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Small Talk: The Dressing Room

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Talk about non-Dance Mom-y things here.  Get to know each other.  Defend your continued watching of this show.  Describe your childhood dance-related trauma in great detail.  Whatever.  It all goes here.

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The Small Talk topic is for:

 

  • Introductions
  • Off-topic chatter
  • Having virtual tea with forum buddies

 

This is NOT a topic for actual show discussion. When you want to talk about the show:

 

  1. Figure out the nature of the topic you want to talk about
  2. Look for an existing topic that matches or fits
  3. If there is NOT an existing topic that fits, CREATE ONE!

 

Examples of topics that populate show forums include (but by no means are limited to):

 

  • Character topics
  • Episode topics
  • Season topics
  • Spoiler topics
  • Speculation topics
  • In the Media topics
  • Favourite X topics
  • ...you get the idea

 

Happy trails beyond Small Talk!

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When I danced many moons ago - competitions contained mostly tap and jazz. When my teacher, Miss Bev started the dance group  at Niagara University - lyrical and contemporary dance were evolving. Although most studios still do tap, jazz, and ballet - many studios are into the lyrical, contemporary and self expression and this is what a lot of judges prefer I guess.

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Tap and jazz can win at the mini and sometimes the jr level but it's rare to see jazz, tap or ballet win overalls in groups, solos or duets.

 

tessa, it sounds like you competed back in the day when there was just 1st, 2nd and 3rd without all the divisions and separations that have come with the everybody needs a trophy mentality.  I read about your teacher, see was amazing!

 

eta: I'm so sick of seeing 7-11 year olds trying to emote a lyrical properly, I wish they'd make it a rule that lyrical is out until the teen level, they can do modern and or contemporary but not lyrical!

Edited by NextIteration
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During this episode, I texted my 25 y/o daughter and asked, "is this youtube stardom really a thing itself? Not just what you do to get noticed and then become a thing?" She replied, "Sadly, yes."

 

I fear for the world sometimes, I really do. 

Edited by Lastwaltz
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During this episode, I texted my 25 y/o daughter and asked, "is this youtube stardom really a thing itself? Not just what you do to get noticed and then become a thing?" She replied, "Sadly, yes."

 

I fear for the world sometimes, I really do. 

 

I have a 16-year-old daughter who watches YouTube instead of regular TV. She is more familiar with YouTube stars than she is with traditional Hollywood performers. I thought she was a freak but recently read somewhere that this is the norm for girls her age. Perhaps YouTube will be considered mainstream media when these kids reach adulthood. 

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Tap and jazz can win at the mini and sometimes the jr level but it's rare to see jazz, tap or ballet win overalls in groups, solos or duets.

 

tessa, it sounds like you competed back in the day when there was just 1st, 2nd and 3rd without all the divisions and separations that have come with the everybody needs a trophy mentality.  I read about your teacher, see was amazing!

 

eta: I'm so sick of seeing 7-11 year olds trying to emote a lyrical properly, I wish they'd make it a rule that lyrical is out until the teen level, they can do modern and or contemporary but not lyrical!

Yes - I'm an old fogey! I can't move like I could in my younger years but Miss Bev really instilled the love of dance in all of us. Abby keeps crowing about how many of her kids ended up on Broadway - Miss Bev was modest - but I can say that many of her dancers went on to Disney,  Broadway, off Broadway and to having their own studios that still rank right up there in competitions. Sammy Viverito was in my class but I haven't seen him since Miss Bev's funeral - but between Branson and NY - he's still doing well.

 

And yes - those were the days with 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I can remember going to Atlantic City for the Miss Dance Competition. Not only did we take 1st with our group but our girl Barb Denny won the Miss Dance Crown with a great tap routine. Barb Martin went on to win it the next year.

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When my daughter stopped doing studio competitions and joined her high school dance team instead, I was quite struck by the differences in the competition formats. In studio, there are divisions by age and the size of the group. Many, if not most, seems to have skill levels as well.* Dances are categorized by style such as lyrical or jazz, but usually that doesn't make a difference. Small Group 9-10** Lyrical goes up against other Small Group 9-10 Tap and Small Group 9-10 Jazz, which is ridiculous.

 

So then at studio comp awards, every routine gets an "adjudicated" award based solely on score ranges. It used to be gold, silver, bronze, but then they added high gold and platinum and diamond or whatever, so gold is literally failure. I've seen comps where every team was platinum because grade inflation sells. Then overalls go to the routines within each group/age division lumping styles together.

