I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what it too deep to find for words. – Ruth St. Denis
The first reason to compete is to have an independent set of judges examine your students’ abilities and level of accomplishment. In a well-run competition, you will receive a detailed score sheet for each performance with entries made by three different judges. The score sheet will rate all aspects of the performance so that you can pinpoint areas that need improvement as well as those that are working well. No matter how great a teacher you may be, you should not work in a “vacuum” limiting yourself and your dancers. Getting the benefit of three extra “sets of eyes” (three judges) will not only show you where to improve your students’ techniques, it will help you to become a better teacher.
There are many Dance Competition events to choose from. I may advise you to select competitions that provide “video critiques”. This is a video of the performance with verbal commentary by each of the judges (in effect you get three videos-one for each judge). The judges will tell you what they see as being done correctly or not. When used in conjunction with the detailed score sheets, the competitive performance becomes a tremendous training tool.
Competition events provide an excellent opportunity for your student to gain “stage experience”. The setting is usually on a big stage with lights and professional audio. Your students enjoy the thrill of performing “like a professional”. For those students who will go on to dance careers, these experiences are invaluable.
The other important reason to compete is the “reward”. Your students train hard all season and deserve to see their dedication rewarded. Getting up on stage, putting on a great performance, and then earning a top prize and great score; these are the true measurements of success for a student dancer. One need only look at the face of a child performer who has just won an award, or watch the excitement of a group of dancers who are given a top award, to understand. The memories of these events will last a lifetime.
”Dancers today can do anything; the technique is phenomenal.
The passion and the meaning to their movement
can be another thing.” – Martha Graham