Team Clinics and Auditions for the Elite Company’s 2017/18 Team

will be held on July 6-8, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Welcome to Competition Dance at Dance Elite!

Here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about competition dance.

What is a “Team Clinic and Audition”?

Before trying out for the team, you will participate in two fun-filled mornings of team clinics where you will learn and practice choreography in multiple genres with all the other dancers as a group.  Then on the last day, you will be assigned a partner who will audition with you.  During the audition, you will dance the choreography that you learned in the previous two mornings of dance clinics.  The clinics are great fun, and are a terrific opportunity to meet the other dancers and make some new dance friends!

What is Competition Dance?

Competition dance is like many other sports.  Dancers compete against other dancers within a geographical region at events called “Competitions”.  It is similar to football, where teams of football players compete against each other at games, with the exception being that, in football, players compete against one team at a time.  In competition dance, dancers compete against many other dancers over the course of 1-2 days.  The winners at a regional competition then compete against winners from other regions at a competition called “Nationals” or “Finals”.

When and Where are the Competitions Held?

This is different for each season.  The current season’s schedule of competition dates and locations is available at the end of July of each season, following auditions and team placements.  We often compete in Knoxville, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville.

How Are Dancers Grouped for Competition?

Dancers are grouped for judging according to their age and level of experience.

  1.  Age – most competitions will group ages together for judging according to the size of the competition.  For example, the age groups might be something like this:  Petite (8 and under), Junior (9-12), Teen (13-15), Senior (16-19), Adult (20 and over).  These age groups are usually for judging group dances with 4 or more dancers.  If your child is doing a solo, the ages are often broken down even further; many even judge each age separately in certain categories such as Contemporary and Jazz where they have the most contestants in those specific categories.
  2. Level of Experience – most competitions have multiple levels of competition with dancers being judged against other dancers within their similar level of experience.  This is often categorized by the number of hours each student spends in dance class.  For example, students who take less than 3 hours per week of classes and have never competed before may be in a “Recreational or Beginner” category; students who take less than 5 hours per week may be in an “Intermediate” group; and students who take more than 5 hours of class per week may be in an “Advanced” group.
What Types of Dances Compete?

There are many Categories (genres of dance) in a competition.  The most common types include:

Acrobatic Dance- uses tumbling or acrobatic skills and demonstrates flexibility

Baton- uses a baton and showcases twirling techniques

Ballet- uses classical steps and movements

Cheerleading- consists of vocal cheering with precise , sharp movements throughout

Clogging- uses clogging/buck style;  Clogging shoes only

Contemporary– a routine consisting of some combination of lyrical, modern, and jazz techniques

Folkloric- uses dance styles of a particular ethnic group

Modern- uses modern style technique, moves and choreography

Hip Hop- uses street-style moves, including those seen in current dance videos

Jazz- uses strong jazz technique, may include some hip hop moves

Jazz Character- portrays a recognizable character throughout and uses strong jazz technique

Lyrical- combination of jazz, modern and ballet techniques utilizing the lyrics or mood of the music

Musical Theatre- interprets a song from a Broadway or movie musical

Open- any style or combination of styles

Pointe- uses primarily classical pointe technique; Pointe shoes only

Pom pon- uses poms and consists of sharp, distinct movements

Production- (Lines only) Uses any style or combination of styles, themes, group work

Song and Dance- incorporates a balance of singing and any style dancing

Tap- uses tap technique and steps; Tap shoes only

Tap Character- must portray a recognizable character and use tap technique and steps

What are Group Divisions?

These generally relate to the number of dancers in a performance.  The divisions usually fall along these lines:  Solo, Duet (Duo)/Trio, Small Group (4-9 performers), Large Group (10-18 performers), and Line (19 or more performers).  Each division is judged separately and dancers may compete in any number of divisions.

How are the Dancers Judged?

There is a panel of judges and dancers are awarded (or deducted) points in several different categories.  These categories are generally similar to this:  Routine Execution 10-25 points; Technique 15-35 points; Stage Presence 5-25 points; Routine 5-10 points, Costume/Appearance 1-5 points.  The judges scores are then added together to achieve a final score for each routine.

What is the Financial Responsibility?

There are a number of costs associated with Competition Dance.  These are typical:

  1.  Entry fees – These depend on the division in which your child competes.  Typically, solos are $110 per routine, duos/trios are $120 per routine (this would be split between the dancers), and small groups, large groups and line groups are $45 per dancer.  These entry fees vary among the different competitions, but they are all in this approximate range.
  2. Competition Class – All dancers who are on the Team must be enrolled in a non-competition dance technique class (ballet, lyrical, tap, jazz or hip hop) as well as Competition Technique and the Rehearsal class for their routine.  Weekly competition rehearsal classes and Competition Technique class are the same price as other dance classes.  These classes are an additional class per week, so the pricing schedule would be the same as adding any other class:
    1. 2 classes per week  $95
    2. 3 classes per week  $130
    3. 4 classes per week  $150
    4. Competition Dancers ONLY – Unlimited 50-minute classes per week  $170 (excluding additional competition routines).  Extended 75-minute classes add $15.
  3. Costumes – Costumes generally cost $50 – $125 each, plus tights and shoes.  Each routine has a separate costume.
  4. Private Instruction – If your child would like to compete a solo, duo or trio, private classes are required for them to learn their choreography.  Privates for competition choreography are scheduled around our regular class schedule.  See the desk to schedule solo, duo or trio times.
  5. Team Warm-Up Jackets and Pants – Each child will need a team jacket and pants that they will wear to every competition throughout the season.  The price will be determined when the style is chosen for this season, but will be in the $100-$150 price range.
  6. Miscellaneous – Some miscellaneous expenses you may incur include food and beverages while you’re at the competition, make-up, hair spray, bobby pins, the purchase of a video of your child’s performance, hotel if you choose to spend the night, etc.
What is the Time Commitment?

Dancers will learn and rehearse group choreography in Competition Rehearsal class.  Solos, duos and trios will learn and rehearse their choreography on the days and times scheduled with the desk.  As we near the dates of our competition, we may call additional rehearsals if necessary.  An exact schedule of when dancers will perform on competition days is generally issued by the competition organizers approximately 10 days prior to the competition.  Once we know an exact time that we are scheduled to perform, we will be required to be present and ready to perform one and a half hours before our scheduled time slot.  Awards may be presented at the end of each division, at the end of the day, or at the end of the entire competition.  Depending on how dances and awards are scheduled, you may be at a competition for one day to dance and return the next day for awards.

How Many Dance Classes Must My Dancer Take to Compete?

A dancer must be enrolled in at least one dance class, the Competition Technique class, and the Rehearsal class for their routine.  Some classes also have prerequisite classes, such as lyrical, which requires ballet registration and/or training to register.