 

In contrast, at school comps, the varsity teams are divided by style and group size. The largest competition company has only four styles: jazz (which includes lyrical), pom, hip hop, and kick, and two group sizes: small and large. That's it. There are no adjudicated awards. You are scored and get your placement, done. It's so much less BS that way.

 

*As an aside, I wish they would standardize this like they do in gymnastics and cheer. Certain skills and tricks are not allowed in lower levels. So for example, Level 1 turns can only be single pirouettes, and a la seconds are only allowed in Level 4 and higher. Instead they self police based on amount of training but there is a lot of dishonesty here.

 

**Also, can we please standardize how ages are calculated? So we round up or drop the decimal? And let's pick an off season date, like September 1, that fixes age groups for the entire season.

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In contrast, at school comps, the varsity teams are divided by style and group size. The largest competition company has only four styles: jazz (which includes lyrical), pom, hip hop, and kick, and two group sizes: small and large. That's it. There are no adjudicated awards. You are scored and get your placement, done. It's so much less BS that way.

 

I feel very ignorant but what are pom and kick styles of dancing?

 

Your description of studio competitions sounds crazy. It must feel meaningless after awhile

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I'm new to the forum.

 

My daughter is on a pom squad and we just got home from their Nationals competition a few weeks ago.

 

Here is a pom routine.  This team (Floyd) won the competition.

 

http://www.varsity.com/CompetitionVideos/Search/floyd?q=VpcWw0czpPR7KEy8SnozwoxwcI5HwA_n

 

(I think the above link will show Floyd's hip hop routine.  Look under 'Watch more videos" and choose Floyd Central Large Varsity Pom.  They have won the Nationals Pom division 12 out of the last 14 years)

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Pom is usually more up beat and features Pom-pons, kick is a dance that has about 75-80% high kicks (think like a kick line or the rockettes). Neither of those forms are typically done by studios, it's usually bigger teams, like high school.

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Pom is usually more up beat and features Pom-pons, kick is a dance that has about 75-80% high kicks (think like a kick line or the rockettes). Neither of those forms are typically done by studios, it's usually bigger teams, like high school.

Thanks.  I have definitely seen that kind of dance before, I just didn't know it had a name.

 

That team you linked to is very good.  So much better than ALDC.  I know it's a totally different style, but still.  Good dancers.

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USA  AUSTRALIA  ENGLAND    I'm guessing all of the UK, since they were in Ireland not long ago. How about Asia, I'm thinking Japan, seeing that they have an upcoming tour in the land of the rising sun.  

 

I've tried Googling "Dance Moms worldwide viewing audience numbers", but only keep getting USA viewing numbers, usually between 1.5 and 2.5 million views per episode.

 

I'd really love to know how many countries and viewing numbers it all equates to. My Google Kung Fu fails me.

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Rumor has it my SIL will be going to California to judge a competition for Abby. Not sure when yet, but if it happens and I get any juicy intel, I'll make sure to come back and share.

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I don't think the Studio 19 use of Chandelier represents any sort of dig against the ALDC or Maddie, I'm not sure whose acoustic version of Chandelier that was - but versions like this get used all the time when a studio wants to do a piece to a very recent very popular song without being one of 20 using the song at any given competition the season after it was on the charts.

 

@gimipizzauoldtroll, I sense that you're upset with me about my thoughts about the use of a straitjacket as a prop, but I'm telling you - it's not that rare, symbolism is used all of the time in creative pieces, whether it's based on a trope or truth, straitjackets get used to represent being held in, restricted - and most often when you see them, you'll see the dancer break free of them - which is the general story of the dance, breaking free.  (You are correct about them mostly being illegal as a restraint device anymore.)

 

In the second piece where you are seeing BDSM inspiration - is it the buckles or the rope?  Madelyne and Chloe explain in the beginning that it is a piece about a depressed teen that is ready to end it - whose best friend is going to do anything and everything to stop her.  The buckles on the the back of Madelyne's top do represent a straitjacket (this is a young suicidal girl, straitjackets were used to stop people from harming themselves), and the rope, well there are two things, the lyrics are "hanging by a thread" so the rope represents the thread - also, Chloe throws the rope at her again and again - trying to save her (throw me a rope, save me!).  At the end of the video, Chloe talks about going through a really hard time and not giving up - there is also a suicide hotline number given.  I thought it was a beautiful piece.

