Monday, June 29, 2015

The Last Hip Hop Performance of Summer Dance Camp

Hip Hop class only lasted two weeks this summer, just two weeks in June. Some classes have to be entered at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, but really, with Hip Hop, the levels can be within age groups so any person starting out with a Hip Hop class can be with their grade level, and not have to worry too much about the technical skills. Nicole was in the older girl's class. She is only ten years old, but tall enough to be with girls that are older than herself.

Nicole is in the very back of the class at Sunshine Dance Studio.  :(

Each person had their own spot and places to be. All through out the dance routine the girls moved around in different places. For the most part, Nicole stayed in the background. This was a little troubling to me as a parent. I could not understand fort the life of me why they would not at least have each girl feature themselves and their skills. I felt like they were hiding my daughter. She is way out in left field.

At the end, Nicole had more of an important part.  Nicole and another girl had to lift the girl in the pink shirt.  The girl in the pink shirt did the splits in mid-air and spun out in ballet turns. This is Hip Hop or ballet? I shook my head for a minute. I really think the girl in the pink shirt is more of a ballerina.

In every dance studio there are dancers that are the favorite, but what do you do when your child is not the favorite?

I was expecting that there would be some girls that caught on rapidly, and others that were going to struggle with the steps. Nicole was newer. and she struggled. Nicole, who just started dance a week ago was not at the same experience level as kids that had been dancing with Sunshine Dance since they were five years old. It's a lack of experience, not lack of talent. Nicole needed more experience, more time to develop her skills. I wanted the dance studio to work with Nicole, not leave her in the background or make Nicole a backup dancer to their favorites. I decided I have a valid complaint.

When a mom approaches a dance choreographer with a problem, I think they should do so with caution. I talked to the manager of the dance studio, and she already decided what she was doing with the Hip Hop routine was perfectly fine, and made no changes just gave excuses condemning Nicole, "She's not advanced enough... Her legs aren't strait enough... She turns the wrong direction... She is too uncertain of herself..."  Trying to convince the dance studio owner that leaving kids in the background was the wrong thing to do in dance was just alarming, insulting, and unprofessional of me. Who was I to correct a studio owner?

Who am I to voice my opinion? I'm a mom, and my opinions matter. This is my little girl we are talking about.  Of course my opinion matters... I think this tears at a little girl's self-esteem and self-confidence. These are the pre-teen years where girl's form opinions about themselves in comparison to other girls. It sets the stage for a girl's transition into becoming a young lady. Psychologically, it can be traumatic for a little girl to feel inferior to her peers.

Lucky for us, this was the last Hip Hop class of the summer so arguing about it like I did pissed off a lot of people at the studio when the outcome was the same. There were no more Hip Hop classes to complain about. I should have kept my mouth shut because all the arguing really didn't matter. It was the end of the season anyway. I could have moved in more stealthy and not said a word, but generally, I'm not the type that likes to be pushed aside. I am ambitious and prefer front and center even if I have to fight for it. I wanted Nicole to have more of a role in the dance team.

Rejection is common for new dance moms. There were three dance moms from the richer areas of town that were somewhat clique too. They didn't seem too kind to outsiders, especially not mouthy outsiders that liked to argue like myself. As if my daughter, along with every new child that enters the dance studio, is a threat to the self-esteem, self-confidence and dance development of their own child. The dance moms are not very welcoming to newcomers. I felt like there was an impenetrable wall that the more permanent dance moms placed around themselves to keep me (or any other new mom) and my child (or any other new child) out. Instead of being introduced to the other dance mom's in a friendly way, my daughter and I were looked at as competition, as a threat. With the insecurity of the other mom's, what threatens them most is my daughter's talent. Nicole is smart and catching on quickly. There is a good possibility with more experience that Nicole will pass the other dancers up and become featured.  That is the other dance mom's worst fear.

We are considering leaving Sunshine Dance and going over to Dance Magic instead. I've already talked to Dance Magic on my own because Sunshine Dance does not do parades.  I wanted to see Nicole dancing in the parade July 24th (Utah's Pioneer Day Parade), and Dance Magic is now choreographing the parade dance. The group routine is the same for everyone.  No one in particular is featured.  My daughter is treated as an equal, and so far there has not been any squabbling among the mothers. I'm making friends with the other moms at Dance Magic. Nicole is working hard on her steps and fitting right in with all of the girls at Dance Magic.

I am so proud of Nicole's abilities. She is a wonderful little dancer with so much talent. She loves to dance. I don't have to push her or force her to be a good dancer. Nicole is determined to do well on her own. Even with struggles like these, she pulls right through like a champion. It didn't phase her at all. She got right through her Hip Hop class, and kept going. For a ten year old girl, Nicole has the right attitude. I am a very proud mother.

Thank you for reading and following along, and thank you for being so patient with all of my posts. Stay tuned and subscribe by email to find out how Nicole's dancing in the Utah Pioneer Day Parade on July 24th turns out.


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