DSL Gets a ‘Gold’ for Competition-Themed News and Events

Ready, set, high gold! You’ve picked out the music and the moves for your competitive team, and now the Rhee Gold Company is ready with all the strategies, enthusiasm, and advice you need to make sure your competition season is a winning one.

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September 2012 Table of Contents

COLUMNS Ask Rhee Gold Advice for Dance Teachers 2 Tips for Ballet Teachers by Mignon Furman 2Tips for Hip Hop Teachers by Geo Hubela 2Tips for Modern Teachers by Bill Evans 2 Tips for Tap Teachers by Stacy Eastman A Better You | Fighting Fatigue by Suzanne Martin, PT, DPT . . .

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Playing by the Rules

It’s happened to you, right? One day, when your head is full of choreography, itineraries, costume adjustments, and competition schedules, a student comes up to you with a look on her face that says you’re not going to like what she’s going to tell you. And you’re right. She cannot make the next two rehearsals, she says. Nine days before the competition.

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From Ho-Hum to Knock ’Em Dead

At the end of a four-day competition, my fellow teachers and I were frustrated with our students’ performances and the competition results. These kids were the nicest in town, but quite honestly, they were rather boring onstage. They were beautiful dancers but not strong performers.

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YAGP Film ‘First Position’ Nears May 4 Release Date

Eager dance competition fans are getting the first peek at the poster for the upcoming documentary First Position, which chronicles six young dancers’ trials and tribulations in the Youth America Grand Prix, the prestigious annual ballet competition that draws contestants from all over the world.

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Joyce Theater Student Competition Entry Deadline February 10

Returning for its third year, Dancin’ Downtown at The Joyce Theater, is a competition that provides dance students the opportunity to be seen by a diverse and distinguished group of dance luminaries on one of the most prestigious dance stages in New York City.

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Kennedy Dance Senior Students Prepare for YAGP Semifinals

Three students from Kennedy Dance Theatre in Webster, Texas, will be competing in the semifinals of the Youth America Grand Prix set for February 3 to 5 in Dallas—the first time students from the studio have entered the prestigious competition.

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StarQuest Bans ‘Dance Moms’ From Future Competitions

The producers behind the Lifetime reality TV show Dance Moms have been banned from one of the biggest children’s dance competitions in the country after event organizers complained about the way the event was portrayed on the show last year, according to TMZ.

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Ovation TV Runs ‘Once Dance One Chance’ to win a $10,000 Grant

Ovation, a television network devoted to arts culture, has just announced a national dance competition, “One Dance One Chance” where dance studios or ensembles have a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship and get national television exposure.

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Trips Without Tears

Lost reservations. Not enough rooms booked. Scheduling conflicts. Broken-down buses. Whiny, bored kids. Was your last trip with your dancers so stressful that you’re threatening to say the heck with going to competitions or other performance opportunities?

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Youth Dance Festival of NJ Makes Plans for Seventh Season

The Youth Dance Festival of New Jersey, hosted by Kozlov Dance International, will run its seventh edition of the festival and dance competition October 8 and 9 at the Russ Berrie Center for the Performing Arts of Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J.

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Ask Rhee Gold

Hi Rhee, I am toying with the idea of making my teachers part-time employees versus independent contractors. A neighboring studio owner contacted me about a teacher of hers whom she pays as a contractor (1099 income) threatening to report her to the Labor Department about her payment practices. How should we proceed?

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Technique + Heart = Art

At a Dance Masters of America competition last March, the students of The Gold School got a standing ovation, and it wasn’t just for their technique. It was because of their artistry. Seven years ago, when Rennie Gold, director of the Brockton, Massachusetts, school, decided to scale back from the competition scene and showcase his students through a series of benefit concerts, his goal was to create artists through dance.

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EditorSpeak

You hear it all the time, from studio owners and competition directors: competing isn’t about winning; it’s about the experience. About learning, teamwork, developing stage presence, testing your limits, finding out whether you’re a minnow or a giant koi in the big pond of the competition arena. All good stuff.

