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Need a Character Dance for an 11/12 year old section


Dancemom

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I am looking for a new character for my daughter (it falls under the classical side), i am looking for something different and need to find something that isn't really done at the festivals we attend

 

She is 11 and her section covers 11/12 year old dances.

 

She has loads of personality, makes good use of her face and very energetic, has loads of bounce, and just something she can show off with

 

It can be an animal if necessary

 

Please help

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Exactly what my Dd and I were discussing in the car today. She is also 11 and would like a new one soon (if her teacher allows), but what to do for that age group?? Sorry not many ideas sprung from our conversation, except that dd would like something 'current' and funny!

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Thanks

 

Toy story already done by someone at our school, so we cant do that.

Our teacher wants her to have something that no one else at our school has had, which makes it quite hard.

 

Also hard in that although you read out the title if the adjudicator does not already know the story it could get lost in translation and even if she does it well they may not understand it.

 

What is also making things hard is we need a new song & dance as well, but it cant be a ballard, it has to be more of a character as she cant always hit the note.

 

And DD does not really want her character / song to be the part of a boy

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11-12 years is a bit  in between in the terms of age - does your dd look old or young for her age. what about the Little Match Girl, Alice in Wonderland, Rumpelstiltskin or Ugly Duckling. Also Helen Keller or Florence Nightingale. Or you could tell a story of a beggar child, child with leprosy, heroic child rescuing baby from fire and then flames catching her skirt . then there's the music to think of. Good luck !!

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I have no idea whatsoever about this kind of thing but some random ideas for fictional female characters...Pippi Longstocking, Mary Poppins, Mrs Doubtfire, Princess Leia ( now that would be original), Calamity Jane, winnie the witch, Hermione Granger, Aunt sally from Worzel gummidge...

 

Animals may be look to beatrix potter.

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Some of the ones I can remember my dds doing over the years are:

 

Character: Queen of Hearts baking tarts; An evacuee (had lots of placings with this one I remember), A witch whose spells went wrong, Mary Lennox finding the Secret Garden, girl getting in a mess with bubble gum.

 

Song and Dance: Colours of the rainbow, Annie (dumb dog)

 

Thought there were more but many were duets!

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My dd did a character dance which was 'electricity' i made her a big plug and she was a spark of electricity that escaped! It was fab and she did v.well with it at festivals. It has been passed down to another at our school. Have seen Puck done very well too.

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Characters are so hard - many, many people use established characters from stories or films that already exist, and adjudicators must see so many things over and over again. I would really guard against choosing something that already exists, because you run the risk of assuming that the adjudicator already knows the story. The whole point of a character solo is to act - and adjudicators want to see dancers act. If I was judging (something I'd love to do) I would rather not have words in the music, or spoken work audio, or lengthy titles, or a title that assumes I know the story already such as 'juliet' or 'the little matchgirl' etc etc

 

And.... of course, everyone knows that the older the dancers get, the more depressing the character solos! I vividly remember being at a festival early in my career as a teacher watching a character E section (15 years +) where EVERY character died at the end! The adjudicator even commented "I was wishing one of you to live!"

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Yes, we are struggling to think of a new character for my 15 year old DD

She is adamant that she doesn't want to die or have anything else tragic happen to her. She wants to take a stand against the generally miserable nature of senior character sections!

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Thanks for all the suggestions.

 

@Livingonaprayer, I did like the sound of the Electricity one, however if you do Loughborough and Derby, we could not do it because we also do Loughborough, Shepshed and Derby festivals.

 

It is hard as she does not want to die either as most of our seniors die or like my eldest DD she is "insane" for her character.

 

I dont want something passed down, as the younger DD is very good at her danicng and is placed all the time in her character

 

She already does a Beatrice Potter character at the moment but DD feels it is too young to go into C with (even though she has just won with it at the last festival when she was in B)

 

I am pulling my hair out with this, but on the brighter note - think we have the song & dance sorted - we will know tonight of seeing DD teacher

 

Also if it is passed down, it will always be remembered as the previous persons dance :(

 

Passing on her current character when we get something new is also going to be hard as it will always be remembered as the dance my DD did and whoever will be compared to her always.

 

thanks and suggestions still welcome as we are busy changing extending the ballet at the moment and then will move on to the song & dance if that is approved tonight. So i probably will have 2 more weeks to come up with ideas !

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You know, I wouldn't worry too much about having a "passed down" dance if it is a good one. My DD has been doing festivals for about 10 years and I have seen many dances recycled very successfully. Our teachers usually alter dances slightly to suit the particular dancer anyway, so they are never identical, and a well cheoreographed dance can be "owned" by more than one dancer I think. I agree that if a dance is passed on immediately, completely unaltered, to a child very close in age it can be a bit awkward as it it is likely to be associated with the previous dancer by the audience and other competitors - but even then the adjudicator isn't likely to know. But a dance that has been resurrected from the past can feel like new, or if an older child has had it for a few years and then it goes back to a younger one it's not likely to be an issue. I have seen dances that I thought were brand new that someone has later told me "used to be so and so's". But when "so and so" was doing it in E section my DD was in B, so I never saw it and don't associate it with the previous dancer. In fact my DD and her friend have just stopped doing a duet that they have been extremely successful with for quite a few years and only the other day another mum told me that she hopes our teacher doesn't pass it on to someone else as "nobody could ever dance it like those two, it really is their dance". And she's right, in so far as nobody would do it exactly as they do, but that doesn't mean no-one else should do it. In fact it was another couple's originally, and when they stopped doing it everyone said the same thing, but nobody remembers them now! After all, professional dancers often dance roles that were originally choreographed for other people and still manage to put their own individuality into them.

If your teacher has any suggestions of dances that she has done before but maybe are not in current use, it might be worth considering those.There could be some fabulous dances from the past that your teacher could suggest.

Good luck anyway - I think characters are the hardest to find.

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thanks

 

We have decided to work on the song & dance first for our next festival.

 

We are going to keep our current character until we can find a suitable character for her.  In our festival circle everyone is compared at my youngest DD's age, so that is why we wanted something different (DD teacher idea as well). i have never had this worry with my eldest DD as it was not as complicated in her age group she in E+ sections now.

 

DD and teacher had a long discussion tonight and perhaps we may just have to extend the current character as she does do it well and has always been placed with it.  it was also a old dance which was done by someone in B section who is now same age my eldest so as you suggested "pups_mum" we may have to go digging back into old characters that have not been done in a while.

 

thanks again for all suggestions

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Just a pointe about songs - a very well respected adjudicator on the All England panel recently commented at a festival that its not really considered acceptable for girls to sing songs which were written for boys as the reversal of this wouldn't be acceptable.  I'm sure some adjudicators are fine with this but if some Adjudicators will mark down perhaps its best to avoid.

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