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Strictly baby disco


Kitschqueen_1
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There is a programme on channel 4 this evening at 10pm about the world of competitive freestyle disco dancing, following several 9 year olds in their preparation for Disco Kid at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool.

Thought this may be of interest to some as I remember a thread on the old forum about freestyle and the make-up and costumes etc. Also I know of two boys from the freestyle world who have gone on to win ballet scholarships at Hammonds and Tring.

Edited by Kitschqueen_1
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My daughters do freestyle and the comps we do are no where near what this extreme portrayal shows. Both in costumes, make up and dancing style. Our association does not allow filming at comps therefore this programme only shows one side of freestyle in the context of their competitive body. I find it frustrating that these programmes portray only this type and side of freestyle competitive dancing!

 

Ax

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I think it has to be remembered tha with all programmes of this type the makers depend on he shock factor to get an audience.Look at Big Fat Gypsy Weddings for example - there has been an outcry from the Gypsy and Traveller communities about how this has misrepresented them. I don't know anything about disco/freestyle but my DD dances in festivals, and I reckon that if a film maker was so inclined they could probably make a "shockumentary" about that too. Pick out a few larger than life characters, the odd teenage tantrum, film for 5 days and then edit all the worst bits into half an hour and I bet you could produce something suitably over the top. It would all be "true" but totally unrepresentative of the wider picture. Similarly I'm sure there have been programmes which would leave the uninitiated believing that every child who is learning ballet is anorexic and is tutored by a terrifiying teacher dressed head to toe in black, barking orders at her terrified pupils!

Best to take all these things with a pinch of salt I think.

Edited by Pups_mum
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Similarly I'm sure there have been programmes which would leave the uninitiated believing that every child who is learning ballet is anorexic and is tutored by a terrifiying teacher dressed head to toe in black, barking orders at her terrified pupils!

Best to take all these things with a pinch of salt I think.

 

It doesn't show that they're anorexic but there's a tv show that is shown on the American channel 'Lifetime' and can be found on youtube called 'Dance Moms' and it follows a competition studio in the US - The studio owner wears black, and barks at her students until they cry though :( it's so extreme it's ridiculous! I love the show though, because it's hysterically funny (not intentionally - but as a dance teacher it is!) and apart from the madness, the children ARE very talented and its interesting to see.

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I am also addicted to Dance Moms -it's horrific but compulsive viewing.It makes my DD & I appreciative of the nuturing and positive environment in which she dances here in the UK.I can't believe the cattiness of the moms - surely we aren't that badly behaved and emotionally unintelligent here (generally speaking!). I also wonder where are the dance dads?

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Purely by chance I was travelling with a collegue of mine in the US and we somehow got talking about dance (I generally avoid those conversations at work). He has a daughter who attended that studio. Last year he pulled her out, they spent all their time at the studio or travelling to competitions and with the distances involved in the US it was either planes or very long car journeys, it was costing a fortune and he never saw his daughter, and she was so "hot housed" that she stopped enjoying it...shame.

 

NL

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Well I watched the disco programme and thought it was quite interesting. Not my cup of tea it must be said, but the children clearly train very had and were amazingly flexible (too flexible sometimes maybe?) I have no idea how the judges make their decisions though with so many children whizzing round the dance floor at such high speed for a very short time. I didn't really "get" the genre to be honest, it seemed more like a set of acrobatic tricks with some background music than dance really, I didn't feel that they were really dancing to the music if you know what I mean? But it's very difficult to judge on one programme I'm sure and there are plenty of people who don't understand what we see in ballet - each to their own. I did enjoy the look on my husband's face when I told him what the costumes cost though - I don't think he'll be moaning about the cost of DD's new tutu so much!

Did anyone else watch? What did you think? It would be very interesting to hear the views of anyone who knows about freestyle - how representative (or not!) was the programme?

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For me I didnt think this was really dance. Dance to me is a flow of movements where one step flows into another seamlessley. These children seemed to be more gymnastics but a little manic for my likeing. Maybe I am being ignorant to what freestyle dancing is but to me it aint dancing.

