Keeping competition routines in tip-top shape is always labor-intensive—but especially when the number is the work of a guest choreographer, who may have set it months ago and probably isn’t available to oversee the cleaning process. Here’s how to polish even the smallest details of a guest artist’s routine without altering the piece’s integrity.
Judging dance competitions demands a unique blend of skills, from articulating useful corrections on the fly to staying focused for hours at a time. With just a few minutes to see and score each routine, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you may want to say—or, worse, to have nothing to say at all. Here’s how to stay organized, alert, and constructive during long judging days.
In many ways, life on the circuit has been preparing comp kids for professional auditions all along. Here’s how to best leverage your competition experience in an audition setting.
Winning the title of “Mr. or Miss [insert competition name here]” has long been considered the pinnacle of a competitive career. For decades, whether dancers actually identified with those gendered accolades—or the many other gender-based features of competition and convention weekends—was hardly ever questioned. Slowly, that’s beginning to change.
Over the last decade, top dancers from the convention circuit have chosen, in increasing numbers, to attend college programs after high school. As students’ pathways have shifted, competitions and conventions are increasingly creating pathways to college, as well, through scholarship and enrollment auditions.
Facial expressions are a big part of competitive dance performances, and what dancers should be doing with their mouths onstage has long been a matter of great debate. Many teachers, choreographers, and judges are staunchly against lip-syncing of any kind, while others believe that it can be a light-hearted, appropriate form of expression.
Providing dancers with a comprehensive plan for Nationals now gives them the ability to shine onstage, to fulfill their responsibilities to the team and to balance dance commitments with summer fun.
Dancing across a hotel ballroom in small-town America seems a world away from performing on Broadway, but for some students, competitions and conventions are an important step toward realizing that dream. Skills honed at these events—the ability to quickly learn choreography in a wide range of styles and perform it immediately afterward—are valuable in securing work in musical theater.