How to get into competition classes
- For Ages 7 & Under: A student must be recommended by the instructor, approved by the owner, and placed in a mini competitive or precompetitive class.
- For Ages 8 & Up: Student must take summer technique classes and audition for placement into our competitive groups at the end of summer.
- For Tahitian Dancers only: Miss Kim will continue to place dancers into groups as she sees fit.
The Dance Academy’s Competition Theory:
The purpose of competition is not to see how many trophies we can get or to win all the time. While we do push our dancers to be their personal best, our goal is to give the dancers performing experience and to learn from each experience how to become a better performer.
Competitions are used as a learning experience, not for contest.
Requirements: All Dancers are required to participate in 2-3 competitions yearly. Competitions take place spring/summer. Every other year, we participate in a national competition that is mandatory as well. On these years, we only participate in 2 local competitions before participating in summer nationals. Competitions are mandatory – no exceptions.
Competition Fees are due approximately 1 month prior to competition. These are the fees the competition company charges us to participate. 100% of these fees goes to the competition, not the studio. Individual Entry fees for group members are $40-$45 each. Entry fees for solos are $95-$105 each. Duets/Trios are $100-$120 spilt between group members.
Annual Studio Competition Fee of $100 is due at the beginning of each year to cover extra costs the studio faces for our competitive dancers which include but are not limited to: CD’s/DVD’s, extra rehearsals prior to competitions, paying your instructors to attend competitions, etc.
Class Requirements: In addition to the dancer’s competitive subjects all competitive dancers are required to take a ballet class, a ballet technique class, a stretch/turns/leaps class, and a conditioning class. Dancers who only compete in tap are required to take a ballet class, and their choice between the additional ballet technique class or the stretch/turns/leaps class. Dancers who only compete in hip hop are only required to take the conditioning class. Dancers who compete in Tahitian only are not required to take any additional classes other than their Tahitian class.
Additional Performance Requirement: Our annual Tiny Tots show held the week before recital requires some older dancers to perform. You will be notified if you are amongst those dancers ahead of time.
Additional Optional Performances – Throughout the year, other performance opportunities may arise. While participation is recommended to aid in the development of your dancer’s skills, it is not mandatory.
Conventions – All dancers are recommended and encouraged to participate in as many conventions as they wish. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that dancers participate in at least 1 convention a year to grow in their abilities.
Attendance: Each dancer has 6 excused absences to be used anytime throughout the year EXCEPT the week before competition. After the 6th, each dancer may be allowed 2 extra absences depending on circumstances. Appropriate reasons to miss class would be contagious illness, death in the family, unusual homework overload, etc.
Once a dancer exceeds the number of allowed absences, action will be determined by the instructor and studio owner and may result in the removal of the dancer from this class.
Being Late to Class – Dancers should be ready to enter the classroom on time. Dancers coming from another class will be given a 3 minute curtiousy window of time to use the restroom, get water, etc. Teachers are not responsible for retrieving dancers to start class on time. Any dancers seen in the building that are late for class without viable reason (injury, another teacher is keeping them late, etc.), will be considered as 1⁄4 of the way to an absence.
Arriving to the studio late: We realize that sometimes parents run into traffic, school functions run late, etc. that can make a dancer late in arriving at the studio. However, if a dancer misses more than 1⁄2 of the class time, it will be considered an absence.
Dress Code: All dancers are given 3 times per year to forget their leotard. After the 3rd occurrence, only extreme circumstances will be accepted as a reason to not be in proper dresscode. Acceptable reasons would include: Parent had an emergency and had to have someone else pick the dancer up from school and take them directly to dance. Student outgrew leotard (this will only be accepted for 1 week barring unusual circumstances), etc. After the 3rd lack of dress code, dancers will not be allowed to participate in class, and it will be considered one of their absences.
Classroom Behavior – Dancers should come to class ready to work and dance. It is not social hour. Any student(s) who perpetually goof around/try to socialize during class after 1 warning, will be dismissed from the class for the day, and it will count as an absence.
Maintaining Competitive Dancer Status – All dancers need to continually grow in their abilities to remain a member of the class. If, at any time during the year, an instructor feels that a student is not keeping up with the rest of the class (whether it be in learning choreography or in bettering their technique), they have the authority to remove said student from that class. All students and parents will be notified ahead of time if the dancer is not working up to par and give a fair amount of time to change their habits.
Parents Responsibilities – These are our requirements for competitive dancer’s parents: *Parents must support all competitive dancers equally and make sure the kids support each other. We do not condone unhealthy rivalry between our own dancers. *All competitive parents must perform 1 volunteer job related to recital each year. *Parents should encourage and remind dancers to practice at home whenever necessary.
Please NOTE: By auditioning and/or signing up for any competitive classes, both student and parent are agreeing to the guidelines above.
What to expect prior to competition each year – At the beginning of each year (around October), you will receive a competition schedule. It will list each competition we are participating in for the year and the weekends that they fall on. Plan to reserve each of the 2-3 weekends as we will not know which day the dancers will perform until much closer to competition time. Do not count on your time falling on a certain day/time and schedule other activities.
