How Studio Owners Feel About Dance Competitions
Recently, we did a small dance survey and asked for your thoughts about trends on the competitive circuit. Instead of small concerns or observations, the responses were overall negative and centered around:
- Inappropriate Costuming & Movement
- Excessive Tricks
- Too Many Props
- An Abundance of Guest Choreographers
- Lack of Technique
- Level Confusion/ Inconsistency
As I thought about the feedback from the dance survey and shared it with my friends, it seems that some of these complaints could be improved or solved with greater accountability- on behalf of the studios and the competitions.
(1) Owners, Directors, and Teachers have to set the tone for appropriateness and take accountability for what they choose to put onstage. Is anyone going to argue with wanting to maintain a child’s class and innocence?
These same individuals must also strive to provide their dancers with a solid, technical foundation and artistic, creative, and original choreography. When it comes to levels, they also must be honest in registering their dancers for varying divisions.
(2) Competitions must stand by their rules and beliefs. If a routine can only have so many tricks in a particular category, it should be upheld. If the competition promotes appropriateness as a value, it should be upheld (even though it can be understandably subjective).
Regardless, in dealing with an unregulated industry (for the studios and competitions), it is important that we all do our part to make it a positive, beneficial experience for all dancers. Ultimately, we all want it be an educational tool that improves our dancing, our industry, and its artistry.