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Competition Made Simple

If the thought of the upcoming competition season makes your stress level skyrocket, I have one word for you: prepare. Know what you want and how to achieve it. With careful planning, good communication, realistic goal setting, a professional attitude, and a firm grip on your standards, you can make your school a winner at every competition. And no, I’m not talking about trophies, awards, and medals.

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Dishin’ With the Directors

Dance Studio Life asked dance competition directors across the United States to share what’s on their minds. Their responses to our questions (some did not answer all questions) appear in alphabetical order by company name (sometimes abbreviated). We thank them all for their participation:

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Danspirations: The Process is the Prize with Bruce Marks

Bruce Marks is one of the world’s most respected ballet masters. DanceLifeTV.com caught up with him at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, where he served as the jury chairman. Hear his inspiring words on what dance means to him, the evolution of dance technique, and his thought-provoking comments on the competition experience in the ballet world. You’ll be inspired by a true master of the ballet world—guaranteed.

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Rhee’s Blog | Judging the Judges | Opinion

The moment you sit at a judges table, it is your responsibility to have absolutely no prejudices about a school, teacher or a certain style of dance. A judge is there to adjudicate what is being presented on that stage, at that moment in time, with a focus on the technical skill of the dancers, their choreography, performance skills and all the other things that come into play when you put those numbers on paper. That’s it.

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Rhee’s Blog | An opinion-dance competition

Some dance people on Facebook post that they are going to kick butt at a competition. I wonder if they are missing the point? Are they passing the “kick butt” mentality on to their students and parents who will be disappointed if they don’t end up kicking butt? Instead should we express how excited we are to see other …dancers do their thing? We need to understand that dance is a gift, not a tool to beat others?

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Competition: What We Gain By Losing

Although I discourage using the word “lose,” it’s the best way to make my point. Some of the smartest and brightest people got that way from losing many of their battles. We learn from the losing process or by not getting what we want. It’s how we improve ourselves.

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On My Mind | September 2008

Several weeks ago I hosted a national dance competition for some old friends. It had been five years since my last national competition experience, so I didn’t know what to expect. But as I sat in the host chair, I was pleasantly surprised. The caliber of talent and creativity was better than I expected, and I love to see young dancers with an obvious passion for our art. They were abundant at this event.

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Ballet Scene | Leaping Into the Future

On a warm Friday evening in April, the packed audience at the 860-seat Skirball Center for the Performing Arts breathes as one. Together the viewers gasp as a petite dancer loses her balance at the end of an impressive variation; they burst into applause as the next dancer executes 16 perfectly placed fouettés; and they fall into respectful silence as yet another competitor’s number is announced. The crowd is a mixture of nervous fellow competitors, eager young dance students, attentive coaches, and proud parents, all gathered in lower Manhattan for the final rounds of the Youth America Grand Prix.

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Words to Learn By

Most dance teachers would think twice before saying that the reason they send their students to competitions is to win, win, win! There’s no denying that coming home with an award in hand is a heady feeling, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the real reason for competing, most would agree, is that it offers students—and teachers as well— one heck of a learning experience. Although the in-the-moment glow of being onstage has its own lessons, much of what can be learned at a competition comes in the form of words: valuable words of advice and constructive criticism offered by the event’s judges.

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Common Ground: for teachers and students | Competition Kids Tell It Like It Is

With the competition field growing every year, there must be some persuasive reasons why young dancers keep showing up at these events weekend after weekend. Who better to tell us why they compete than the students themselves? Dance Studio Life talked to six students who told us why they put their hearts and souls into the competition team, what they are learning, and the joys and sorrows of competing.

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Dancing for Dollars

Owners of dance studios that participate in competitions know that to do well requires hard work, good choreography, and dedicated and talented dancers. So when you hear “And the first-place winner is . . .” and your studio’s name is called, you have reason to be excited and proud of your accomplishments. It’s likely that a lot of people participated in making that number first rate: the teachers who gave the students good technique, the studio owner who provided them with the opportunity to compete, the choreographer who shared his or her creativity with them—and of course the students themselves, who carried out the assignment effectively.

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