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All England Regionals & behaviour rant


Waitingmum
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Just back from regional finals and have to say I have witnessed some appalling behaviour from both parents and children - with parents making negative comments about children dancing whilst sat watching and children making loud comments in the wings about children that were actually dancing to put them off. And don't get me started on the dressing room. Everything I thought ballet would be but have so far not witnessed coming from a small ballet school where everyone is incredibly supportive of each other. If this is what the regionals are like then despite my dd qualifying for 2 solos I am not sure I want to go to the Nationals!!

I am fully aware how competitive ballet world is but if my dd ever behaved like this I would be appalled - please tell me it is not like this at the vocational schools as she is off to White Lodge this September?????

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Wow Waitingmum, that sounds truly appalling. Dd's school doesn't do festivals so we have no experience of anything like that, but I have to say that sounds like terrible behaviour, from some parents and children. I would hate for DD to be in such a nasty atmosphere. Hope your DD wasn't upset?

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They were quite big - 20-30 in many categories. Results were also quite variable from none going through to all the top 3 or honours going to top 4 or 5. The split groups seemed quite variable too - not sure how they were worked out. In my Dd ballet age groups - first group only 1 dd got honours and went through whereas in my dd group 4 got honours so only 3 could go through.

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We were at the West Regional too and although we noticed a lack of manners from some (i.e. I would hold a door open or wait at the bottom of steps without so much as a thank you), we found most parents to be as friendly and polite as I like to think I am.

 

DD didn't experience any of the backstage problems either so I think you must have just had a really unlucky experience and that's a real shame.

 

I did have parents of other competitors in my DD's sections come up to me and compliment DD on her dancing, and I made a point of congratulating numerous different children and their parents for some really outstanding performances (different schools and children).

 

My DD was in C Section so probably not the same age as yours Waitingmum but I saw a couple of cracking junior sections and baby sections with some real little superstars in the making!  For me, I couldn't not congratulate these kids on their performances - they were a joy to watch :)

I would also say that the organisers were really helpful :)

 

We're off to finals again which is great considering the competition at West was fierce!

Please don't think your experience was the norm and good luck for Finals and White Lodge xxx 

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I'm sure you are right dancingdays , it was only a small subsection of kids in the junior section - most people were lovely and the organizers were great.

Congratulations to your dd to reaching the finals - as you say the competition was incredibly tough.

I shall chalk it up to a learning experience and just be grateful that on the whole that this is not the norm - like normal life I guess!!!

Thank you to all for your reassurance. X

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Our experience has been mostly positive parents and children. The odd uncharitable remark overheard.... But I guess that comes in all walks of life, sadly. We were/are at South East Finals. A mix of results with some sections having no one get Honours, to one Modern solo section where 6 went through!! HUGE modern, ballet, tap and even character sections, all split B & C, and some D I saw. Incredibly high level of dancing, especially in tap D section... Wowzer. DD got her tap and Character through. Very proud of the latter especially as only 2 from 18 in her Part got honors. Lovely lovely groups to watch too! Modern C were wonderful (I thought!!), 10 groups in total, only two got honors, couldn't believe it! Glad I'm not a judge though. Such difficult decisions.

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Loopy, I am interested in how 6 went through in 1 section, as we only had 3 maximum per class even when 4 or 5 received honours?

Congratulations to your DD - huge achievement.

I agree, no idea how the judges did it - especially at the end of a 12 hour day - huge admiration!

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Loopy, I am interested in how 6 went through in 1 section, as we only had 3 maximum per class even when 4 or 5 received honours?

Congratulations to your DD - huge achievement.

I agree, no idea how the judges did it - especially at the end of a 12 hour day - huge admiration!

 

Waitingmum, I guess this could happen if they had ties for 1st, 2nd or 3rd?  It's rare but I did see 3 people get awarded a 3rd place at the 2013 regionals...? x

 

I agree dancing days, the competition and talent is fierce, was it the ballet section for your dd? And very well done!