 

I'm sensitive to your experience with mental illness, believe me, it runs deep in my family.  Remember though, that oftentimes with mental illness comes a deep well of creativity and artistry - some people work out their mental illness therapeutically through art forms, one of them being dance.  There is a great book by Kay Redfield Jamison, Touched by Fire that is all about the phenomenon.

 

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@gimipizzauoldtroll - no need for apologies, I just wanted you to know that I understand your point of view and did not want to go stomping all over something that you already acknowledged upsets you, because I was going right back into that territory again in my response to your post.

 

Also for the record, that circle of folks that Collins keeps tapping that included Blake McGrath that i referred to in the episode thread?  Shannon Mathers, the choreographer of that piece with Madelyne and Chloe is Blake's sister.  I think that Blake really liked Chloe a lot and could not stand Abby's treatment of her which is why just weeks after the last episode of season 4, Chloe was up in Canada assisting him at a workshop.

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Also for the record, that circle of folks that Collins keeps tapping that included Blake McGrath that i referred to in the episode thread?  Shannon Mathers, the choreographer of that piece with Madelyne and Chloe is Blake's sister.  I think that Blake really liked Chloe a lot and could not stand Abby's treatment of her which is why just weeks after the last episode of season 4, Chloe was up in Canada assisting him at a workshop.

 

He also choreographed Skyscraper. 

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I had a rainy day off; so in a moment of insanity, I found the early episodes on Netflix. Having context for what followed made viewing even more disturbing. I made it through episode three then gave up.

Too much to rehash and I don't have the stomach, but two things that were even clearer on rewatch:

Abby was a no-talent, raging bitch from episode one.

Melissa has alternated between sickening and delusional from episode one.

ETA: the psychic damage on all the girls, including/especially Maddie (see point two), has been evident from the beginning.

Yes, even knowing big parts of it are likely staged. I believe those essential truths to be, well, true - in some shape or form.

Edited by RealityCowgirl
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So, my former dance teacher is at dancerpalooza, and confirmed what we have been saying here forever. She actually met Jessalyn, and talked to her (and took a selfie obviously) Jessalyn said that her real life friends get really defensive about how she is portrayed in the show because she is much nicer in real life. To be honest, I don't even think she is that bad on the show... She's probably my favorite of the current moms.

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I think Jesslyn is awesome and at first she did seem to get a bad rap but I think she now comes across as the most level headed mom - a position Holly use to have.

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So, my former dance teacher is at dancerpalooza, and confirmed what we have been saying here forever. She actually met Jessalyn, and talked to her (and took a selfie obviously) Jessalyn said that her real life friends get really defensive about how she is portrayed in the show because she is much nicer in real life. To be honest, I don't even think she is that bad on the show... She's probably my favorite of the current moms.

Well I still don't like Jessa Lynn. She's still a stage mom. And can't feel bad for her. She wanted this.

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I hope Dance Moms continue but that they bring on a new studio and new kids. The girls are getting older now and other opportunities are presenting themselves now. I'm wondering in week's to come if we'll see Nia's new video Slay with Coco being introduced as it still hasn't leaked on youtube. I feel bad for Kendall in a way because Nia is the one production is focusing on.

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I hope Dance Moms continue but that they bring on a new studio and new kids. The girls are getting older now and other opportunities are presenting themselves now. I'm wondering in week's to come if we'll see Nia's new video Slay with Coco being introduced as it still hasn't leaked on youtube. I feel bad for Kendall in a way because Nia is the one production is focusing on.

Likely because Nia has some genuine stage presence and showmanship, whereas Kendall, while a very pretty girl, has little or no charisma (despite Jill, The Village Idiot's pronouncements to the contrary).  The Collins PTB probably see Nia as a stronger bet for some coin to come their way.

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gimi - if you actually look at "all" the youtube videos - Nia's has been played much more than Kendall's. It's hard to get true count as so many different people have uploaded it. Oart of the reason is I think they leaked Kendall's video but kept fans in suspense and didn't release Nia's as early.

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Just a reminder: The Small Talk thread is for discussing anything except the show and its participants. You can discuss the girls and their projects in their thread. Thank you.

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I  brought my youngest to a highly recommend dance studio and I  was talking to the owner and she said the contests that Abby has she either owns them or owns a piece of the fake contests.

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Rabbit - welcome to the forum! As you can see most post on the media board if we aren't discussing a particular episode. Come over to Dance Moms in the media and join us!

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Am I overlooking a "Ratings and scheduling" thread? I was looking for info about whether or not there would be more episodes (and maybe where to see past episodes). I stopped watching in the middle of the first year at the LA studio and am considering catching up.

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