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Ballet Talk for Dancers

To Compete or not to Compete


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I completely agree coupee. As homeschoolers, sometimes the workload is even more strenuous because the requirements for homeschoolers can be more stringent as far as college entry. Just because a schedule can be worked around more, doesn't mean it is any better. Having a child do their regular schoolwork, not homework, late at night isn't any easier.

 

Also, added to what coupee said about the workload for homeschoolers not being any easier, you have to consider the cost. Most homeschooling families are one income families. The costs of YAGP are simply out of the financial range of most homeschoolers. Most homeschoolers that are one income families are struggling just to pay for the normal classes.

 

I think competitions can be wonderful experiences for the right type of person and for the family that can afford it. However, I have seen many, many cases where students have received paying contracts or full scholarships for year round studies to the "big name" schools without ever having competed so there is hope for those who choose or for whatever reason simply can not compete.

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hmmm- the topic is not about which is harder home school or traditional - however I will (as I think others might) take issue with twelfthnight's statement regarding home schooling being more strenuous then a traditional school.... I just say'n.... :whistling:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hushinfazen

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TwelfthNight, you are right about the expenses of homeschooling. The stay-at-home overseeing parent doesn't get a paycheck for teaching, and the student is often up late completing work, which means that the parent stays up late to grade it. It's a sacrifice, any way you slice it. However, doing YAGP would be very difficult without homeschooling, in my opinion. It's not impossible; we've known a few who attended half a day of "regular" school with special arrangements made, but most seem to homeschool.

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Guest coupe66
hmmm- the topic is not about which is harder home school or traditional - however I will (as I think others might) take issue with twelfthnight's statement regarding home schooling being more strenuous then a traditional school.... I just say'n.... :whistling:

 

I apologize if I opened this can of worms, it wasn't my intent! I was just wanting to add that the schedule of YAGP rehearsals, especially at the end (and when, at least in our case, we are just coming off Nutcracker) is really hard on the academics, regardless of school choice. The rigor of classes at a typical pre-pro school already poses a challenge to getting schoolwork done. YAGP just adds to it.

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hushinfazen, you misread what I wrote. My point, as someone who has homeschooled my children all their lives, was that they sometimes have to have more in the way of requirements for certain colleges, because they have to prove that their homeschool education is on par with the more traditional methods. It is a fact that the ACT and SAT scores have to be higher for a homeschooler than a publicly schooled child because they do not always have grades they can show a college admission board or sometimes when they do, a college doesn't think the work was as strenuous as a public school workload. Yes, sometimes the workload can be more. I have a niece who is in an IB program so I am familiar with the workload of public schooled children. As pointeprovider mentioned, I don't see how anyone with that type of schedule could put in the time requirements necessary to participate in YAGP.

 

My response was to coupee stating that the view some people have that homeschoolers have the day free and somehow have an added advantage becasue they can do all the extra training, isn't always correct. Sometimes, they have the same amount of time to practice for competitions that non-homeschooled children have. Sometimes it is simply about money. I was in no way trying to discuss the merits for or against against homeschooling. Just pointing out the fact that there are misconceptions. If you took my post to as a discussion on which schooling method is harder, than I apologize, but you read it in a way it was not meant.

 

I think it is easy to misunderstand both sides of the competition discussion as hushinfazen misunderstood my post. I have a friend who recently informed me that her daughter was going to YAGP (regional) this coming fall. This parent had no idea of the costs involved and they are certainly not in a position to pay the monetary amounts that have been listed. However, they were asked to attend by the instructor and the instructor made the costs reasonable for them. So, I guess the blanket statement, "only those with a lot of money can attend" isn't always a true statement just as competitions are not right for everyone but are right for some. One just has to figure out the right path for themselves.

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My DD has competed in YAGP regionals for 2 years and finished with a respectable top 12 and top 24 respectively.

 

One way I have tried to minimize expenses is to have our variations teacher teach my DD's old and new variations in class. My DD gets the extra practice without the pricetag and the whole class benefits. We have also specifically asked the ballet and pointe teachers to work on variation specific technique, like attitude turns or Italian fouettes, so we doesn't need to spend big dough on privates to perfect these. The privates are once a week for the 3 months leading up to YAGP. Some weeks they work on variations and some on specific technique. One of the biggest expenses was the contemporary choreography. There is so much BAD contemporary out there that you really get what you pay for, just like any piece of art. I am able to make most costumes but we have also worked hard to network and borrow some amazing tutus from friends. Our total pricetag for YAGP regionals was also around $3,000 including contemporary choreography, spread over 3-4 months. My DD does compete 2-4 dances at 6 regional competitions (add costs for entry fees) plus recital and benefit performances. This at least makes the cost feel like it has been spread over 9 months.

