- The difference in the level of dance technique and ability that your dancer can achieve while they are dancing as part of the Vibe is significantly higher than if they only took basic dance classes.
- The dancers in the Vibe learn to be more independent and learn to juggle and take on more responsibilities.
- Being a part of the Vibe will increase your child's social circle. Younger girls will get to know older girls that may go to their school but they will also get to know and become close with girls from other schools and even other towns. The Vibe has had girls (and boys) from several different Edmond Public Schools, private schools, art schools, and even several from other towns.
- When your in the Vibe you become part of a very supportive family. The dancers become very close and form a bond that I know my daughter will cherish forever! Amy normally has an older dancer "buddy" up and be a mentor for one of the younger or newer dancers. I loved seeing the lifelong bonds formed through all of these relationships.
- The experience of dancing in front of crowds numerous times can help in multitudes of ways. It can make it easier for them to do presentations, auditions and try-outs, to mention a few. It will help pull a shy dancer out of her shell and give an outgoing dancer a platform in which to shine.
- Competing with The Vibe can open other doors and help your dancer make industry connections that might help if she wants to pursue a career in dance or something relative.
- My daughter and I really enjoyed going to conventions and competitions with the Vibe that were out of town. It was fun getting to have those weekend trips and hotel stays with her either when it was just the two of us or when our whole family made a trip out of it and went together.
- I'm sure all of the extra rehearsals with the Vibe has helped keep my daughter in good shape and she knows much more about her different muscles and bones etc and how to take care of herself than I do.
- I think The Vibe is well respected with in the dance community and at the studio and that the dancers feel honored to be a part of it.
- Although other dance teams (and those on television) focus on winning and awards etc, that has never been a focus of The Vibe. Although they are one of the best dance groups in the state and do quite well at competitions, that is all secondary to just getting to perform, try and do their best, have fun and do what they love.
-The Vibe requires a lot of additional time and commitment
-Dancers in The Vibe have to sacrifice getting to do many things their friends and peers might be doing. They miss church functions, school functions, family functions, birthday parties, hanging out with friends, boyfriends, dances, etc, etc. My daughter has been able to still do many things outside of dance, it has not been with out it's share of conflicts, stress and complications.
- Depending on how many numbers your dancer is in and how many competitions they attend, it can be expensive. You have to figure in the cost of the regular required dance classes, the costumes for those, the monthly Vibe fee, , the costumes for the Vibe's dance numbers, the competition fees, choreography fees, the convention fees, the cost of spending some weekends in a hotel, the Vibe sweats, the cost of master classes, etc.
- The extra dancing can increase their chance of injury. It can be harder on their bodies, feet, ankles, etc.
Although, as mentioned in the positives, they will be healthier and stronger also.
- Competition costumes often need stoned. Be prepared to bring out your crafty side and to end up with your fingers glued together!...Better yet, pay an older or previous Vibe dancer to do it for you!!
— Parent #1 (Vibe Mom 8 years)
“There are many reasons why I feel that the Vibe was beneficial for my daughter. Here are a few:
1. Vibe teaches responsibility
2. Vibe creates a work ethic in your child that too many young adults sadly do not possess today
3. Vibe teaches independence – it will require you as a parent to “let go” and trust your teachers and your dancer. If they “forget” an item for a competition, then they will have to become a problem solver. It’s amazing to watch as your dancer solves problems and makes it on their own!
4. Vibe teaches you that you will not always be successful; and that’s okay – it’s often the effort behind the work; not always the outcome – there will be disappointments (not getting the role you thought you were getting….but, to be able to overcome and persist is worth the watch)
5. Vibe fosters lifelong friendships
6. scratch #5 – it fosters lifelong family
7. Vibe offers an opportunity for personal growth AND technical growth ( I found the personal growth to be the most beneficial)
8. Vibe offers an opportunity to be compassionate and to show respect to all dancers from EVERY company
9. Vibe offers opportunities for performance
10. Vibe keeps your dancer in shape
With everything, there are always some negatives. Here are a few:
1. Vibe can be expensive
2. Vibe forces your dancer to choose between activities (your dancer will not excel at anything if they’re doing everything) If dance is something they truly want to be good at, they will need to commit to Vibe. If they simply enjoy dancing and want to continue to be involved in numerous activities, then class is where they belong
3. Vibe teaches your dancer that when they join Vibe, they not only make a commitment to Ms. Amy or Ms. Chelsea, but more importantly…they are making a commitment to their fellow dancers. If your dancer isn’t at every rehearsal or dance class, it punishes the dancers who made the commitment to them. It forces entire routines to review what your dancer missed because they were at a party or basketball game…and that demonstrates lack of respect for everyone. (It also means that as a family, you will need to make that same commitment. We gave up activities or even vacations to allow our dancer to be a part of a very special group of young ladies….it was worth it!)
With everything said, I certainly feel that my daughter benefitted from being a part of the Vibe. I feel the positives outweighed the negatives. I’m told all the time that my daughter’s work ethic is amazing, and as a school teacher I see more and more young adults who don’t know how to complete a task independently. It caused her to grow in ways that I know were absolutely because of the guidance of her teachers and the accountability that was required of her as a Vibe member. The Vibe earned a reputation among all studios as the “studio to beat”! They were GOOD! No…they were EXCELLENT. Not only because they were technically sound, but because they were some of the best girls I’ve ever known. And they were family. Ms. Amy did not hesitate to dismiss any member who wasn’t supportive of another member. Critical attitudes and hateful behavior WAS NOT tolerated. They worked HARD!! And I mean HARD! Don’t take this decision lightly. It can be the BEST investment you ever make in your dancer…but it needs to be their decision. After all…they will be doing all the work! ENJOY! Watching your dancer become the best they can be is all the reward I needed!”
