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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: "Dancemoms" on Lifetime


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Soooo, we saw the Moms at breakfast this morning. They were at the next table. And, I have to say, they were all very gracious. All the moms were there except Christie, and Kelly, but Kendall's mom and Peyton's mom were there as well as Maddie's and Nia's mom. Nia's mom is one tall lady :). Maddie's mom engaged us in conversation (she had her niece's baby and was happy to interact with us). There was no drama, however, I can't believe that they dress so dressy at these comps (Nia's mom in a nice sweater dress and boots, Kendall's mom in a skin tight animal print shirt and dressy pants, Maddie's mom in a red sweater and black pants...she was the least 'dressed up'.) I have to say that they have been quite nice to everyone, though no one seems to have gone out of their way to speak to them (think groupies, etc) regarding the show. I haven't seen the kids, or at least not noticed them in my daughter's level (Chloe would be the only one in my dd's level and I didn't see her) and no Brooke or Paige. I will see more of the kids tonight when they perform their pieces. More later!

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DD#1 is in her senior year of high school faced with auditioning for college dance programs and trying to decide whether to take a professional ( non- Ballet) contract or attend college. She is a product of the competititon world and though she studies Ballet and attends summer intensives, she is not interested in a professional Ballet career. Her "commercial" dance appeal was honed on the competition circuit (non-Ballet) and she was fortunate to have been signed by a Talent agency in NYC as a direct result of dancing in the type of competitions featured on the "DanceMoms" show. DD has very good technique but is blessed with the performance gene . At age 18, she has been auditioning in NYC frequently, and is able to make informed decisions about working vs attending a college program that will take her dance to the next level.

 

Just a reminder that not all dancing children choose a ballet career regardless of how much they study and train in that genre. DD's #1 college choice is very expensive, and with two DD's in our family, finances are extremely tight. Even with artistic and academic scholarships, attending this particular program would mean coming out of a 4 year program in extreme debt. DD is seriously considering taking a cruise contract she was offered and deferring college so she can attend her #1 college choice. This cruise line was very particular in looking for dancers with advanced technique as they are creating new shows geared towards the viewing public that watches the various dance shows on TV, and who they believe have come to expect a certain level of proficiency.

 

DD#1 is fortunate to have choices, and would not agree that working on a cruise ship was anything but a wonderful opportunity . Like Abby Lee's studio the studio DD#1 attends has a track record for alumni that dance professionally. In terms of students that are more interested in a ballet career, those types of students ( including DD#2) tend to eventually choose to attend one of the very strong pre-pro ballet schools in our area.

 

I can and do relate to the moms on this show and have been through many of the scenarios depicted on the various episodes. Yes, I believe the drama is escalated for TV, but much of what happens is very real in terms of the core issues.. I watched many of DD#1's very talented dance friends lose interest in dance competition as they get older and choose to do other things. From what I have observed, for those dancers that have talent ,and a bit of luck, a professional dance/performing career (outside of a ballet company) is possible. I believe that as a result of the show, the children/parents are very aware of the various other options that exist and choose to stay on the show and at the studio-regardless of what the "public" thinks. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out...

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Did someone, somewhere state that working on a cruise ship as a paid, professional dancer was negative?

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My 10 yr old DD has stated she would clean a stage if it meant she got to perform! LOL I tell her all the time any performing gig with an attached paycheck is always to be considered! Her dream (right now) is to be a professional ballet dancer, but I have no doubt that if she got to perform and dance with compensation no genre would be left out (except the one with a pole, and I am not talking Cirque du Soliel! LOL) :clapping:

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I'm a little confused about which is the "best" path that one should choose when considering their child's dance training. I was under the impression, from things I'd read here, that in the earlier years, building one's ballet technique was the goal. Later on, jazz and other forms of dance are introduced and build upon the established ballet technique. I thought that no matter whether one's goal was to be in a ballet company or on a music video, it was preferable to have that strong ballet foundation before adding in the extras. Did I misunderstand?

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Okay, we seem to be getting waaaayyyyy off-track in this thread. THIS thread is to critique, vent, comment, or whatever the 'reality' show 'DanceMoms'.

 

The collateral issues of 'what is considered reputable professional dance' and 'what is appropriate foundational training' really should be in separate threads. If someone wants to continue either of those discussions, please do feel free to start a new thread.

