Competition dancers are known for being driven and ambitious—but is it possible to focus too much on trophies as the only measure of success?
Two award-winning competition-team teachers offer their tips on picking songs that will wow the judges and inspire your artistry.
“Everybody’s emotional,” says former Boston Ballet principal Alexandra Koltun. “So, how do you pull that out of a student?” For Koltun, who is the founding artistic director (with husband Alex Lapshin) of Koltun Ballet Boston—a pre-professional ballet school with three Youth America Grand Prix Outstanding School awards under its belt—the process of bringing out more […]
The way Duncan Cooper tells it, victory at a major dance competition can be a double-edged sword. “Winning does show that you have a high level of ability and skills,” says the Universal Ballet Competition judge and Revel Dance Convention faculty member. “But at a professional audition, some people just won’t care—and others will expect […]
For many, attending dance conventions is the cherry on top of their training—the boost that takes them from talented dancer to bonafide artist. But it’s not just the dance classes that make the difference. It’s opportunities like informal networking and industry seminars that give you a leg up. What’s offered, and how can you take […]
When asked to describe the energy at this month’s Youth America Grand Prix Finals, judge Sascha Radetsky had one word: “Stratospheric.” More than 800 dancers from around the United States—selected from 10,000 who’d taken part in regional events—competed onstage at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida, for the competition’s season Finals […]
You’ve seen her—the competitive dancer who can whip out a quadruple pirouette to the right but falls out of her left turns every time, or the dancer with sky-high extensions who lacks the agility to nail high-speed combinations. Though impressive on the competition stage, these one-trick (or maybe two-trick) ponies often skimp on their regular […]
What’s actually going on in judges’ heads? I got a first-hand chance to find out when, over three days in early March, I judged 334 classical and contemporary solos from dancers ages 9 to 19 at the Boston semi-finals of Youth America Grand Prix. Putting exact numbers to qualities like “musicality” and “épaulement” is just […]