— Parent #2 (Vibe Mom 8 Years)
“It's hard to remember back that far -- Caitlin's first year of Vibe seems so long ago! She did Vibe for the first time when she was 9 years old and in the 4th grade, and I remember going to a meeting very much like what you are doing today when Caitlin was in third grade. How time flies!!
My perspective may be a little different because Caitlin knew from a very young age that she wanted to be in musical theatre and even at nine years old part of the reason she wanted to be in Vibe was to help further that goal. Like the other girls, she was certainly drawn by the "glamour" of the competitions, costumes, make-up, belonging to a group, etc., but from day one she was also looking at how she could further her skills and gain important performing experience. The competing part of it was just never her main goal. That may be a little different perspective than many of the girls who enjoy dance and want to do this for fun and/or are into winning awards, but aren't thinking of it as part of a long-range plan for a career.
From a mom's perspective, here are some of my favorite things about Caitlin's Vibe experience:
Caitlin had a great group of friends to spend time with who loved doing the same thing that she did!
There was also a tremendous group of older girls who were very kind and patient with our "Littles" and were wonderful role models for Caitlin.
Without question, Caitlin's dance skills improved exponentially by being in Vibe over where she would have been just by attending technique classes.
She learned A LOT about things like stage presence, being organized, preparation, having a strong work ethic, time management, and team work from Vibe!
I agree 100% that technique classes are necessary and that Vibe should never replace those!!!!!!! Strong technique has helped Caitlin in more ways than I can even tell you!
Most of the non-Vibe performing opportunities Caitlin has enjoyed over the years are because of the dance skills, performing skills, and/or contacts she made through Vibe.
Caitlin would not have been as successful in her college auditions had she not had Vibe in her background.
I don't know that these things are "negatives", but here are some considerations that might be helpful:
Time and money. No matter how many times you explain the Vibe expectations, put them in a handbook, and older girls/parents try to explain what it's like - it's just almost impossible to completely "get it" until you have been through a year. From a financial and balanced life perspective, I really like that you are only doing Vibe every other year.
We had a hard time for the first couple of years figuring out how and when to plan vacations/events as a family. After a year or 2 we finally figured out when there would be a natural "break" where guest artists, rehearsals, etc. wouldn't be scheduled AND we finally started believing your schedules. (OU/TX weekend, Christmas break and Spring Break until the last Sunday, etc.) It didn't help that in the beginning there were a couple of moms who put the fear of God into us and basically told us we could NEVER schedule anything because despite the published schedule you could call a rehearsal at any time and if we weren't available she would get kicked out of Vibe. That obviously wasn't true, but we didn't know it at the time. I know you publish schedules that say "No Vibe" on certain dates -- you might just reiterate at your meeting to feel free to plan whatever they want on those dates. Even though it was in writing, we were afraid to plan anything. That was our fault, but I have heard other moms say that over the years so I thought I would mention it.
I have heard a lot of parents over the years talk about how much they like that other studios have competition classes scheduled the same time each week so they know how to schedule and plan for weeks or months in advance. For the most part that wasn't an issue for us, but it did make it difficult to do things like buy show tickets. i.e. If Wicked was in town Thursday - Sunday, we usually didn't know until late Wednesday night what her rehearsal schedule would be for the weekend. By the time I would try to get tickets Thursday morning, there often weren't any left or we couldn't sit together as a family. If there are major events like that where you know a lot of the girls want to go and you have the ability to say "go to this performance", that would be great!
I know there is only one of you and that you have had many highly qualified and extremely talented teachers help you over the years, but if I had one wish for something different over our Vibe years it would be that Caitlin could have had more time working with you directly, especially when she was little. Whether you know it or not, you are definitely a Master Teacher, and Caitlin has learned more from you than all her other teachers combined! I like that you are working more evenly with all the age groups now.
You know we would choose to do Vibe again every time --- I can never thank you enough for all you have done for Caitlin!!!!
— Parent #3
“Having a child who has taken dance classes since the age of 4 ½ and as we watched her love for dance grow her desire to be a part of the competitive team grew. Whitney began her competitive dance experience in 6th grade. As her parents, we could never know the gift that competitive dance would be in her life. She competed in all aspects of dance. Dance had a huge impact on Whitney’s life – not because she was going to be a professional dancer or that dance was the only thing that she loved but because it gave her skills that changed her life. With every experience in life there are positives and negatives. I have to admit the positives so much out way the negative. Competitive dance taught her time management, organization, independence, how to communicate to adults especially when there were conflicts with scheduling, working through frustration and exhaustion. Today, Whitney is a successful Physician Assistant who through school was able to use every tool that she was taught through dance. Not the dance aspect, but the skills she learned through the process of being involved in an activity that required discipline. As for the negatives there were conflicts that required work, sometimes making hard choices, sometimes she didn’t get to go to a sleepover or an event, but with life there are sacrifices and she learned this life lesson in an extremely healthy environment. As her parents, we are so thankful for the experience dance played in her life.”
— Parent #4 (Vibe Mom 8 Years)