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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dance to EXPRESS, not IMPRESS


I just finished judging a dance competition this weekend and considering it was the company's first season doing it, it went pretty well minus some minor petty studio dramas. Sadly, what's a true dance competition without it?!!

Amist my sharing of good and bad comments throughout adjudication, a major quality that was missing from several dancers(not ALL but several) was quite simply their passion (aka self-expression, hunger, love, magic, connection to the movement and music) It seems like a given right? Without any of that, it's so difficult for me to even pay attention to you. No amount of straight lines, millions of fouettes, high battements, or MIA-inspired contemporary drops to the floor can impress me more than straight dancing from the heart. The role of these dance teachers are to find that in their students and bring it out each and every time on that stage. It all sounds so simple doesnt it?

Having been a competition dancer myself, I do feel that there is a healthy need for competition. However, when the competition goal is ONLY about winning and placing PLATNIUM, then I guarantee our next generation of dancers will lack the love, depth, and high caliber required to sustain a healthy career in dance and life. When it comes down to only IMPRESSING and not EXPRESSING, the art and true gift of dance vanishes.

As a side note, I was also very disappointed that there were ony THREE Hip Hop Numbers in the whole competition:( I was hoping for more but that's what we got and I had to live without some funky moves over the weekend. It's a different market so completely understood. But get more HIP HOP numbers in there!

I will be judging a few other dance competitions in the following weeks and will keep you posted. Congratulations to all the dancers that made it out this weekend. You did a fantastic job.

Please keep reminding me on that stage why exactly I danced, dance, and will continue to dance forever. And more than likely that feeling may not come from a perfect fouette.

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