You will receive a competition statement listing your competition fees about 6-8 weeks prior to competition. The statement will have a due date on it. It is very important to have your competition fees paid by the due date in order for the studio to be able to register your dancer by the company’s deadline.
The competition company will send me the schedule of dance times approximately 7-14 days prior to the competition weekend. I will hand these days/times out immediately after I receive them so you can plan your weekends.
What to do on competition day – Competitions tend to run early. Most will not wait for missing dancers that are not present when their group is called. To avoid missing your dance time, you need to be PRESENT AND READY TO DANCE 1 hour before your assigned time. Note that if your dancer happens to get one of the first time slots of the day, I will let you know and give you a “ready to dance” time that will accommodate without being there too early.
Hair and make-up may be done at home to if you prefer, but costumes are NOT TO BE WORN until you arrive at the competition site.
When you arrive at the competition location, which is usually a school, search the dressing room areas until you find other dancers from our school. We try to keep all of our dancers in one area. If you are the first to arrive, you pick an area in the dressing rooms that looks like a good spot for all of us and set up camp.
For dancers under the age of 10, please stay with your dancer until their teacher or Miss Amber has gathered all the dancers from your group. If your dancer is 10 and up, you may leave them in our dressing room area with the instructions to stay put until their teacher or Miss Amber comes to get them.
Once your dancer is ready or their teacher has gathered the class together, you may find a seat in the auditorium to watch. For groups ages 6-9, please plan on meeting your child immediately after their dance is done in the hallway or dressing room area. They will be chaperoned until a parent has met the dancers. For ages 10 and up, you may give your dancer instructions to meet you in the auditorium after they are done performing or you may also meet them in the hallway/dressing room.
PARENTS! Always have a positive comment ready for your dancer at the end of the dance, but DO NOT LIE TO THEM. If they really messed up, don’t tell them it was perfect. They’ll know it’s not so, and it goes against what we are working towards. If they do poorly, just find one something they did well, and tell them about it. Their instructor will point out everything they need to fix once they are back in the classroom.
Once your dancer is done performing, they may change out of their costume (if they prefer) and watch the competition, get a bight to eat, shop the souvenir tables, etc. until awards time. Awards are generally given out every 3-7 hours. So most of the time, you will only have to wait 0-4 hours to get awards.
Dancers are expected to attend our other groups’ performances whenever possible. It helps the kids on stage to have a large cheering section.
Anytime the dancers leave the dressing room areas or performance areas, they must wear a cover up over their costume. It is unprofessional to walk around the public areas in only a costume. Cover ups can include t-shirts, sweatshirts, TDA comp jackets, etc. This is a TDA rule, not a competition rule. You will see other studios walking around in costume, but we teach our dancers to be young professionals. Any TDA dancer seen walking around in only a costume will be sent to the dressing room area to “cover up” immediately.
For the awards ceremony: All dancers are asked to sit on the stage together. Younger dancers will have a “big sister” dancer to hold their hand and make sure they don’t get separated from the group as large numbers of dancers from all studios participating make their way onto the stage. Once awards are over, you can meet your dancer as they come off the stage.
NOTE: There are many schools that take part in each competition. Not all of them have the same moral standards that TDA has. You may see some costumes and dances that you don’t approve of. We have no control over what other schools may bring and do not condone these situations in any way. Rest assured that being part of our competition group will never mean that your child will perform in an inappropriate fashion. TDA dances and costumes are always age appropriate and family friendly.
The meaning behind the awards – Awards are adjudicated which means that each group is scored against a point system and not other groups. That means that every group will get an award. After the general awards are announced, they will give special awards out to the groups who scored the highest amount of points. Every dancer in each group will receive a ribbon or pin to take home. Some competitions give out trophies for the group. The trophies belong to the studio as they only give out one per group.
Here is a sample of how the judges are scoring the dances. Let’s say a perfect score would be 100 points. Each dance is scored on various categories that account for a portion of those 100 points. For instance: Dance technique could be worth 1-40 points, Performance quality could be worth 1-35 points Choreography could be worth 1-15 points, Costume/appearance could be worth 1-5 points
Music/sound could be worth 1-5 points Depending how well your dance group does in each of these categories, they will receive a score in each point range. Once added up, this will reflect their final score. The final score will determine whether they receive a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. place award.
Remember that the score is only the opinion of the three judges. Sometimes we agree with them and sometimes we don’t. The important thing to remember is that we compete to get the performance experience, not to win all the time. It’s okay to disagree with the judge’s decision, but remember why we’re here. Every critique helps our dancers improve.
All about nationals – Every other year, we will compete in a national competition. You will receive the nationals’ dates on your annual competition schedule in October. Nationals are always held in the summer for approximately 5 days.
Later in the year you will receive a national’s information note giving you the name of the venue as well as the name of the hotel TDA will be staying at. You will only need to be present at nationals the day of your performance, but you may need one to two nights stay at the hotel. Please follow the instructions on your nationals note to accommodate the situation.
Otherwise, national’s runs just like all other competitions.
Please contact us with any questions you may have about our competitive dance program.