Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
Notborndancingmom

YAGP scoring - what does it mean

Recommended Posts

Notborndancingmom

Hello, I am new and I did peruse topics hoping I wouldn't put this in the wrong place - I am a dance mom but never danced growing up so I have found this forum to be so informative. My dd is 9 and talented enough to make me feel WAY out of my league in helping to make sure she has the opportunities she deserves if she continues to be so serious about ballet.

 

This year, she competed in YAGP regionals for the first time, and barely made the age cutoff for participation, and we do believe she was the youngest in attendance. She worked one on one with her ballet teacher (who takes a group of girls every year) for roughly 5 months to prepare. We certainly didn't expect her to make top 12, this was purely for the experience and to have a goal in her one on one work. She was thrilled to be there and had a wonderful experience. Frankly, for me, it terrified me to see some of the dancers and we know we will be working hard right along with her if she continues (I say that because I won't ever, I hope, push her should her love for ballet begin to fade as she gets older).

 

I have tons of questions, but my first is what really do the scores mean? We reviewed her scoring last night, and scores ranged from 80-88 - is this typical? She of course had technique items identified for work, which we expected and they were all right on as far as I and her teacher discussed. I guess I wonder though, as I consider next steps, if this means she is at a minimum naturally talented enough to push to continue this path with YAGP and eventually finding more serious training for her (we love her school, but even they admit if she is serious etc at some point if she continues her development she will need to move on in training, which for us most likely means moving closer to a pre-professional school which is a family hardship for sure).

 

So, first off, does everyone who walks in the door basically get these types of scores? we were surprised by some of the higher scores - but I have no reference for the value of the points so to speak - is getting the extra 15 (extreme case) to extra 7 points to average enough to go to finals a monumental task or is she, with work and dedication, in a range at this point.

 

I hope this makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
mom24bunheads

I would definitely not use the YAGP scores to evaluate your daughter too much. She is so young, and it was a snapshot of one day in her life. I think it is so difficult to compare scores and try to figure out what would be considered normal or average. Different judges like different dancers, techniques etc... I know that one year my daughter scored well from 3 of the 4 judges. The scores from the 3 judges were very comparable while the fourth scored her considerably lower. Hard to say what the judge was thinking at the time. YAGP is not the only path. Many, many dancers never enter a contest and go on to be successful. I have also noticed that the big name schools from which the judges come, very seldom send their own students to YAGP. I would say if she is still interested next year and it is economical for your family, try it again and see how it compares to this year.

Share this post


Link to post
dancemaven

We have a number of thread discussing the pros and cons of YAGP and other competition participation. Perhaps a Search will pull some up for you and you can get a little more feel for how competitions fits into the larger picture. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Notborndancingmom

I understand both of your comments and I guess my main question is this - does everyone walking in the door get an 80? We are not the hard core YAGP folks - there was a lot I saw there I didn't like, not one bit - especially for dancers in the pre-competitive stage - but at the same time, I think it was a good experience for her - the world of dance is incredibly harsh - we live in a small town, work with a very loving and nurturing school that focuses on technique and the building of that technique. But my daughter needs to understand - like I have seen others comment on - that just because xyz girl in the dance world is on pointe at 9 it is not what we want to do, not what we believe is right, etc - we are a united front with her school, but when she auditions for SI in the future I don't want her freaking out because x girl does x while we have held her to a different development schedule based upon what we believe, along with consultation with her teacher, is a good schedule for her physical and dance development. She struggles with that - and YAGP really got her understanding some of it in all honesty - she slipped into anger and frustration at first, but later walked out holding her head high - THAT was the best part of the experience. At the same time, I want to be sure I am providing the opportunities necessary for her to develop appropriately should she want to and be qualified to pursue dance seriously as an adult.

 

My question more revolves around keeping my expectations realistic for her sake - and figuring out how to address moving forward as decisions as to next year and the following year are looming (and moving on to a different school at 11 or 12 means either a move of our family or significant nanny searching and a significant financial change for our family since I am a full time professional myself and have another child who deserves equal opportunities in her activity of choice, which is not dance lol.) I do know YAGP is only a snapshot, I have may other resources for this evaluation outside of YAGP, but this one question just happens to be yagp focused, that's all, and happens to be my first question posted LOL, so I assure you I am not a competition focused parent by any stretch.

Share this post


Link to post
buzzandmoo

I'm going out on a limb here (mods now that I am a parent of a 13 yo, I understand you might remove)...having faced many of the decisions you will be facing in the up coming years, I'd like to tell you to take a deep breath. Any "hallmark" at this age is really not indicative of the future. The criteria that 9/10/11 year olds are judged, whether it be at an audition for a big 3 letter school, a hard to get into summer program or even YAGP is not the magic ball you seek. You will find many, many conversations on this board that beat that particular topic to death! LOL What you will hear (over and over) is that good, solid training trumps any big name. Especially at such a young age. You still have many normal childhood marks to reach and lots can change in a really short time.