 

Balletqueen, no, her ballet was great but it didn't get placed yesterday unfortunately - my DD's Irish National was the one that got through :)

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I have just posted something similar about our experience at a festival this week. Some of the parents in the dressing room were awful and others talking loudly whilst other children were dancing.  It has well and truly put me off entering anymore with my other dd  :(

Congratulations to all the dc doing through to Nationals!  :)

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we went to watch a dance festival for the first time this week. It was most definitely an experience.  We were the only ones there just watching because we actually wanted to watch I think. otherwise the audience was just parents and other competitors from what I could work out. We enjoyed watching all the dancing, the adjudicator was great and the feedback given at the end of each class was interesting and I think my young girls have picked up some useful bits of information and advice. We didn't get to see back stage obviously because they weren't taking part but it was interesting to see the reactions in the audience. The absolute horror on the faces of some parents when feedback was that the music/song/dance/outfit was inappropriate for the age (some of them were really inappropriate, not just a picky adjudicator) or when it was commented that gymnastics was taking over the modern sections. I didn't hear anyone being rude about any of the performances though except perhaps my girls whispering shock with a couple of entries in song and dance who really genuinely couldn't sing and they were shocked that they had been allowed to enter by their dance schools or parents. I did explain to them they shouldn't say things like that as it was disrespectful but as the 6 year old pointed out it was true and noone was sat near us.

It made for an interesting outing, I can imagine some of the parents we saw being extremely competitive backstage, some were unfriendly and pushy, we could see that but others were lovely, chatty, happy to be there enjoying the experience with their young dancers. Hopefully those parents outweigh nasty ones. 

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I hadn't noticed anything like that at the West final. Although i'm usually in my own little world ???? . Maybe a bit of self importance from certain groups but generally I thought everyone was getting on nicely.

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Hi waitingmum. dancingdays is right. There was a three person tie for silver, and two for bronze. Points must have been the same. I even saw a tie for Gold in one section, which I've never seen before. Mrs Brown, were you at one of the Regional Finals as I'm interested in the comments you heard from the adjudicators.

It is interesting to hear the gym comment. At the last AED national final all three modern dancers placed in the section I watched had gym in the dances. I think there are mixed messages coming through to the choreographers on this. In the USA comps (very different I know) they have a rule of no more than 5 gym moves in a modern type routine. Then they have a separate gym dance section.

The one that surprises me is gym moves in lyricals. And of course, you do see the routines that are more like a gym floor routine.

One moan I do have .... I WISH they would split lyrical and Modern for the Inters too.... We had 63 routines in two sections, (which is exhausting to sit through, and goodness knows how the poor adjudicators cope) and then of the 10 that received honors 7 were lyrical.

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Waitingmum, It is extremely unlikely that your DD would be allowed to dance in a festival once she starts WL. They are really strict, about their pupils performing anywhere, but with them. She will also be really tired, and will want to relax in a one-sie when at home. My son didn't want to do anything' even invites to parties / family meals etc, were met with a groan. She will raid the fridge, hog the computer, and spend hours texting and calling her new roomies. She will also grow up so much, that first term. Good Luck x

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Waitingmum, It is extremely unlikely that your DD would be allowed to dance in a festival once she starts WL. They are really strict, about their pupils performing anywhere, but with them. She will also be really tired, and will want to relax in a one-sie when at home. My son didn't want to do anything' even invites to parties / family meals etc, were met with a groan. She will raid the fridge, hog the computer, and spend hours texting and calling her new roomies. She will also grow up so much, that first term. Good Luck x

Thankyou for the warning, I will get in the fridge supplies in preparation!! 

I have loved all the local festivals and have made a lot of friends and they have certainly taught my dd stage presence and controlling nerves.  How ever I will not miss the stress of travel, costumes and the worries about whether the music will work!!  Looking forward to The Nutcracker this christmas, at least I can just turn up to watch!!

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There are some awful parents out there and this in our experience rubs off on the siblings, which leads to cruel comments and behaviour... On saying that we have meet some lovely genuine dancing families which makes up for the truly dreadful ones which we avoid and have thankfully left behind after many years!!!!!

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We've never been involved in festivals and I've only ever come across one instance of rotten behaviour from parents. It was backstage in a theatrical show during a performance and I was one of the parent chaperones. I literally had to step in to prevent a fight breaking out between two mothers - also parent chaperones - who were accusing one another of 'messing' with their dd's costume (I'd seen where the costume went - up to wardrobe to be mended!!).

 

The only reason I mention it here is because it actually happened at one of the venues being used this week for All England Regionals, perhaps there's something in the local water ;)

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I must say i can only have positive comments for the West of England regionals today, well organised and friendly by everyone, my daughter in senior sections, such amazing work and friendly competitors. 

Well done to Everyone who danced it was a great day to watch x

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Loopy - no it was just our local town dance festival. Can't remember her wording but she commented a few times about the amount of floor work, gymnastics moves taking over routines. she said an odd trick was fine if it fitted with the style or characterisation. she commented about the amount of floor work in lyrical as well as "thudding down on knees", using exercises like "shouldering legs" in routines. she addressed the comments to the "teachers" (ie audience) and made it clear it wasn't directed at the dancers.

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