo together separate from the girls with the girls in the background. Is this common?

 

Carolyn

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Just the law of Supply and Demand. There's also a little advertising. "See, we have boys, too. If you send yours, he won't be alone." Happens all the time.

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Guest happycc

I just wanted to write about dance shows.

I learned (the hard way) to be there (rehearsal and performances) an hour before the time they really say they want you to be there. After parking, getting the kids in, bathroom, dressed, hair and make up the time creeps up quickly.

 

I have been delegated several times to be the "babysitter or watcher" of the kids in the shows a few times and learned to bring plenty of books,coloring books, colored pencils(not markers), games, Barbie dolls, Pokemon cards for boys, videos (if there is a tv and video) and ideas for games such as telephone, simon says, mother may I etc etc while waiting backstage.

 

In the past I think I taught about 6 girls and 4 boys to finger knit while waiting.

 

Bring blankets or sleeping bags for the kids to sit on so they don't get their costumes dirty-really important if it is during the rainy season. Only bring water to drink. No juice.

 

At the last show, some parents give each of the kids a little gift or flowers. I never do this but other parents do.

 

 

Carolyn

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Guest prism
No no no-obviously the Nutcracker party guest and fritz will be played by a boy.

 

no, no, no - NOT obviously. It is pretty easy to dress a girl up to look like a boy when necessary to meet role requirements or technical abilities. They will not always be cast in an available boy role just because they might be the only boy. The emotional havoc of letting a boy be lead into thinking this is discussed pretty often on this forum whether it is for dance roles, a place in a summer intensive, acceptance at a prominent school, or a scholarship. In fact, it has been recently brought up again in the scholarship thread.

 

any dance they do in class-has my son in the spotlight /limelight because he is the only boy in the class. Sometimes there may be two or three boys in the class and they will have them do a solo together separate from the girls with the girls in the background. Is this common?

 

As Mel indicated, yes. My son is in the same situation being the only boy in his classes. Aside from the advertising of boys, I think having a boy opens up opportunities in music choices and choreography that wouldn't work with just girls. Studios of course are going to take advantage of this situation to increase the entertainment value of their performances which in turn is going to be good general advertising as well. When they have boys, they can do more that involves boys, so they do (such as the themes you mentioned). So naturally the presence of boys is going to stand out more. I would also hope that the AD would strive for a little balance as well and not do an overkill of all boy stuff, but use themes that lend itself to featuring girls in part of the routine too. Even if the boy has a solo, good choreography will allow the focus to shift entirely away from the boy and onto the girls for their moment in the limelight (just my opinion though - no professional training in this regard. Based on what I enjoy watching and it certainly would not be a one-man show!)

 

In addition to solos, I find that my son often has his own parts or moves within the group while they are all dancing together. For instance, all the girls might spin on the beat followed by my son on the off beat. Or their arms might all be up while his are down. The girls might have their hands in a feminine pose while he is required to put his hands on his hips. Some of these examples might be female/male style differences while others might be simply to add interest to the choreography. For those of us with the boy, it's easy to feel like they are spotlighting him throughout the entire dance when he is often doing something different or opposite than the girls. Other Mom's of DD's who pick up on it and make insensitive remarks easily overheard by DS, don't stop to think how much hard work is involved. These boys have to remember entire routines with no one else to rely on. The girls can follow each other when they are unsure. Little mistakes will more than likely blend in and be unnoticed. But just as the boy's differences might be in the limelight, so will their mistakes be out there in the limelight for all to see.

 

I used to feel uncomfortable and concerned in the beginning. But I was cured of that pretty quickly after a few comments like "you are so lucky to have a boy - boys have it so easy" or "piece of cake - he'll get the role cuz he's a boy and will probably be the only boy there". Now I am more concerned with educating the sources of these types of statements and providing emotional support (and positive ways to deal with such people) to my son when he comes in contact with this type of mentality. If grown adults want to only see half the picture and get jealous, then I figure that's their problem. My energy can be better spent on concerns related to the realities of my son's well being as a dancer and his dance training.

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Guest prism
At the last show, some parents give each of the kids a little gift or flowers. I never do this but other parents do.

uummmm..... did you mean that the parents get gifts or flowers for all the kids in the class with their daughter/son?? eeek! If so, I surely couldn't afford to do that. If you meant gifts or flowers for their own child, I see that a lot at our studio. The first year, I gave my son a single red rose and he loved it. I always felt it should be something different for a boy though. It's not easy to find something appropriate for boys. The next year, we went out to celebrate right after the performance at Dairy Queen. It was a huge hit. The next year, he wanted to go to the after-performance party at the studio. That was another big hit. He had a chance to help take down some of the set, load props into the van, etc. before going to the party. It was a memorable experience for him and a big deal being only 6yo. The next major event was this past holiday in the Nutcracker. We got him a two foot wooden Nutcracker and he was totally thrilled. He proudly displays it on top of his bookcase in his bedroom and I'm sure it will bring back pleasant memories for years to come. Some of the girls had received a nice book of the Nutcracker which their parents had given them before the performance. They had a large open convention center behind the stage set up as the waiting/dressing area so the girls wandered around to have all the dancers autograph their books. I thought that was a great idea and would make a very nice gift for a boy as well. Have no clue what we will do this year.

