Dance Competitions are great opportunities for dancers to gain performance experience, receive feedback and critique, and meet other performers from all over the country. They are also wonderful bonding experiences and great fun for studios and groups.
Studios and dance groups across the United States compete in competitions. Usually competitors need to be students at a studio. Some studios may require that in order to enter competitions, dancers take special classes or audition to be on the “team”. If you are a dancer and hoping to compete, you should take special note of the competition rules and find out if you need to be represented or sponsored by a teacher or studio. Even if your studio does not regularly enter competitions, your teacher may be willing to accompany you to the competition. If you win or do well in the competition, you can even send a press release to local newspapers to help publicize your studio and your accomplishments.
At most dance competitions you will be given rules and regulations ahead of time. On the day of the competition you check in and then are shown an area to change into costumes and warm-up. When your time to dance comes you will perform in front of the judges and audience. When you are not dancing, many competitions allow dancers to watch the other performances. Some competitions allow parents to watch, but a few do not – you should check ahead of time.
The judges will score you and possibly give oral or written critiques. At the end of the performance session prizes are awarded. This usually includes trophies, plaques, and/or cash prizes. At some of the larger dance competitions winners move on to finals which may involve traveling to other states.
All competitions have very specific rules so make sure you are aware of the requirements ahead of time. This can range anywhere from acceptable costumes, the length of your music, to what steps and choreography can and can’t be done and the policies about audience behavior. Nearly all competitions require registration and deposits to be sent in ahead of time. There are costs involved with all competitions – a fee to enter as well as costumes to buy and of course travel related expenses if you need to drive, fly or stay overnight at a hotel. Many studios offer fundraising to help offset costs.
Most dance instructors receive competition brochures in the mail or can find out about competitions in your area through their subscription magazines for the profession (such as “Dance Teacher”). But you can also request information to be sent to you personally direct from the internet. Some of the most popular dance competitions are Starbound National Talent Competition, Applause Talent Presentations, Dance Olympus and Just for Kix. They all have websites and you can request info via online forms.