Tyrell Witherspoon

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

I love watching a group truly work as a team and dance as a unit. Even in moments of counter movement when you are all doing different things, seeing a thread of unity is so important and captivating. It also helps you earn moments of unified stillness and unison. Breathtaking.

What makes a performance stand out for you?

Story telling always gets me. What’s going on behind the movement? What is the motivation? You speak to me beyond the steps and you’ve already won me over.

What qualities do you specifically look for in performances?

I look for someone who can capture the essence of dance for me which is a combination of technique and heart. Leave it all on the floor no matter what the tone of the piece. Dance also goes beyond tricks and jumps and turns. Sometimes, a dancer standing still and just curling their fingers is enough to evoke some serious emotion.

What tips would you give to first time contestants?

Have the best time! Competition is a great experience for you to let it all out and express everything you have worked so hard on during the dance year. Give it all you got and remember that adjudications are there to help expand and encourage, not let you feel deflated or defeated. Come as you are and dance with honesty and you’ll feel your best.

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

Just like group routines, team work and camaraderie definitely shine in these moments. Support each other, check in with each other and regardless of how strong you are as soloists, remember that these numbers involve everyone so work together to tell the story.

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

Smile, have fun and remember why you love to dance so much. Whether it is live as hard as you can through your movement or to express something inside that you can’t express through words, move truthfully and honestly and you’ll make an impact with every single step.

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