Why do Competition Work?
Have you ever wondered – what are these “Competition Dancers” all about, and should I consider becoming one? Maybe you are one and you have wondered “Is this really worth it? Will this help my future?” Well, these are valid questions – some that should be taken very seriously by each young dancer as they choose their path.
I know, I know… Ever since the dance world exploded onto the reality TV scene, competition dancers have received quite a reputation. I don’t want to get into the drama, nor do I profess that competition dancing is the right path for everyone. But in my years teaching in competitive studios, I have come to see many positive outcomes that I would love to share.
1. Experience: The first and most important reason I believe competitions are great for a dancer is that it gives you an opportunity – several times a year – to put yourself out on stage in a high-stakes environment. This training is absolutely priceless for young dancers, and I don’t see any other venue where it is as feasible. Competition dancers become stage PROS! They learn how to rehearse effectively, work efficiently in class to prepare, work through nerves, focus amidst adrenaline and they get comfortable under those stage lights. As much as some in the professional world might “pooh pooh” competition dancers, I have rarely seen one get cut at an audition for lack of performing experience. Generally speaking – competition dancers know how to work the stage. And that is simply because competitions give them the opportunity to do so again and again.
2. 2 Words: JUDGES CRITIQUES. These dancers get to hear PERSONALIZED thoughts, opinions and expertise of dozens of industry professionals each year. How valuable is that?! Not only can these dancers improve and receive several ideas about their training through these critiques, but they, along with their teachers, can begin to understand how to dissect their choreography and find ways to make their performance more appealing to their audience. I don’t know any other semi-affordable way to get this many trained eyes on a dancer in one season. This alone (and well above the value of any trophy) should be reason enough to consider competition dancing.
3. Connections, connections, connections. In my mind, there are few other (once again, semi-affordable) ways to A) get your face in front of so many of the “Powers That Be” in the dance industry, and B) make countless lasting and useful connections with dancer-peers that could help you in your future. You know what they say – it’s WHO you know, not WHAT you know that will help you in the end! In my career, there have been too many times where I have been out of the loop as far as the who’s who of the industry.
Probably not the last – and certainly not the least of our list: Competitions have forced dancers, teachers and choreographers to become simply much, much better. Before competitions became hugely popular – dance was not nearly as cutting edge. Because of the grand exposure competitions (hand-in-hand with the internet and YouTube) have given
4.dance, dancers are doing things I never dreamed of as a child! So much of the technique, “tricks” and flexibility I see on stage now were never even attempted years ago. Teachers are noticing what the top studios are putting out there and asking – why not my dancers? It is pushing teachers to get better training themselves, hire great choreographers, and pass the best along to their students. I can say as a teacher and choreographer I wouldn’t be half of what I have become without the help of competitions. So much inspiration, constantly pushing the envelope, evolving, stretching our creativity and proving that the human body has so few boundaries. Is it partially because we want to be better than our rival? Get the high scores? Maybe sometimes… And though that may not be the purest form of motivation, I can say that the dance world has definitely benefited from it! I can only imagine what the future holds for competition dancers as we continue to inspire and push one another to amazing new heights!
HOW DO I DO COMPETITIONS WITH EMPIRE?
1. Students attitude/attendance from all classes and shows will be reviewed prior to placement.
2. Students ability.
3. All competitive team students are required to take a ballet class with Empire Dance Company.
4. EVERY student who becomes a member of the team agrees to his/her commitment to dance with Empire Dance Company Competitive Team for the entire block/s season.
Every year Empire Dance Company will hold auditions for the following year. From these auditions, a Competitive Troupe will be named. Auditions will be held over a Saturday Afternoon and further information including the Competition agreement, yearly calendar and Competition Blocks will be Issued at the audition time. Registrations will open in September
Solo Competitive Students
Please make us aware if you would like to compete as a solo student, you will be asked to attend the Groupe Audition. From there a genre and solo competition agreement information will be given to you. Solo Competitive Costumes and Music will be designed and sourced by the choreographer. Registrations will open in September
Empire Dance Company offer an Opportunity for every Student to Perform at the end of the year Recital. This year our Recital is on the first weekend of December
This is a huge event each year, students will have the excitement of performing inside the beautiful Theatre Royal, but will also learn about how productions and shows run inside a Theatre. We would like all student to take part in this amazing experience. Below is some information about our how that will help you prepare for the show.
Is my child in the Show?
Every Child has the opportunity to perform in the show, every Dance Genre Class will perform a routine in the show with the exclusion of Stretch and Conditioning. Each student also has the opportunity to be in the Opening and Closing number of the show as well.
My Child only does Stretch and Conditioning?
Although this class don't have their own routine we offer for these students to be apart of the Opening Number and Closing number in the show. This is still a great experience to be apart of a show like this.
My Child is in Pre School and Mini Classes will the be in the show?
We want all students no matter how small feel like they get an opportunity to be apart of the show. Pre School Students will be in the 1st Half of the Show only and Minis will be spread between the both and can have the Option to Opt-in for the Opening and Closing Numbers.
Do I need to stay with my Mini and Preschool Children during the show and Practice?
We have fun friendly dressers and childminders to look after our Mini and Pre School students. If you would like to be with your children during rehearsals and the show please offer to be a dresser or childminder. As you can understand we will not be able to have everyone out the back due to a limit on space.
What does my child need?
An Essential list will be issued which will list all that is required for your child, if you need help with these please head to our website or Contact Okiwi Via Email.
What is an Opening Number Top?
Each year Empire Dance Company has a new top for students to wear. The students wear these for the Opening and Closing Numbers of the show. If your student would like to be apart of the Opening and Closing Number of the show one of these Tops will need to be purchased.
Does my child need to tan/make up?
All Junior, Intermediate and Senior Students need to apply Fake Tan for the Show and Photo Call. We have teamed up with Queen st Pharmacy to help make all you tan and Makeup needs easier to acquire. Please see Okiwi for an Empire Student card to use at Queen St Pharmacy. Attached is the Empire Dance Company Makeup list
What extra commitments are required to be apart of the show?
Attached is a rehearsal schedule for some weekend rehearsals as well as the Tech and Show Day rehearsals. These rehearsals are very important and we urge parents to make these a priority as there is a lot of time in the studio needed to make sure that everyone is feeling confident and ready to Perform for his or her friends and Families
Are there any other Costs?
We try to keep cost's down for you guys, The Empire Opening Number Top and essentials are all that you need to outlay. There will be no charge for costumes used in the show