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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: "Dancemoms" on Lifetime


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OK, I finally got a chance to sit and watch the show. Egads the dancing is just not good. It's not so much bad technique, but it's like the girls do one trick then walk or move over to the next trick. It's not what I would call dancing to the next trick.

 

But I think my biggest complaint was the emphasis on being No 1. I know a competition is about winning, really, but to send a message that you are a loser if not the top dog, is not a very good message at all. My dd did her first comp this year and it was a real eye opener. I just wanted her to prepare, compete, and finish. She would have been happy to place in the Top 10. And to set two girls up to compete against each in the same studio is so unhealthy.

 

Ironically, the good competition school I mentioned earlier sent an email this morning with a schedule for suggested classes for dd. She has entertained the idea of taking a "turns and tricks" class just to feel up to par with the rest of the dancers out there.

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Momof3darlings

Competitions themselves are starting to put statements about the show on their facebook pages. DD2 & 3's owner sent a link to this one if you have FB. Reality Show far from Reality, we hope!

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pointeprovider

I agree with so much that has been said here. However, this again makes me question whether some otherwise-credible "ballet" competitions are looking for the type of dancer portrayed in "Dance Moms", or at least for their "tricks." I say this because a few of that teacher's older dancers did quite well at one particular very popular ballet competition about 2 years ago. I am pretty sure that she was their teacher, or one of them. The name of the school was different then, but it was at the same address that Abby Lee gave to the police over the phone in last week's episode when she called them for the altercation with the mom in her studio. I hope I am wrong; please correct me if I am. I guess I am just saying that there actually are places for her dancers in the ballet world, apparently, and that they must have some talent and training somehow, or they would not, presumably, have placed in the top dancers, even earning medals, if memory serves.

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Momof3darlings

If it was Reign Dance Productions or Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio then it's possible there is that connection. Abby Lee Dance Company is a part of Reign Dance Productions which was formerly Lorrain Dance Studio. But dancers from competition studios have been attending YAGP for years as well as attending SIs for years. Back in the dark ages when DD attended YAGP you could simply enter Contemporary. Not sure if that is the case now or not. But especially for young men, it was common to be a competition guy and attend YAGP. Of the ones I remember from her time was Jon Bond, who was on some other TV competition show and is now with Cedar Lake.

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Did anyone watch last night's show? Did the group dance get disqualified because of the costume?

There was some talk of that, but I don't know if they said that for sure.

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They didn't really make it clear did they? While watching the dance though the synchronization among the dancers seemed off.

 

I looked at the school's website and this is what is says about the summer ballet program: "taught in the French and Vagonova methods." That is new to me. What is the "French method?"

 

This show is now kind of scary to me. The "prosti-tots" comments and the dance moves were really bothersome. I am more so bothered that the mother's would say "unacceptable" to the camera, but not pull their daughters out of the number. Then to have Abby say "everyone is replacable" was disturbing because she is saying that she would kick the child off the competition team if the mother voiced her concerns.

 

What this will do to the children in the long run scares me.

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I got the impression that Abby had the judges results and comments and DID NOT want to share them with the students and parents (she had papers in her hand at the end). By what she said, something like, "I guess they just didn't like us", to me shows that she thought they danced well (she didn't really critique anyone as she did previously) and maybe they were in serious violation of perhaps the dress code or inappropriate dancing (butt smacks and open legs to audience).

 

Seems to me that the Moms will say something in protest but not act on it. And like politics everywhere they don't wan to make Abby too terribly mad so that she holds a grudge against them for the next routine that she will be casting.

 

In addition, I watched the link that ligne posted from Good Morning America. Abby says her dancers go off to Broadway, Animals at Disney (or other theme parks) and Showgirls in Vegas. Broadway sounds impressive but I'd wonder how many she actually had that made it there; Animals at theme parks and showgirls are perfectly fine jobs but I'm not sure I'd spend that kind of money training for that and I certainly wouldn't want my daughter at any age under 18 training to be a showgirl. This last episode certainly seemed like that's exactly what they were doing.

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I thought it was funny that one of the moms hoped that no one she knew saw her daughter at the competition because it was in their home state. She's on TV, for pete's sake ! :blink:

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carpoolleader
... I hope I am wrong; please correct me if I am. I guess I am just saying that there actually are places for her dancers in the ballet world, apparently, and that they must have some talent and training somehow, or they would not, presumably, have placed in the top dancers, even earning medals, if memory serves.

