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Dance Competition- any experience?

(28 Posts)
skerrywind Mon 27-Mar-17 14:02:30

DD will be dancing at her first competition next month- what to expect?

Never been to one before- will it be like " Dance Moms"

JufusMum Mon 27-Mar-17 14:12:17

What type of dancing does she do? What sort of competitions?

skerrywind Mon 27-Mar-17 14:16:50

I think it will be modern dance? Have no idea about the competition.

Nachobowl Mon 27-Mar-17 20:40:05

How old is DD? We've done a few team events and a few solo events.
You usually need to arrive about an hour before due on stage - comps can end up running ahead of time and behind so pack a few snacks/iPad in case there's a bit of a wait. We usually arrive with make up done and take make up bag along for last minute top up. There'll be a changing and waiting area for you to use also for DD will be given a number and the kids are then lined up backstage and perform in order. At the end of the section they're all called onto stage and judges give out places/medals etc. If DD is particularly young they usually give everyone in the section a medal otherwise 4th/3rd/2nd/1st. You'll get a comment card too from the judges with notes and score on. Its all quite exciting and we always enjoy it - it's not as intense as dance moms!! Hope this helps flowers

Nachobowl Mon 27-Mar-17 20:41:39

Feel free to PM if I can help anymore

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 27-Mar-17 22:27:09

one of my daughters has done one festival (and surprised us all by placing) and both are doing a couple this year. I would definitely advise having hair and make up done before you get there, even doing it in the car would be easier and quieter than trying to do it in the changing room. I would say ours was probably fairly friendly from what I have read backstage but I found it quite intimidating, many people have a lot of experience, some just go round the country competing in festivals and competitions and focusing on that (our school do exams and only a few interested children who want to do festivals) but the girls didn't seem to notice the pushy people. All in all we found it a valuable experience for our daughter and the girls are excited about doing it this year. The comments sheet was lovely, really nice to have because our exam board just give a mark breakdown for exams but no comments at all and I think it is nice for the children to see some real feedback about their performance.

skerrywind Tue 28-Mar-17 06:17:12

Thanks. DD is 16, so able to do own hair and make up. Never done any competitions before.

lornaballet Wed 29-Mar-17 02:35:10

Small local festivals can be enjoyable. Those aren't similar to dance moms format, though there are now a few like that you can attend and receive video of adjudicator commentary.

Lots will be in village halls, that sort of thing. Competitor dances then given a number, the adjudicator calls out those who have placed and gives a brief commentary. Medals given after each section ( we don't usually get to see this part in dance moms, just the overalls) Trophies given at the end of the whole competition (which can last anything from from 1 day to a couple of weekends). Competitors may also be chosen to dance in the adjudicator's choice or bursary, towards end of competition.

If you're attending with your school then they will usually give you detailed instructions on what is needed and other parents usually help out with newcomers. Independent entries different kettle of fish <speaks from experience grin > but can also be enjoyable.

lornaballet Wed 29-Mar-17 02:56:33

Some festivals will have special sections where you can compete in affiliated regional championship comps, or qualify for others. E.g. All England, TDCI, Miss Dance etc

Not info needed for a first comp, but nice to know for future. Trying not to go into too much detailgrinAsk away though!

skerrywind Wed 29-Mar-17 05:24:10

Hi, it's being held at a biggish theatre.

I guess I am just a bit concerned that some of the dancers will have had years of competition experience, and my DD and her team are totally inexperienced.
Are there special techniques that are required?

lornaballet Wed 29-Mar-17 08:27:50

Well, it depends on the sort of competition, and the teacher's wishes, but newcomers, and inexperienced, often dance in the novice section.
However, in some categories, and smaller competitions they might not have a novice section which means you have to dance in the open section with the more experienced dancers.

lornaballet Wed 29-Mar-17 08:36:10

Special techniques, it depends on what you're doing, but I'm assuming the teacher will have put something appropriate to enable soloist/ group to compete at required level (though it does vary sometimes, the standard). Perhaps try to visit a similar competition if you're able to beforehand or search YouTube for senior modern solo (novice), senior group, for examples, as plenty of the dance schools post them.

caroten Sat 01-Apr-17 03:36:47

Oh yes, flask of tea and some snacks, just in case there's nothing on offer.