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Guest BalletAuthor

:wub: but still, a giggley perspective...

 

Ds, age 22, has danced Nuts for the past 17 years- Oh my! (and most of those years either as a student in a professional school or in a company - so there have been MANY many performances danced...including the 54 he did the year he was an apprentice! :green: )

 

You know what he wants after Nuts??? (Besides a long vacation somewhere warm B):wink: )

 

It's a trick question. :)

 

He wants the AD to have an epiphany and put something else on next year!!!!

 

Dairy Queen or similar is great. Nutcrackers are great (we had one each year from 5 thru 17, there are enough around here to staff the army of a small European principality!)

 

Books are great (ditto CD's of the ballet's music are often a hit, if they can still stand to listen to it) (CC- charming child :wink: - once accused me of trying to "kill" him by having Nuts playing when he got to his flat after a Nuts performance???!!!!! If he'd been 5 minutes later the CD would have been playing something else - it was HIS CD of mixed x-mas music - but then he would have lost the opportunity to vent so loudly!!! That's it! Murder by Tchaikovsky! :rolleyes:B)B))

 

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Like Ballet Author my ds is a little older, 21, and after Nutcracter I give him a gift certificate for a massage. But never flowers. With all that lifting it seems to work well. When he was really little I gave him the Maurice Sendak (sp?) Nutcracker book. He loved that book and it was one of the ones he kept when we packed up all his kiddie books and gave them to the library.

 

Having been involved with Nutcracker since I was a little girl and listening to that wonderful music but when you've heard Waltz of the Flowers 400 times I've been know to walk out of stores that had it playing on their muzak system. I can only imagine what it would be like to walk into a room after 54 performances :wub: I love your quote

That's it! Murder by Tchaikovsky!
I'll have to share that one with my ds.

 

I think that parents of male dancers need to have a slightly thicker skin than other parents. When Moms used to come up to me and say some of the same things that you mentioned I would just say really you think so, how did you come to that conclusion? Then just watch them flounder for an answer. While it didn't win me any friends they didn't do it twice. I never found that my son's fellow students had a problem it was their Moms who were competing.

 

It was interesting there were some parents who were into believing that it was a pink palace for the ballet princesses and there was no room for smelly teenage boys. I never quite figured out who they thought was going to lift and partner their princesses. Again it wasn't the kids who had the problem it was just a select group of Moms who had way too much time on their hands to worry about things.

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Guest DancingBoi

I know this might be a bit off topic but since the issue of giving flowers was brought up I thought this might be a good time to answer a question I've had. In my last(was also the first) performance the AD gave my partner a bouquet and my partner gave me a single rose out of it and we sort of bowed toward each other. This was my first time doing this so I basically did what I was told but is this customary?

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Yes, the practice for a ballerina receiving a bouquet onstage is to remove one flower and give it to her partner, then both exchange honours (bows, whatever).

 

The actual onstage prize for a man is a laurel wreath! It is not placed on his head, but held above him, then the usher (or whoever is "carrying the vegetables") bows and HANDS it to him with both hands. I once saw Nureyev apparently completely flummoxed as to what to do with the thing. He ended up putting his arm through it, and carrying it on his shoulder!

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Guest happycc
Dairy Queen or similar is great. Nutcrackers are great (we had one each year from 5 thru 17, there are enough around here to staff the army of a small European principality!)

gifts to give to boy dancers......

 

well one of the dance teacher for the Nutcracker show gave each of the dancers a little Nutcracker ornament.

 

 

I thought that was a cute touch.....

The following year I believe it was a Chocolate Nutcracker.

 

I suppose stuff like books, cd's, maybe a gift certificate to a dance wear company, maybe a dance pin, a dance bag, a dance poster....believe it or not my son kind of likes jewelry...not girlie girl jewelry but manly jewelry :thumbsup: Perhaps a trinket box to hold his rock collection. A metallic item-shiny gold, silver etc.

 

A nice dinner afterwards perhaps.

 

When he was younger I suppose....a book or journal/scrapbook, a video game, a video, Pokemon cards :)

 

Oh colored pencils-art set, Shrinky dinks, crafty stuff.....

 

My son likes stuff about medieval things -perhaps I find something related to that. He really wants a sword.... :shrug:

 

Or better yet a cage for another spider.... :o

 

 

Carolyn

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The actual onstage prize for a man is a laurel wreath! It is not placed on his head, but held above him, then the usher (or whoever is "carrying the vegetables") bows and HANDS it to him with both hands. I once saw Nureyev apparently completely flummoxed as to what to do with the thing. He ended up putting his arm through it, and carrying it on his shoulder!

 

 

Is this a common practice in the US? I'm just thinking/scheming that our noble guest artist (lovely dancer friend of the director) would have a grand time if we did this. We were used to the flower being shared but had not seen the laurel wreath! What fun!

 

vj

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It's not usually done, because people don't know how to do it. As I said, even Nureyev didn't know just how to handle it when they sprung it on him.

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