My Dancer’s Solo is Too Easy



Dance Mom Questions

Dear Angie,

My dancer is 12 years old and attends a very competitive dance studio.  She has competed a solo for many years.  We have been at this studio since the beginning of her dance training.  When she was younger, she was winning top awards whenever she competed.  She still does well, but is not placing like she used to and there are other dancers at her studio who are scoring above her.  She is frustrated because she doesn’t understand why she isn’t placing higher and is working hard.  We were very excited about her solo this year, but after seeing what some of the other dancers are doing, we feel like her solo is too easy.  I would like to speak with her teacher but I am not sure if that is a good idea.  What would you do?  Accept the solo as is and know that it may be another long season with a frustrated dancer or speak up and ask that more difficult things be put in her dance.  – Frustrated


Dear Frustrated, 

This is a question that I am sure a lot of parents have asked themselves when comparing their dancers to their peers in their studio.  There is one key word there though – comparing.  I am a huge proponent of having faith in your dance teacher and I do ultimately believe that dance teachers want to see each of their students succeed.  But, success for each of them may look very different.  As parents, because we are hearing our dancer’s concerns and frustrations, we tend to want to fix things and make them better, but sometimes what we think is best is not necessarily in their best interest.  For example, maybe your dancer’s solo is pushing her from a performance stand point this year and really making her dive into character, maybe the teacher knows that if she puts too many elements back to back that if the dancer slightly bobbles on this or that, it will throw off the entire sequence thus making the dance not as clean.  Maybe the teacher has taken feedback from last year’s critiques and thought how can we give her a dance that allows her to feel successful or maybe your dancer is dealing with a growth spurt and her turns are a bit off, so those elements are replaced with others.  It is hard to know exactly what is going on, but I would try to stay as objective as possible while encouraging your dancer.  You said you were very excited about her solo – that’s great!  Don’t let what others are doing take away from that excitement.  For me, questioning choreography would be like saying to the teacher, I am more skilled as a choreographer than you.  I don’t have a dance degree, nor do I have choreography experience much more than my little sister’s talent show dances a long, long time ago, so it would be insulting for me to question the teacher’s vision.  It sounds like your studio has been a good fit for a long time.  Trust in that.  As long as your dancer is growing and improving each year, I would continue to have faith in the vision the dance teacher sees for her and be excited for your daughter to have the opportunity to take the stage alone.    – Angie


  1. We went through something similar to this last year. I got upset and almost let my emotions get the better of me. My husband was the voice of reason and advised me to keep my thoughts to myself. He thought it was a good thing for our daughter to not always do well. He saw it as a good learning experience and a way to get her to want to work even harder. I am glad I listened to him and kept my mouth shut. She had a great year, improved a lot and I didn’t have any awkwardness at the studio.

    • Glad it was a good year for her! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Been there done that and wish I never said a word. Learned a huge lesson.

    • That’s hard! Thanks for stopping by Jackie.

  3. I am that Mom. I am competitive, but I’m learning to accept that there are some things my dancer isn’t ready to do even if others can nail it every time. It’s hard!

    • They all have their strengths that’s for sure! At least you realize you are competitive! 🙂

  4. Guilty! My dancer is a senior and when she was 14 I got the whole MOM, you are embarassing me, no one else’s Mom does this, you don’t know everything. From then on, I tried my hardest to keep my thoughts to myself.

    • Our children certainly have a way of keeping us in check! I bet there are a lot of parents who can relate to this one.


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