Good luck! Let us know how she gets on

JufusMum Mon 03-Apr-17 10:30:47

sorry we only do freestyle disco competitions and they are very different (think wacky races in neon lycra)

caroten Mon 03-Apr-17 10:36:17

Do they wear the enormous headdresses in the freestyle. It looks rather manic (remembering a snippet of a dance programme) where they all dance together, against each other, lots of spins, very fast. It looks like improvisation almost?

skerrywind Mon 03-Apr-17 10:37:45

lornaballet will she dance in the novice section?

I guess that's kind of what I am asking, although she has never done competition she is not a dance "novice" ( currently working towards her Advanced Ballet exam)

leccybill Mon 03-Apr-17 10:42:29

I've a friend who's DDs do freestyle. Judging by the Facebook photos, it looks absolutely bonkerscan't stop looking

mooandmama Mon 03-Apr-17 10:47:00

Generally (the syllabus will say specifically) if there are both novice and open sections, you have to have previously won in that style of dance in the novice to qualify for the open - so entering novice modern and winning is the way to get into the open modern. So if she's not danced in a competition before, she'll be put in the novice. My DD has won novice ballet and novice s&d so is in open, but if she danced, say, a character, she'd be novice.

lottieandmia Mon 03-Apr-17 10:52:18

They are all quite different depending on whether a win would give access to semi finals of all England, for example.

lornaballet Mon 03-Apr-17 11:18:19

Moo is right, Skerry. It depends if there is a novice section. If not she'll be in open. One of our old dance schools would put some dancers, who had never placed in novice, straight in open if the sections were very small, and more chance of winning! Some of the novice sections can be quite large.

They'll have different rules, too. It does all depend. There are some nice dance competitions (I don't know if this is a recent thing, I've only seen two) only, and entirely, for novices.

JufusMum Tue 04-Apr-17 08:48:13

@caroten yes it is pretty manic and yes lots of big headpieces etc. The dancing is very fast, it's not improvised but the dancers learn their routines to a beat rather than a song, because they have a different song every time they dance (but with the same beat).

The tv programmes about freestyle were pretty awful and picked the worst freestyle dance mums (overly pushy, at times completely mad). My DD has been doing freestyle comps 12 years now and it's not all crazy...just most of it.

You have to "earn your stripes" with the ott costumes though, you start in a plain leotard and go up through the ranks by getting 1st places in competitions.

All kids dance together and the judges use an elimination process to get 25/35 kids in a section down to 6 for a final.

It gives me a headache every Sunday! Lots of early starts and travelling and my house constantly smells of fake tan. Costumes are very expensive when you get higher up (DD is an Inter so gets to wear the rhinestones etc) but the discipline she gets from freestyle is immense. It's very hard, you have to be very acrobatic and very, very fast. Judges look for speed along with clean lines which is difficult.

It's a bit marmite though and there are some awful showbiz mums about!

leccybill Tue 04-Apr-17 09:13:04

I'm fascinated by freestyle. The rhinestones, the neon, the giant trophies- it's all absolutely bonkers.

Is it really dancing though? It just looks like acrobatic moves, almost flinging oneself around, or seeing how high you can get your leg! I appreciate that it must make you very flexible.

lornaballet Tue 04-Apr-17 10:13:00

It is fascinating isn't it leccy. I asked about freestyle for one of my children, I still think she'd like it, but her dance teacher put us off saying it wasn't good for those doing ballet, it didn't complement.

JufusMum Tue 04-Apr-17 10:55:22

My DD does ballet to complement her Freestyle Slow...I know a lot of Freestyle dancers that do ballet, the two go together really well in my opinion. Yes, it's a lot of acrobatics, and yes it's also a lot of dance. Acrobatics can only be done in solo spots and not in rounds, I would disagree it's not dancing......there's split runs, fouttee's, barrel rolls, step ball change, kicks, spins and so much more in disco, that's definitely dancing. Also in pairs and teams, staying in time to music that fast is a real skill.

JufusMum Tue 04-Apr-17 10:56:43

Also, we have a dancer who is in her third year at Bodyworks Dance College in Cambridge who got in purely on her Freestyle experience having never done any other type of dance.

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