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What does this mean? (comment by JA teacher)


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My DD is a Royal Ballet JA and we have had our yearly progress report from the teacher.  She has said that she has a very young look about her!!  She is 9 and year 5 but I'm not sure what she means.

Does anyone have any ideas??  I have asked her what she means is it physically that she looks young but she said its not a physical look.  Her exact words were 'she is a lovely mover but still has a young look about her'  

Edited by Anna C
Title edited by Mod for clarity
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11 minutes ago, rudolph23 said:

I would probably ask for clarification but my thoughts would be around focus in class.  Knowing your child, is this a possibility?...

quite possibly ... 


it might also be aobut how she  carries  herself  in comparison with some of her contemporaries ...  cf 'playing age' of  actors ... 

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My dd had the same feedback on one of her Elmhurst JA reports. She is very tiny and especially in ballet didn't own the dance if that makes sense. Ballet always made her a little afraid so she never used to perform it out fully with personality.  Technique was great but she looked younger performing than the other girls. It very hard to describe but hopefully makes sense? 

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Maturity in dancing develops and at 9 she is very young. Perhaps ask the J.A. teacher if there are specific movements/expressions which could help.

 

Not quite ballet but an example which might help is a clip from Dance Moms. Maddie Ziegler danced a solo called Cry. Her younger sister then danced it once she reached the same age. Both performed the steps but Maddie’s performance and maturity was much better. Both clips are on YouTube.

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On 2/13/2018 at 04:57, Mummy twinkle toes said:

Maturity in dancing develops and at 9 she is very young. Perhaps ask the J.A. teacher if there are specific movements/expressions which could help.

 

Not quite ballet but an example which might help is a clip from Dance Moms. Maddie Ziegler danced a solo called Cry. Her younger sister then danced it once she reached the same age. Both performed the steps but Maddie’s performance and maturity was much better. Both clips are on YouTube.

 

I think that's a very good illustration, Mummy twinkle toes (if people know Maddie & Mackenzie). Maddie has always had some sort of emotional insight/connection in the way she dances (even though I'm a Chloe fan myself). I think it takes a while to develop and some kids just may need more life experience before they can connect feeling with their dancing. My DD (age 14) is quite reserved and does best with dances where she is in a dream world, or that kind of 'faraway' feeling. She has trouble connecting with the audience, and it's just not really her thing. The main thing is not to be concerned as at 9 no kid has had a full gamut of emotional experiences (I hope!). When you look at the variations these girls can be working on at age 12-14, they are portraying quite adult characters. I'm quite happy that DD is no Kitri or Carmen at 14!

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Couldn't agree more Cara!!

 

With due respect to the teacher was this comment really necessary at the age of nine?

I do see these clips on YouTube of girls who are ten or eleven looking like 16 or more.

Their dancing might have more "maturity" than many  others at that age .....and often they are very good technically speaking....but sometimes can be too much too soon! 

I think it's a skill for dance teachers to find the balance to develop the technique of their dancers but find dances that are suitable for the age of the child. Not easy in this day and age!! Much easier to get a child who is talented to more or less copy a dance in a role such as Kitri!! 

Personally I dislike this but then I am getting on a bit.

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For example when I was in St Petersburg last year I saw a delightful little ballet called "The Fairy Dolls" 

Some of the variations from this ballet are more suited to younger children if looking for some challenging material for talented younger dancers.....or could be adapted etc. 

Thinking back to the teachers comment it may refer to the child is "too young" yet to realise that dancing is a performance art as such and therefore involves projection to an audience....but this skill comes with age eventually and as the child generally grows more confidence. I think it would be very difficult for any child to take this on until they have reached puberty where that self awareness development comes in.....and this is mostly between the ages of 12-15 ....With a few either side of the range. Otherwise it is just copying an adult performance.....you see this with singing as well. 

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Hi,  it could also mean that your child has that wonderful innocence of youth so sadly missing in the many hot housed super coached 'elite athletes' that our young dancing kids are increasingly becoming these days. I'd say read this as something to know about so she can identify & hang onto those qualities to then use when - as an adult dancer - she can recall & re-enact as she hopefully dances the roles of say Clara or Juliet!

 

On this point, I am troubled by the year on year higher attainment at ever younger ages.....fine for competitions, exams or mere showing off....but I have yet to see an 11 year old cast as Odette/Odille in a professional company production! Sure, they might be able to execute perfectly 32 fouettes en pointe.....but can they convey passion/desire/loss/despair? I'd be rather worried if an 11 year old could indeed portray accurately these emotions! I want to see children be children & adults be adults.....oh, perhaps with that exception of Clara/Juliet etc  :-) Mind you, nothing I am sure can surpass the perfect casting of the 15 year old Alessandra Ferri as Juliet with RBS as I understand she did.....I'm pretty sure I have some time on TV seen snippets of this - does anyone know if a DVD is available of this performance if indeed I have this right? Would love to get a copy it if so!

Edited by Peanut68
poor grammar - sorry!
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Ive just read that she first played Juliet in 1984.

She was born in 1963 so depending on exactly when she performed the role in 84 was either 20 or 21.

i think she has the distinction though of being the youngest dancer to be promoted to Principal at the Royal at 19. 

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Yes absolutely loved Woolf Works and she looked naturally fab at a talk I went to at the Clore which she gave.

 

Fonteyn was still dancing at 60 plus But she gave up the big classic roles round about 60 ....was still ravishing in roles like Marguerite and Armand and she like Ferri had this ability to project a much younger age ( as in Juliet) than she was....amazing! 

I wonder what Fonteyn was like at just nine years old!!

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Do you know, I bet she was just a normal little girl with a natural talent & love of dance that was allowed to develop at a pace more suited to a growing body & developing mind than we seem to allow our kids today with the competitive thrusting for places & prizes!

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45 minutes ago, Peanut68 said:

Do you know, I bet she was just a normal little girl with a natural talent & love of dance that was allowed to develop at a pace more suited to a growing body & developing mind than we seem to allow our kids today with the competitive thrusting for places & prizes!

Yes!

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