For auditions at our studio, dancers may mark on the form if they would like to be considered for a solo. My dancer would like to do a solo, but I’m just not sure she is ready. As a parent, how do you know when you should encourage a solo? She is ten years old.
Everyone and every studio has different opinions on this topic. There are many things to consider. Are they committed to dance or are they involved in other activities: sports, gymnastics, theater, etc.? They need to be able to have the time to invest in a solo. Also, are they technically ready? Have they taken ballet and tech classes? Are they emotionally ready? For example when in a class a teacher or judge will give vague comments/corrections to the class as a whole while in your solo they will be directed to you. Some kids are fine with that, but others are not and that is OK. Another suggestion is that if possible maybe you could ask her dance teacher if she feels she is ready. So many solos are being done nowadays; remind your daughter to do what’s best for her not what others are doing. When she does a solo, you want it to be a good experience for her so it doesn’t interfere with her love of dance!
Solos are a huge commitment and they take a lot of confidence and enthusiasm to really do well and help the dancer grow! If your dancer feels she is ready for this, then it probably means she is confident enough to handle it. I have a 10 year old student this year who has a solo and it has helped her TREMENDOUSLY with stage presence. In my opinion too, it is never too early to begin solos. I think the more one-on-one time you can get for your dancer with her teacher (as long as the teacher truly cares about the growth of the student) is beneficial in so many ways. Not only in improving their technique and dancing, but in building a good relationship with the teacher. I think if your daughter truly loves dance, wants to get better, and you see potential in her, definitely encourage the solo! Also keep in mind the extra expense of choreography fees, private lessons, extra costume, and extra competition fees. Comp fees for solos these days are a bit ridiculous at 100-110 dollars. So that is just something I would budget out before you go ahead with it! 🙂