Competition season is coming to a close with hundreds of National Competitions taking place all over the country. Along with competing routines dancers usually have a chance to take convention classes from professional teachers and choreographers. This past week a local dance team, Fusion Dance Team, attended the Hollywood Vibe National Competition in Myrtle Beach, SC. Dancers took classes from incredible teachers who pushed their students to new limits. These classes are unlike most classes that dancers are used to taking. After the initial morning warm-up every class is an hour to forty-five minute choreography class. Teachers work to pump out as much choreography in a short amount of time to allow the dancers to try performing in groups. For experienced and inexperienced dancers alike these classes can be physically and mentally demanding.
There are some important tips to remember when taking these classes. Students look to absorb as much information and choreography as possible. Always remember that as perfect as you try to make the movement mistakes happen. Focus on the choreography but when it comes time to perform the teachers are looking for that artistic style not just perfect technique. Of course that technique should be present but if you happen to forget a step never stop moving. Always be confident and it will help you become a stronger performer. Listen to the advice the teachers give you. Not only are they teaching you movement but they provide some great words of wisdom to help students establish a good work ethic and become the dancer that will stand out and get the job.
Many of these classes are similar to an audition process. You have a very short amount of time to learn choreography and even less time to perfect and perform it. In an audition setting or convention class you will see some of the best dancers around and everyone has wonderful technique, but it is the actual performance element that you need to stand out and get noticed. Teacher and former So You Think You Can Dance contestant Kent Boyd told the students to always feel something whenever you are dancing. It is that emotional presence that will help connect a dancer to their audience. The ability to pick up choreography is a skill to practice just as much as perfecting your technique. Teachers should even try to incorporate classes every now and then to help students pick up material quicker. Practice makes perfect with everything you do and the ability to pick up movement quickly is just another skill to perfect.