Laurie-Ann Matthews










What takes a group performance to the next level for you?

For me, what takes a group performance to the next level is a feeling of coherence. When a dance and the performers present a complete thought or story there is a focus and every individual is invested in the experience. This shows strength within a group permitting me to observe the piece as a whole and not looking for individual critics/weaknesses.

What makes a performance stand out for you?

A performance that stands out for me is one that can touch on all my senses.

I can see the detail in the training, the focus on technique and the development of the performance.
I can feel the emotion of the dancers and the performance on a whole.
I can taste how bad the dancers want it and how involved they are in the experience.
I can hear the nuances and breadth of the music through the movements in the performance.

Collectively, the pallet of a performance should be a fond memory to me. One which I can recall long after it has been experienced.

What qualities do you specifically look for in performances?

The qualities I look for when adjudicating are; technique, emotional connection, attainable level of difficulty with minimal tricks. I appreciate a dance that is age appropriate, in choreography, music and costuming.

What tips would you give to first time contestants?

Tips that I would give to first time contestants are to enjoy the process/journey as much as you enjoy the finished product. Don’t let anyone’s thought of you define who you are as a person. Remember to be in the moment and don’t think about what was or what will be. Live it!

What are you looking for in duo/trio/group routines?

I look for creativity and risk in performance between the dancers working in duets, trios and groups. The use of levels and patterns and most importantly, the cause and effect in the relationship of the performers is ideal for a successful result.

What should every dancer be thinking or remember every time they’re performing?

Every dancer and parent should recognize that this is a small moment in the big picture of a dancer’s life. Every experience involved in the preparation, the immediate moment on stage, and how we react to the end result will shape us. Enjoy the experience and be an example on how you want to remember and be remembered when you dance.


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