 

Now that I have written this all down, it does still feel like a lot. When you are continuously writing $100 checks, I guess you get a little numb to it. :whistling:

 

Although only having been invited to do the NY Masters Classes, I do feel that unless my DD could get a guaranteed scholarship in NY, I would rather spend the money to send her to the better SI's and take the risk out of it.

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I always assumed that most people who go to YAGP participate as soloists. Reading through this thread, I'm wondering if that is an incorrect assumption. Also- if you are in a group, then do you not do privates?

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I actually did not misunderstand your post twelfthnight. Your post and follow up post are quite clear as to your personal beliefs and personal experience with homeschooling your children. I do applaud your effort!

And while I know the moderators will want to get back on track regarding this thread - twelfthnight might be on to an interesting and worthwhile separate thread about the disadvantages or advantages of homeschooled dancing children and college.

 

 

 

 

hushinfazen

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I would agree that competitions costs can be customized (although schools may try to influence to what extent that can happen e.g. number of coaching sessions, quality of costume, number of pieces taken etc). For many, getting to NYC might not even be an option, or an option that you wish to act on. I would also say that over half our costs were for coaching, so in effect you are paying for more ballet tuition rather than for competition per se.

 

I totally agree with Mousling in that I would cheer on and support anyone's decision to compete regardless of what my attitude might be to my DD's involvement in them. I know a lot of parents and students who love them, and I would never wish to deprive them of that opportunity. I'm also very willing to become educated about their benefits and reassess our position as necessary. I'd like for that to cut both ways, but understand that it's not always going to.

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Yes, let's PLEASE get back on topic. This is not the thread to discuss the pros and cons of homeschooling other than in answering the exact question of how one handles academics if one is doing YAGP and attending the NY festivities which require time off school.

 

lemlemish--there are many schools who take group pieces. Some of those dancers then do solos and others not. There are many reasons why this decision is made. For our home studio, it was those doing solos that also did the groups because it was our teachers philosophy that the experience should not just be for the individual but for the group of people she wanted to take. Having them do both made the dancers not focus on themselves the whole weekend. But for another studio that I costume, they had two dancers doing solos and the rest did the groups to gain exposure to see what was out there in hopes they would desire to compete in later years.

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Sorry Momof3, I didn't mean to open up the hornets nest when I asked the question regarding academics. :) It does seem to me that one would have to factor academics in when making such a decision. For some, the added rehearsal and travel times might mean having to make a change from a traditional brick and mortar to school to cyber. I know my DD wouldn't be able to compete due to the rigorous academic requirements at her traditional school. Also, something to think about, as the students move up in age categories (pre-comp, Jr., Sr.) what was once doable may not continue to be doable as the academic load increases.

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No problem ligne. Your question was not an issue at all. We just sort of started going off in a different direction toward not discussing competing at all.

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As a comparison, through the generosity of my DD's wonderful teachers, director, her studio,and use of costume, we were fortunate to be able to keep the cost down, and under those high figures listed above for our regional participation. Having said that, I feel that my DD got so much out of the experience - especially the coaching - that to us it was invaluable. We could not afford to go to NYC though she was invited, and also being gone for 7 days from a brick and mortar high school and on the heels of our spring performance for our own studio, was just too much. Don't know if we would go to NYC in the future because of the expense, but I never close a half-open door. :) You just never know. Our high school also was instrumental by the way in their help, as they let my daughter leave school for coaching during the day - twice a week. They understood the importance of what she was doing, and they were very glad to help her. I suppose we are lucky to have an understanding school. Also, she was the only one at her studio going - and there was plenty of other performing she had to rehearse for going on at the same time. Again the studio and teachers were instrumental in helping there - squeezing in rehearsing when they could. Everyone was supportive, and helpful, and I can't honestly thank them enough, because all the work that went into it was certainly worth in in our case!

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I don't want to let momof3 take all the heat, so please, pay attention:

 

This subject obviously strikes some raw nerves right in the heart of natural parental anxiety. If everyone could just take a few minutes, and do the following: 10 deep breaths, breathing in through your nose, out through your mouth saying a whispered, "Who" as you do. I think we will all benefit and we can focus our conversation away from the emotional towards the logical.

 

NOW, listen and take this to heart:

Every single one of you here are raising successful adult people, simply by virtue of your obvious caring. Will your children all become professional dancers with the top 5 companies in the US? NO. BUT not because of competing, or not competing, having money or not having money, attending the "best" schools or not attending the "best" schools. Dancers will make it into companies (hear me loud and clear on this) from many different avenues. A HUGE portion of this is LUCK.

 

I've known rich dancers and poor dancers, dancers who have attended all the competitions, and some who haven't ever heard of them.

 

Do the best you can, within what works for your family, and let the chips fall where they may. Chances are, they were going to fall there anyway, regardless of your actions, money, or intervention.

 

Confuscius Clara

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