As competition season approaches, dancers begin to get nervous about the upcoming dance competitions. Those who have been competing for years may feel fairly confident, especially if they have attended a particular competition in the past and know what to expect. Newer dancers are not as well prepared and often end up getting extremely nervous before their performances. This is to be expected for dancers new to competing, especially as they experience the cut-throat mentality of the many of the other dancers, teachers, parents and studio owners. Fortunately, there are a few dance competitions that are very welcoming, and I believe that the Hall of Fame Dance Challenge is one of them.
The Hall of Fame Dance Challenge features dozens of regional competitions across the United States where dancers come together to perform for each other and gain exposure to other talent. Or at least that’s supposed to be the intent. Many dance competitions spiral out of control due to the overly negative nature of some of the participants. Sometimes the results of these feuds are long held grudges between various dance studios. After competing in at least half a dozen dance competitions each year, I realized that the dance competitions that pitted teams against each other were also the most aggressive and negative dance competitions. In contrast, the dance competitions that were most positive and enjoyable were those that emphasized dancers reaching for their personal best. The Hall of Fame Dance Challenge definitely fit into the latter category, owing to its family friendly nature. After all, the Hall of Fame dance competition is a family business that promotes creative talent as well as respect and fairness. The Hall of Fame dance website even has the Golden Rule posted in the “about us” section, and an explanation of how it applies to their job of running Hall of Fame Dance Challenge.
The Hall of Fame Dance Challenge features a panel of judges who observe, comment on and score the dances performed for them. The judges change from year to year, but are always have a strong background in dance performance, choreography, teaching, or all three. The Hall of Fame dance judges score each dance based on the quality of the dancers’ technique, stage presence, choreography, costume, and other factors. Each judge gives the dance a certain number of points based on the qualities list above, and then the points from all the judges are added together to determine the score of the dance. Hall of Fame Dance Challenge gives awards based on the total score of the dance-these include the usual dance competition award categories of platinum, high gold, gold, high silver and silver. It’s pretty rare for anyone to get under gold, and most dances usually receive a high gold award. In addition to the basic awards, there are “high point” awards given to a select few dances that gained the most points of any dance. Dancers seemed respectful during the awards ceremonies each time I attended the Hall of Fame dance competition. They applauded and cheered for the other dancers, not just the ones from their own studio.
Hall f Fame Dance Challenge hosts three national competitions each year in addition to the several regional competitions. This is a nice alternative from many dance competitions that only have one nationals event in a location that may not be so desirable. The 2010 Hall of Fame Dance Challenge nationals will be held in Las Vegas, Chicago and Orlando. I think it’s great that Hall of Fame dance competition actually holds a competition in the Midwest, because there are so many great dancers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois that usually have pay a fortune to travel to the east or west coast to compete nationally, which is not financially feasible for some dancers.
Overall, I have found the Hall of Fame Dance Challenge to be a good dance competition experience. The Hall of Fame dance competition is always brimming with talent, but still manages to keep a friendly and encouraging atmosphere.