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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: "Dancemoms" on Lifetime

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These moms are getting PAID for this. I laugh all the time...these moms are always dressed to the NINES, all decked out in dressed and bling at competitions. Ummmm, I am changing my child, schlepping bags, moving from house to backstage, all wearing sneakers and comfortable clothes (with pockets for bobby pins, etc) and they are in Sunday best. Those moms are not pawns...sadly, those kids are pawns.

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If I've heard Abby Lee say it once, I've heard her say it 100 times: She has produced employable professional dancers.


First, she uses this statement to justify her treatment of the dancers as if the end justifies the means. Second, is this a solid claim? Does the Abby Lee Dance Company have a solid track record of producing a large number of employable professional dancers? I'd be curious to know the actual facts here.

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I'm fairly certain she could produce dancers who dance in buildings that have a plethora of poles. :whistling::innocent: In fact, when googling, I found one of her alumni founded the first stripper/pole work/out dancing studio in Hampton Roads!


One was/is an "Ednaette" on the Dame Edna tour. One a dance captain in Book of Mormon. One is a member of Corella Dance Company- not as in Angel: http://corelladancecompany.com/. One is an Irish dancer. Several on Broadway show tours. One is in a topless Vegas show.


Others were back-up dancers for hip-hop type singer groups.


So- employable? Yes. If one has a desire to dance in a touring musical show, or a Vegas-type show, I would say that is a possibility. But a professional ballet dancer??????? No.

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These moms are getting PAID for this. I laugh all the time...these moms are always dressed to the NINES, all decked out in dressed and bling at competitions. Ummmm, I am changing my child, schlepping bags, moving from house to backstage, all wearing sneakers and comfortable clothes (with pockets for bobby pins, etc) and they are in Sunday best. Those moms are not pawns...sadly, those kids are pawns.


I laugh too. I'm taking DD3 to a competition this weekend and I'll be in my school related t-shirt, jeans, tennis shoes with not a care to my attire except to be sure I'm comfortable. And I will not feel under-dressed in the least, I'll fit right in. I will not be sitting in the front row because that is not the best seat in the house and I will enjoy if DD3's team performs well without a care to how or if they place. Our teacher will not be yelling at students and the mom's of the students ages 11 and up will help put on makeup and get out of the way.


Although we all agree her methods are not good ones, we also have those type of abusive stories in the world of ballet schooling also. One bad teacher is one bad teacher. Problem with this one is she's on TV, but likely there is another in a neighborhood near you. I'm glad that at least we're here to tell parents it doesn't have to and shouldn't be that way.

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My dd's dance studio where she takes some jazz and lyrical classes was approached by the producers of Dance Moms. Of course, they turned them down instantly. The studio "did not want ANY part or association with that show whatsoever." Good choice!!

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Well, I would hope my dd had other aspirations besides dancing topless, but dancing in a traveling Broadway show or being an Irish dancer sounds pretty OK. Even back-dancers for hip-hop artists get paid and enjoy what they are doing. It isn't ballet, but it is commercial work for dancers who are not ballet dancers. I don't know where her girls would fall, but I have seen some pretty good back-up dancers and some pretty lousy ones. ;) Some with travelling Broadway shows. Saw some great cats and not so great cats. ;)

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Amen, Laura. I remember when I was 'scoffing' at Alex Wong for crying and 'desperately wanting to do SYTYCD. I couldn't understand how he could go from a paid (and i believe well paid) job with a well known ballet company for a chance at pop-dom! I was reminded by our board members that everyone's dance dream is a little different. And, in this economy, if a ballet dancer auditioning for companies (and didn't make a ballet company) was offered a broadway job, I'm sure they'd take it. Now, for me personally, pole dancing or a topless job in Vegas would not be a job for me, no matter what my financial straits were.


And, p.s., many competitions this year are refusing to allow Lifetime and ALDC film at their competitions. I will be at one with ALDC this weekend. I will let you know what I see :)

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Guest ballet valet


Maybe you could sneak away with Chloe and Maddie's moms and suggest they make the switch to ballet.


Have a fun weekend. I would love to be a fly on the wall!

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We went on a cruise over the new year and some of the dancers were excellent. The choreography was a little hokey at times but I thought most of the dancers performed very well. There was one standout who obviously had a lot of ballet training. My daughter said the dancer's body type probably prevented her from being in a company. I don't know, as long as you love what you are doing--go for it--especially when you are in your early 20's.

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My dd is currently wrestling with her future dance goals and looking seriously at ballet company jobs. We have many girls dancing for free or very limited pay. If my dd gets a job on a cruise line dancing...I will be so proud of her for being able to support herself while doing something she enjoys. I don't want to steer the topic away from the show, but neither do I want to see the students frowned upon because they are not ballet dancers.

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b1 I would love to be a fly on the wall too!


My DD's current ballet instructor worked on a cruise ship for two years. As a Houston Ballet and Miami City Ballet trained dancer, this was a chance to work, and travel, and he said it was the time of his life.


Many of us have dancing children who may need to step away from classical ballet in order to have a future in dance. But having seen traveling Broadway shows such as Wicked, Memphis, and Movin Out.....as well as having seen The Paul Taylor Dance company, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and Gallim Dance, I remain convinced that the solid ballet training my DDs are getting will serve them well in what ever future dance adventure they embark on. (Vegas is not really an option though!)


And as good as the Abbey Lee dancers are, as much natural talent as they have...they would be much better with some more classical ballet training. I hope they get the opportunity to attend summer intensives as they get older.

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Dancing on Broadway or cruise ships or as a back-up dancer is still a paid, professional dance job in my book.


I don't consider topless reviews or having a job where you use a pole to be in the same category. Those might be paid, but they're not dance.

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We certainly do not want to dismiss other forms of solid dance training in any genre as worthy of being called professional dance. That is not what Clara76 stated, I think people missed the word ballet in her quote: "but a professional ballet dancer, no way". I did at first also and that little difference changes how her post reads.


Any trained dancer who is working a respectable dance job and being paid for it is a professional dancer and they deserve our praise that they are using their training to do what they love even if that is not ballet. And while ballet is our genre of choice at the moment, we can't dismiss that it's not the only way to a professional career. It is just different from a professional ballet career.


With that said, it's important when looking for dance alumni that we consider the different names attributed to ALDC. There is the ALDC, then there is Reign Dance Productions and also, Lorrein Dance Studio which was her mom's studio and that name was kept until more recent years. There are additional listings here of alumni of the school, which we all know means more than one teacher in most cases: http://www.abbyleeda.../rdp/alumni.htm

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Thank you, Momof3! That is exactly what I was trying to say.


When Abbie Lee states that she makes "professional dancers", I wanted it to be very clear what she meant by that, because in our nomenclature here, "professional dancer" is typically perceived at meaning a dancer who dances in classical ballets.


I have the utmost respect for all dancers who are getting a paycheck doing what they love, without having to lower their standards or the standards of women everywhere.

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