 

I have three kids, only one dances and for 5 long years we made great sacrifices (2 hour each way commute, missed school, MONEY)....do I regret doing it? Perhaps.....my DD was happy (she thought) but personally I wish I had listened to that little voice that told me to slow it down. She is now in a much smaller (no longer the big three letter) studio receiving wonderful instruction and making incredible gains....my DD just got into an advanced summer program with a small scholarship. More importantly, now that she is in that smaller, quality studio she is really happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Notborndancingmom

thanks buzzandmoo - I am so out of sorts in the dance realm and feel like I can't get a sense of what is right to do and when etc that I worry I won't be able to just provide the opportunity for her to do what she wants/needs to do when the time is right - and be fair to my younger daughter too! I wish I could stay home to transport her as needed, etc, but that is just not possible. I do know I have time, but at the same time just want to be prepared when that time does come. Oh, if only it were a team sport - it would be much easier for me as that is where my experience lies LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Notoetape

Notborndancingmom--I'll tell you this, and maybe it'll help: I know of a quite few kids who participated in YAGP this year, and over the years, and all of them received scores similar to your daughters. I think this is what you want to know, right? The next thing I will tell you: listen to those on this site who have walked in your shoes. It will save you the stress/uncertainty/worry you are currently feeling. YAGP is in no way indicative of your daughter's future success or failure. She is only 9, and while she may be very talented, I know of many dancers who were the stars of their studios at 9. Puberty hit, and their bodies changed and they were suddenly knocked off the pedestal on which they stood. For those young girls, that fall was very hard for them and their parents. One thing that will help you, is to look at this site, see which SI are frequently discussed, then go to those websites. Check out their Facebook pages, and youtube submissions. The Internet gives you a fantastic opportunity to see what the top schools ( or any school) look for, both physically and technically. Look at the summer intensive costs, and where the auditions are held. This will give you a good idea of what things cost today in 2015. Lots of people drive a day to an audition site or fly. You can even look up the costs of tutus. Tutus for YAGP can cost anywhere from $200 to $2000. and remember your daughter needs to do a contemporary AND a classical variation, score in the top 12, or 95+, to go to NYC finals. Some Summer intensives are a couple thousand dollars plus travel/food and housing. There is no Chrystal Ball but there is the internet, so utilize it to your advantage! Trust your gut instinct. It sounds like your daughter is at a wonderful studio with a wonderful teacher, who provides your daughter with a nurturing environment in which to learn ballet. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with that!

Share this post


Link to post
learningdance

So we have done YAGP the last 2 years at the Pre Comp level and now are doing it at the junior level and here is my analysis.

The actual numerical values of the scores mean very little UNLESS a judge gives you a 95, which means that the piece should pass to NYC finals and even then if YAGP wants a piece to go to finals, they will actually put a sticker on the score sheet. (We have had this happen with a score of "94").

The judging at YAGP IS NOT STANDARDIZED. What that means is that you get 4 judges, all of whom are well known and respected, but with different backgrounds and experiences and they watch and then score the pieces. Who’s to say that one judge's 95 is the same as another's. This is very different from other systems like gymnastics or skating where the scores are specific and deductions are very clear. Gymnastics judges must be trained and must meet a reliability standard. Not so in ballet. The scores are simply a nominal number (a label, much like a percent) given to a piece to indicate the judge's perception.

 

I think that the most useful info is if your DD makes the top 12. That means you were probably considered to be in the top 10 percent ON THAT day, with THAT mix of dancers. (and some cities are harder than others.)

 

YAGP is absolutely not some kind of golden ticket. Many, if not most, professional dancers don't do it or never really excelled at it. YAGP gives you the

following things (which you can get in many, many other places)

-a chance to perform solo

-a chance to get seen by top people

-a chance to compare yourself to other dancers

-a chance to be inspired by better dancers

-a chance to join a dance community and network (And these kids do. They know each other. They go to SIs together. They talk. They "friend." They share information.)

-a chance to practice dealing with the pressure, unforeseen circumstances, and issues that happen during performance

-a chance to get scholarships and exposure

-a chance to make friends

 

You don't need YAGP to do any of these things. In fact CPYB, one of the most successful schools in the country does no YAGP but still delivers tons of professionally trained dancers. So, don't put too much stock in YAGP. We love it. It has been good to us and we need it but there are several others ballet comps (ADC, Jackson IBC, Moscow, Prix de Lausanne).

 

If you want to evaluate your studio do so by asking, "How many of this teacher's students have joined professional companies? Attended top summer intensives? Been given scholarships? " OR "How many of this teachers' students have done the types of things that my DD wants to do?" If the answers are nil, then the person that you are working with is not likely to get you there. But to me that's a better indicator than YAGP.

 

Go to YouTube and watch "Dance School Diaries" You will find out a lot about what Larissa really wants YAGP to be. It's about promoting kids and getting them jobs in the ballet world. That's why she does it and she does it tirelessly.

 

I just want to say another thing. DD competed in YAGP recently and when she came off the stage after her performance she said, "I am just here to dance. I love to dance." And it made me happier than anything in the world. She did really well but she is at the bottom of the barrel now in the Jr category. She is 12. The reason that I cared that she found so much joy in performing and in coming to YAGP is because without that it's all dead. No reason to dance, No reason to train. No reason to sweat. No reason to miss social events. JOY must fuel it or it will cease.

Share this post


Link to post
hcasmom

Very helpful information here. Thank you for sharing!

Share this post


Link to post
Notborndancingmom

Thank you everyone for your responses -

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...