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What to do with a dancer that only wants to dance in the front?
By xXMissButterflyX Comments: 1, member since Mon Dec 04, 2017
On Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:49 PM

Hi! At my dance school we have one internal dance competition were the advanced levels choreograph for the younger ones. I already start my group dance for the next year, when one mother called me and said tthat her daughter didn't wanted to stay at my group because I'm my last group she stayed in the back row. She stays in front in all "real" group dances from my dance school and I wanted to give the opportunity for kids who normally stays in the back or middle row. I said this to her mother and her daughter come back for my group. The real thing is that I don't think that she is the cleanest dancer of our team, she isn't the best turner, or the most flexible dancer, and she started to became lazy because she is always in the front without effort. The soloist from my new group also stayed in the back row in my last group, but she worked so hard that she called my attention. Is that kind of work that I like. Now I don't know if I should let her in front or whenever I want. I don't want that kids who dance with me feel dismotivated but I don't want to create dancers who thinks that don't need to work to stay in front. I need advices for experienced teachers.

1 Replies to What to do with a dancer that only wants to dance in the front?

re: What to do with a dancer that only wants to dance in the front?
By ChristinePremium member Comments: 6866, member since Wed Feb 04, 2009
On Mon Dec 04, 2017 06:08 PM
Edited by Christine (207347) on 2017-12-04 18:10:05 smaller pic
Edited by Christine (207347) on 2017-12-04 18:10:52
I try to avoid choreography with static lines. Aside from those in single digit ages where they have to go to their "spot" on stage and do the same routine,it is kind of boring and doesn't really show your artistic abilities to their greatest advantage.

If you have a large group, it is a perfect opportunity to be creative with moving lines, formations, cannons, and basically "changing it up". You can have the lines change in a way that brings everyone to the front at some point in time and as the director, you can make sure you play to their strengths. You can also incorporate circles or "butterflies" or other moving formations like cake walks that ensure everyone gets to be the star, if only for a moment.

If you think of it like a marching band,performing as they move about an entire football field, you can then tell the mother, "there is no front....everyone moves about the entire stage."

Image hotlink - 'https://ohlovelylolo.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/bob-thames-cartoon.jpg?w=640&h=248'

I find that when I have to do a "front line/back line" piece, it is helpful if the "change" comes at the rising point of the music, that way the weaker dancers have their big moment when the music is more dramatic and you don't have to worry as much about the weaker dancers as half their counts are traveling forward. Also, the stronger dancers then move back, and as Ginger Rogers knew....she did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in heels. This is best done by the stronger dancers.

As always, it is called "show business", not "explain and defend business". If you do it in such a way as to captivate the audience, they won't know there is a method to your placement and will just be glad to see their own kids have their "big moment".

Good luck.

Keep On Dancing*

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