What makes a performance stand out for you?
Confidence! Artistry! Coming onstage and believing you’re awesome is half the battle. I also think it’s important for young dancers to take risks onstage – with their style, emotional execution, musicality. Don’t try and look like the dancer before you – be YOU!
What takes a group performance to the next level for you?
I am a sucker for spatial aesthetics. If the blocking and formation transitions are interesting and well executed, I’m hooked! I also love to see dancers work as a team onstage in group performances. And of course, choreographic cleanliness is important.
What qualities do you specifically look for in performances?
These are in no particular order (all are important!) – Confidence – Performance Quality (facial expressions, telling a story) – Musicality – Strong Technique – Personal Style (adding that bit of you to your movement!) – Energy & Effort
Are there any special tips you would give to first time contestants?
Try your best and that’s enough! It can be overwhelming being onstage for the first time – just know that everyone in the audience (including adjudicators!) is rooting for you and wants you to do well. Try and keep your eyeline up, execute your choreography to the best of your ability and have FUN!!!!!!!!!!
What are you looking for in duo/trio/group routines?
It’s important that duo, trio and group members remember they are a team. There should be moments (hopefully several!) of connection between dancers onstage – e.g. Ideally, a trio won’t look like it’s 3 solos side by side. Try your best to be exactly on time with the music and with each other. Maintain spatial awareness while dancing. Give me your all onstage!
What should every dancer be thinking or remember every time they’re performing?
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what medal you receive – if you tried your absolute BEST onstage, that’s all that matters. Remember why you love to dance – show us that!!! And don’t try and be someone else onstage – we want to see who you are!!
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