 

In a quick scan of their website I noted that one of their dancers received a full tuition scholarship to the Joffrey New York summer intensive.

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I watched the second episode. It felt like that morbid curiosity when you see a car crash at the side of the road. I now find myself looking for some strong antacid to treat nausea. :(

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I can't tell the time of year the show is depicting now - I had assumed fall, but someone here reminded me of the summer competitions so perhaps it's still summer?

 

At any rate the first thing that grabs me is the amount of time these young girls spend at the studio. Next there was the mention that they go to a competition each weekend (I truly couldn't have done this as a parent. When my dd was younger it was about 6-7 total and that was more than enough). I also noted that the girls do a different routine each competition. Is this really what kids 9 years old are doing these days? I can't imagine having enough choreography ready for each competition group in the studio to have a new piece for each and every competition, let alone time to rehearse all of this.

 

But maybe I am just too old and tired!!

 

:(

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The impression I got after watching the show last night is that these dancers aren't accustomed to the "prosti-tot" costumes or dances. The parents were shocked, the girls were giddy to be doing something different, and Abby seemed on edge. I would wager that this was something contrived by the TV people and, because they had signed contracts, Abby Lee was stuck between a rock and a hard place and had to go along with it unwillingly.

 

The thing that keeps going through my mind is ... if you are that unhappy with the studio, why not take your daughter and go elsewhere? Which again makes me wonder if the parents were happy with the studio before all of this TV nonsense started and now can't leave because they signed a contract. I don't necessarily think they are acting, but I do think these folks are being exploited and pushed to their limits so that Lifetime can get good, juicy material for a so-called "reality" show.

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The impression I got after watching the show last night is that these dancers aren't accustomed to the "prosti-tot" costumes or dances. The parents were shocked, the girls were giddy to be doing something different, and Abby seemed on edge. I would wager that this was something contrived by the TV people and, because they had signed contracts, Abby Lee was stuck between a rock and a hard place and had to go along with it unwillingly.

 

I finally watched it last night after reading the comments here. I had the same impression you did, MamatoMary. There has been publicity in the media about "prosti-tot" type routines and costumes, and the producers of the T.V. show wanted to stir up that type of controversy on the show. In fact, a lot of the show seems contrived for T.V. and not normal for that or any other dance studio. The dance teacher mother who is driving her 6 year old two and half hours each way to Abby's studio, for example, seems like she's acting for the cameras and even following a script. Abby choreographing a routine for this child and putting her into a competition after one week at the studio seemed contrived to me as well. And I don't believe for one minute that the 13 year old normally dances with the 8 and 9 year olds! That is a phony set up for sure. In that case, I believe it's the mother who is forcing her child to be on the show. In the first episode, it was clear that the last thing the 13 year old girl wants to be doing is dancing at Abby's studio!

 

If Abby doesn't like the parents watching all the time, why does she make it so easy and comfortable for them to do so by having that huge viewing room right above the studio, or is that a set up for the T.V. show too?

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You know, I did happen to watch both episodes. I do think it's definitely contrived. In fact, I think the teacher is going out of her way to act. Which act she's putting on, (the angel part or the nasty part) I'm not sure, but it seems to me that she is not real. She impresses me as the yelling sort, so I'll go with my gut. That lady that comes from 2 hours away is interjected to provide comic relief probably - she is a total character. The moms do impress me as being fairly real - I think there are moms out there like that. I just think the camera follows them around so much and the moms just didn't realize how much the cameras can catch and how compromised the situation would be. They were concentrating on getting their daughters on TV. Who knows? Maybe they know just what they were getting into and deliberately decided it would be good for them. I'm sure one or two families did. They can't be that naive.

I was amused at the competition. The brief times they showed the other dancers from other studios they were in fact IMO very poor! I could not believe that it was a competition - most looked like they didn't even know what they were doing. You know, I even feel like this studio deliberately has been over coaching these kids to make sure they come across as 'well trained' -even though I'm sure they aren't. And of course I would say the majority of the studio is not participating in this show. We always hear about the older girls and never see them - and the owner only goes to competitions with these younger aged girls? I don't get that at all. I bet most of the parents there decided this show was not for their kids.

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