Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shine at Nationals!

How to dance towards success at nationals this summer - Melissa Burns, President/Director of Turn It Up Dance Challenge, answered these questions to be featured in Danceinforma.  Visit their site here.

How can dance troupes best prepare for Nationals?  I think it is important to break down your routines starting from the beginning and fine tune your choreography.  All too often I hear of studios that continuously play thier song and keep reviewing their dances. This enables the same exact misktakes to be done over and over again. Make sure to break bad habits one step at a time from the beginning of your routine. This will help you get the precision that judges look for. 
What are the judges looking for? Many times I hear my judges say "that routine was very nice because it was DIFFERENT from the rest" . If choreographers and dancers can put themselves in the shoes of the judges they will realize that judges see many of the same styles, songs and even choreography throughout the year. Judges appreciate routines that stand out whether it is a great costume, a unique lift, or an unexpected twist on the theme of a dance.
What advice would you give to competing dance groups and soloists? I would say it is important to give 120% during practice time.  Work your hardest and feel like you are on stage every time you practice your routines. That way your body will already know what to do and you can enjoy yourselves on the day of competition. You will not have to worry about practicing in the hall or backstage because you will already know your routines perfectly. You will be able to wish others good luck and cheer on your friends! That is what is the most fun about competition.
What advice would you give to teachers and choreographers? Teachers and Choreographers may want to enhance choreography now that routines have been perfected. Maybe add in one thing that would help thier routine stand out from all the rest of the routines at nationals.

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