Today we have Drew Vamosi with us to talk about dance competitions. Drew is one of the people behind Leap! National Dance Competition, and we asked him to share some thoughts on what Leap! judges look for, as well as his tips for preparing to compete…
How important do you feel overall appearance is in terms of competition? Does what the dancer is wearing matter, or is a nice, neat presentation enough?
The dancer needs to wear a costume that fits the piece and the dancer’s body type. Often we see costumes that are not flattering on the dancer especially when weight is a factor. The dancer needs to feel confident and a costume that fits helps immensely!
What is the biggest mistake you see dancers making at your competitions?
Being unprepared and dancing beyond their abilities. The most important aspect of competing is how well you know the routine and what technique the dancer is able to execute properly.
Having a routine that is well rehearsed, clean, and polished is a must. Also, often routines are filled with what many refer to as “tricks” that the dancer is not capable of executing. This can only bring down their score.
The judging panel would much rather see what the individual or group can do properly rather than what they attempt to do.
What draws your eye to a particular performer?
Genuine showmanship! When a dancer takes the stage and pours all the love they have into their routine the entire theater can feel it! There is nothing better than to watch a dancer really perform their heart out!
Are technique and presence equal when it comes to how you evaluate performances—or does one influence you more than the other?
At Leap! technique counts for 40% of the score while performance counts as 30%. That being said, they really go hand in hand. Neither can be achieved without the other. The combination is so important for the judges to see if the dancer wants to make it tin the overalls.
Preparing for dance competitions can be difficult. What would you recommend in terms of getting ready for a Leap! Competition?
Get a good nights sleep. It can be often difficult to turn you mind off the night before a competition, but sleep can make all the difference. Also, getting to the theater early to stretch gets the dancers mind and body in place for a long day of competition.
What is the most helpful thing a parent can do to help prepare their child for competition?
Unconditional love with lots of hugs and kisses. Letting them know that you are proud of them know matter what the outcome. Reinforcing to them that the most important thing is to get on that stage and have fun!
Disclosure: 4dancers accepts compensation for promoting Leap! National Dance Competition