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THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTENDING COMPETITION MASTER-CLASSES

Competition weekends are always filled with adrenaline, focus, organized chaos, last minute preparations and camaraderie which holds a studio together to represent themselves in their best light while dancing their hearts out. I mean, this is it…Show-time baby!

While we place emphasis on making sure dancers are ready, costumes are pristine, music is ready to go, entries are set and our students are all in a good headspace before they perform, there is another aspect of competition we should be reinforcing with our dancers. Attending the FREE master classes which are offered by the competition.....


 

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SETTING EXAMPLES & EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR DANCERS

As dance teachers who spend countless hours with our students in the studio week after week and year after year, it’s sometimes easy for the lines of the relationship to blur in terms of dance teacher to student vs. friend to friend. In a sense you do become part of a second “studio-family” and role model whom they look up to. While building a relationship with students who feel comfortable enough to trust you, communicate and share with you is wonderful, remembering who the mentor is, who’s in charge and setting good examples all around should be your main priority.....

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TRAINING DANCE STUDENTS TO TEACH

As studio owners we all have those students we’ve trained from the time they could walk. We have molded them, nurtured their technique, taught them classroom etiquette, celebrated their accomplishments and wiped tears during defeat and injury. When they arrive at that pivotal age where they are about to “leave the nest,” but are still at the very beginning stages of their dance career, the idea of having these “mini-me’s” transition to teaching is something all of us has considered.........

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NO, FOUETTÉS ARE NOT A REQUIREMENT IN COMPETITION DANCES

The stress of setting competition choreography can sometimes feel daunting if you’ve been to enough competitions and are one of those studios that are frustrated seeing others continuously place because they are masters of fouetté turn sequences or turns a la seconde. I’ve often received the question from studio owners and teachers as to my feeling of making sure they are included, so here is my subjective opinion....

To be blunt....No. No. No......No. To preface, there is a time and place for technically executed fouetté turns and turns la seconde that make sense to the context of the dance to which they are being inserted. Absolutely. For me, however, to add fouetté turns in every piece one enters make them superfluous, clichè and nonsensical to the artistic integrity of the piece. In other words, “fouettés for fouettés sake,” is just not ok and we as choreographers can do better for a number of reasons....

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