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I did not like this show at all. It wasn't safe or healthy. I only caught the end of the programme and to me it was like a gladiator rink, with children flinging themselves around a dance floor, crashing into each other. The mothers were shameful screeching and blowing buggles. It is something that I have never seen before.

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I only taught in one school which entered competitions (not my ballet classes!) and what I noticed was not only how abysmally the parents (moms mostly) treated one another but how awfully the little children learned to treat one another. It was very sad.

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On a similar topic,how many of you have seen Youtube clips of 6 year old girls, not only en pointe, but performing Odette variations, and Don Quixote, etc? The schools tend to be either American or Russian. Just wondered what people thought about this? Personally, i think it is disgraceful, for a young child to be doing pointe work, and variations that are way beyond their years. In fact, i get quite angry when i see it. Everyone else comments what an amazing school it must be, to have little girls at such a high standard so young. I commented that they should concentrate more on teaching careful exercise to improve strength and turnout, rather than having them dress up in nice costumes and bouree across the stage. This particular, Russian site, has now blocked me from making any more comments .Can these schools be legal? I mean,can it be legal to allow a 6 year old girl to do pointe work? Interesting to hear what others on the forum think, but i would imagine the vast majority of people on hear think the same as me.

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I'm so glad it wasn't just me! I didn't see this particular programme but there was another programme about freestyle disco (I think it may have been an episode of Pushy and Proud) and in that one the children just whizzed around the floor, the faster the better, and did lots of leaping with no much style, and kicking, and acrobatic/contortionist tricks. It really did seem to be "faster is better". I love many types of dance but this just didn't float my boat (or my DD's). No offence to anyone who may do it!

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I didn't see Strictly Baby Disco but I'll admit there is an addiction in our house to Dance Moms, which DD watches with appalled fascination. I cannot comment on issues of technique etc, but I have to say I am sometimes impressed at both the flexibility and sheer confidence of the children.

As for the little children on pointe all over YouTube, yup, depressing.

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I certainly agree that putting a child on pointe before 12 (at the earliest) is a really really bad idea - in many ways. However, the blame lies not just with the school or the teacher, but also with the parents. I can remember being pressured many times by the mothers. I told them that if they wanted to do this to their little girls - they would have to go somewhere else - I wouldn't be party to it. I also made sure that any school for which I taught would back me on this.

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I only saw the last half hour but the words 'cattle market' sprung to mind. Makes a ballet school audition look positively tame by comparison.

The flexibility is amazing but at that age, its surely mostly what they are lucky enough to be born with.

The concern really is that some of them really didn't seem to enjoy it that much and it was more about the mums enjoying than the kids.

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There's so much literature and work being done to show that pointe before the right age - but more importantly, without the right strength and control - can be so damaging. I don't understand why people think it's necessary! If the children were ever to go into vocational training they'd be taken off pointe and re-trained anyway. In fact they'd probably have so many bad habits that they wouldn't get into decent vocational schools.

 

As for Dance Moms - its on youtube but only in parts I think. in the US it's shown on Lifetime although the lifetime website is blocked from the UK. I have friends in the US who record it and share it on a skydrive with me. - Season 2 is much more extreme and I think a lot of it is 'staged' but I'm still hooked!

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I think all these - correct age, strength, control and technique - are essential for pointe work. Since the skeleton matures at a certain pace (cartilege becoming bone - which affects the joints of the toes) and this pace cannot be altered by control, strength, or technique - age, for me, must remain in the list of primary considerations.

 

Another thing to consider...if the student goes on to a vocation in dance, and pointe work is begun at too early an age why add more years of stress to the body? As Balanchine said (paraphrase) there are no roles for children on pointe in ballet.

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I didn't know "like" was rationed or had anything to do with points.

 

But, then I also don't under the "profile views" on our profiles either.

 

Duh

You and me both! until once I went to like a post and was told I had used up my quota. But it's never happened again since! :wacko:

 

and I've no idea about profile views either..... or the "befriending" thing. Looks like you can just randomly add people to be your friend without them saying yes or no?

Edited by Gingerbread
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