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Associate classes versus festivals


Lilac
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Have a bit of a dilema as to how our 14 year old daughter should progress dance wise through the next year. For the last four years DD has done associate classes, missing an occasional class to take part in festivals. However we moved her to a new danceschool in September, for a different teacher to work on her weaknesses,.This has been pretty successful. However this teacher likes her able students to take part in lots of festivals, which is difficult to fit in without missing lots of weeks of associate classes. I'm not sure what to prioritise, particularly what might be best for a dance future.

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I guess it all depends on her ambitions. If she's going to be auditioning for vocational school in the hope of going pro some day then I would stick with associates. If her love of dance is purely recreational and she enjoys festivals then maybe go for that!

 

Has she said what she would prefer to do?

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Lilac - I have the same problem in that my daughter is in an associate programme and also does a good number of festivals.  We are fortunate that some of the festivals are in the holidays, but made the decision that we would enter the festival and if we missed a section or two due to the associate programme then it was just hard luck.  After talking to my dd dance teacher she just asked that we made it for troupes as it let the other children down.  So far the impact has not been too bad and we have only missed one associate class to do troupe.  We haven't missed out on many festival sections either.  I would have a discussion with your teacher.

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Our local festivals are willing to consider advance requests for specific classes or ages not to take place on a certain day if a dancer is unavailable. They don't guarantee to be able to fulfil all requests but will try to help if possible - maybe we are lucky? Also, dancers are allowed to dance out of class; this generally means they cannot be placed but receive a mark and a report and All England qualification is still valid if the mark is sufficient.

Karen

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I think your dd should chose whatever will make her happier.

I know everyone goes on about how good associate classes are but for me,its much more fun and a great buzz to be performing.

Everyone seems to take ballet so serious instead of enjoying it and having fun.

Even though i say this i think it also depends on the age and level of technique.

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A balance of both if achievable will make her a more rounded dancer.

 

Competing in festivals will give her great performance experience and the chance to wear lovely costumes, with lots of life lessons learn't on the way ;)

 

Associate schemes will give her more serious technical experiences which give a great insight to where your DD stands against others auditioning for vocational schools and colleges.

 

I'm all for variety, serious training and some fun thrown in. :D

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I think your dd should chose whatever will make her happier.

I know everyone goes on about how good associate classes are but for me,its much more fun and a great buzz to be performing.

Everyone seems to take ballet so serious instead of enjoying it and having fun.

Even though i say this i think it also depends on the age and level of technique.

Definitely depends on age and technique. I know performance is important, but I was watching my dd's private lesson last night and was struck again at just how cerebral ballet is, in that there's SO much to think about. Getting the technique perfect is HARD!! I really feel that when you get to your teenage years, to carry on with ballet at a certain level, you really do have to love it. Not much fun involved at this stage, but the satisfaction on my dd's face when she gets praise from her teachers having corrected herself is lovely to see.

 

Personally - IF Lilac's dd is a teenager with ambitions to go to an upper school, I would stick with the Associates and fit the Festivals in around Associates, not the other way around. :-)

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Definitely depends on age and technique. I know performance is important, but I was watching my dd's private lesson last night and was struck again at just how cerebral ballet is, in that there's SO much to think about. Getting the technique perfect is HARD!! I really feel that when you get to your teenage years, to carry on with ballet at a certain level, you really do have to love it. Not much fun involved at this stage, but the satisfaction on my dd's face when she gets praise from her teachers having corrected herself is lovely to see.

 

Personally - IF Lilac's dd is a teenager with ambitions to go to an upper school, I would stick with the Associates and fit the Festivals in around Associates, not the other way around. :-)

I agree with this with one proviso, which is that if you are committed to festival dances that affect other children such as troupes or duets then those dances should be a priority.

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Thanks for that, some very valuable comments. To date we managed to combine, missing some associate lessons to do Festivals, and vice versa! Also as you say, gave priority to groups, but DD didn't have a big part if had to miss. Just more of an issue with new local teacher who wants to use festivals to help improve DD's previously poor performing qualities! Has helped her to get much better associate reports, and DD chuffed for 1st time ever to win trophies at festivals!  Will ask teacher about Karen's suggestion of dancing out of class, as that may help not to miss chance to qualify for All England.

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As some one who helps to run a Festival, we do not allow dancers to dance out of class, for one thing we do not have time usually. It is also upto the Adjudicator if they want to do it. Quite unusual for this to happen in my experience.

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