Today we are talking with Drew Vamosi, Owner/Executive Director of LEAP! National Dance Competition. We asked him to tell us a little bit about what makes LEAP! a different experience for dancers and this is what he had to say…
Can you describe LEAP! for readers who may not have heard of it before?
Leap! is just in it’s third season but has become very popular. We call Leap! our boutique competition because it is only in select cities and has a very relaxed but exciting feel. We make the dancers feel special with our state-of-the-art lights and sound, music videos between each routine, and audience giveaways! We offer two levels of competition, a terrific panel of judges, and much more. All of the staff are uniformed, professional, and helpful. We tend to always run on time or ahead of schedule which makes the event run smoothly.
The competition is open to all ages. Leap! offers two levels of competition. The “LEAP!” level is for the more competitive dancer while the “SKIP!” level offers something for the dancer that may be more interested in the experience of competitive dance and is in the studio 5 or less hours per week.
There are many different dance competitions out there – what makes this one special?
At Leap! we have a very special and popular judging staff. We are the only competition in the industry to have an “ALL MALE” panel of judges! The decision to have an “ALL MALE” panel came about purely by chance. At our very first event we just happened to have 3 men judging that weekend and many teachers told us how they loved the competition…especially the “ALL MALE” panel. They assumed that we had planned it but it just kinda happened. They said that their dancers loved it and that it set us apart from the others so we decided to continue with them!
Our three main judges are Tony Coppola, Gary Vaughn, and Walter Shepherd. They are all amazing in their own rights. Between them they cover everything from Ballet, Tap, Modern, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Gymnastics. This year we are adding for more judges into the mix. At Leap! we try to make sure that all of our judges are versed in all areas of dance and that they have not only taught in the studio world but have also had a professional career in dance.
We get dancers from every aspect of the dance community. We love having new studios compete at Leap! There are many studios just starting to have competition teams and we welcome them to try Leap! Depending on the city, we have all different studios, both big and small, attending Leap!
There is an actual “leap” competition that is part of this…can you walk readers through what that is and how it works?
The “Leap! For The Stars” competition is a special portion of the competition weekend where dancers who chose to sign up get to show off their best leaping abilities. It’s not based necessarily on how high a dancer leaps. Often the judges take into consideration style and creativity. It just depends on the weekend and the amount of dancers that enter. The cost is just $10 so it is affordable for everyone.
It’s broken into two age divisions (4-11 and 12-19). Each dancer gets their turn on stage as they are individually introduced. They can either do a series of leaps across the stage or they can just do one leap right in the middle. Once all of the competitors have had their turn, we give them all a second pass. They can choose to do the same leap or switch things up with a different pass or leap!
After that we bring them all out on stage in a line and the judges reveal if they have a winner. Sometimes when the judges have more than one favorite we have what is called a “LEAP-OFF”. This is where the judges can choose up to three of the dancers to re-compete with one last attempt. When the winner is finally chosen the audience explodes. It’s awesome!
What do you think is the most important thing for a dancer to know going into a competition environment?
Remember that dance is an art not a sport. Competition is to be a fun and enjoyable experience. Be careful not to get wrapped up in the outcome. It shouldn’t be about winning or losing. Just remember that your emphasis should be on doing your best. That’s all we can do. Just being able to be on stage performing with a chance to take away a top honor should be incentive enough. The great thing about today’s competition world is that there are many choices and if it doesn’t go the way you had hoped one week there is always another chance the following week at the next competition.
Where can those who are interested learn more information?
To learn more about dates and locations please look for our ad in Dance Spirit Magazine or Studio Life Magazine. We invite everyone to visit our website at www.leapcompetition.com for rules and online registration. Or feel free to give us a call toll free at 1-877-272-8641
Disclosure: 4dancers accepts compensation to promote LEAP! dance competitions