 

Just to be clear, even though BT4D is focused primarily on pre-professional BALLET training and most of our members' DKs seem to (at least initially) have professional ballet companies as their end goal, it has been said over and over and over again that professional BALLET companies are NOT the only reputable and respected professional dance jobs around: there are cruise lines, modern companies, contemporary companies, ethnic dance companies, Broadway shows, musical revues, touring productions, Cirque de Soleil, etc. About the only two genres this Board, collectively, has a hard time recognizing as reputable, respected 'dance' is Vegas-style topless showgirls and strippers----those are 'adult (male) entertainment. But perhaps my bias shows there . . . .

 

Also, some very legitimate dance choreography has nudity and toplessness in it. (I personally fail to see the need for it, but . . . . again, perhaps that's just me. It seems to be not as big a deal in Europe as it is here in the States).

 

So with all that being said, PLEASE let's get back to the topic at hand: The 'DanceMoms' allegedly-reality show. :thumbsup:

 

(and no need to plead Mea Culpa to this post; let's just move on. But do feel free to start other discussions in new threads, if you so desire to digress from this thread's topic.)

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You're not confused, Cuckoomamma. Starting off with a strong ballet foundation is a very good path, and certainly can lead to dancing on cruise ships; dancing in Cirque Du Soleil; Dancing on Broadway; or dancing in a Modern company like Pilobolus. It can also lead to dancing in a ballet company where classical ballets are done, whereas, when one is attending a comp school like Abbie Lees, one's future prospects may be more limited, and likely will not include dancing in a ballet company that does classical work.

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Sorry, dancemaven! We must have posted instantaneously! I agree and concur with everything you just said!!!! :clapping:

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RussianBallerina

Dance Moms just finished a week of shooting at the Joffrey Ballet School in NY. My dd got to meet all the girls, moms and Abby. They were very interested in the training at Joffrey and Abby told my daughter that the girls hadn't had a ballet class in over 3 months. LOL.

Hmmm... That explains the sickled toes :angelnot:. I am very interested in how ALDC works in relation to technique classes. Rarely ever do you see the girls taking any type of technique class (jazz, modern, tap, ballet, ect) on the show. Do the competition students take classed at all or do they just work on their competition pieces?

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They do have technique classes at ALDC in a variety of styles. There are other children in those classes, so I assume they only film the competition practices.

 

ALDC was in our local paper because they competed against a local studio in Chicago a few weeks ago. Candy Apples studio was there too. Google "Co. Dance" if you want to see the results/photos...I don't want to "spoil" the results.

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RussianBallerina

Thank you kr12! That answered my question... I will google those results!

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And, seriously, how interesting would technique classes be for TV. Like can be like watching grass grow. . . . . where's the drama in that?

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RussianBallerina

And, seriously, how interesting would technique classes be for TV. Like can be like watching grass grow. . . . . where's the drama in that?

True! For non-dancers, technique class would be very boring to watch, especially ballet technique class.

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After watching these Dance Moms and the dance children in a real life dance scenario this weekend, I more firmly believe heavy editing and a lot of staged events happen. These girls are YOUNG. Most of them are in the Mini room which is ages 6-10. Young! They are hard workers, very respectful of all the teachers and yes, even to their fellow students very gracious and nice. (I saw some very typical 10 yo actions, both good and not so good). Also, the sickled feet comment from above....they are YOUNG! I know students from ballet only schools who still sickle their feet after age 10, lol! There is absolutely no denying these students are good dancers. We must acknowledge that. They are real kids with real flaws, and real strengths.

 

I also don't believe that the 'fights' with the moms and AL happen the way we see them, and in front of the kids. I will say the AL's voice is LOUD even when she is just talking. Without me knowing, she was sitting kitty corner behind me in the cafe with Gianna (?) and I heard her voice and it caused me to look. She really is larger than life in many ways. But, she was very kind to both her students and mine in the audience and backstage. I didn't find it to be insincere. I also heard from that this was a very enjoyable weekend for the kids because it was one of the first comp/convention they have been to without cameras and they could just dance for themselves and enjoy it.

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RussianBallerina

b1, You are completely right. Sometimes while watching, it is hard for me to remember exactly how young these young ladies are. These girls are incredibly talented dancers with a lot of work ethic, which is what makes me forget how young they are. No ten year-old who I know would ever dream of spending that much time doing only one activity, and no ten year-old I know would be able to dance as well as they do.

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