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Dance Competition vs. Convention: Where to focus?
by Discount Dance | Posted on Feb. 23rd 2024

Dance conventions and competitions serve distinct purposes in the dance community, offering unique opportunities for dancers to learn, grow, and showcase their talents. Here's a breakdown of the differences between the two:

Dance Conventions:

  1. Learning Opportunities: Dance conventions primarily focus on workshops, masterclasses, and seminars conducted by industry professionals. Dancers have the chance to enhance their skills, learn new techniques, and gain insights from experienced instructors while having a lot of fun!
  2. Skill Development: Conventions offer a wide range of classes covering various dance styles, choreography, technique, improvisation, and performance skills. Dancers can explore different genres and refine their abilities in a supportive learning environment, while parents can enjoy the pool or amenities.
  3. Networking: Conventions provide opportunities for dancers to connect with peers, instructors, and professionals in the dance industry. Networking can lead to collaborations, mentorships, and future career opportunities.

Dance Competitions:

  1. Performance Platform: Dance competitions focus on showcasing choreographed routines and performances. Dancers compete against others in their age group or category, aiming to impress judges and earn awards or recognition.
  2. Evaluation and Feedback: The most important part of competing is the process of learning and evolving. Competitions involve judges critiquing performances based on criteria such as technique, execution, musicality, and stage presence. Dancers receive valuable feedback to help them improve their skills and artistry.
  3. Competition Atmosphere: Competitions create a competitive atmosphere where dancers strive to excel and stand out. They gain experience performing under pressure and learn valuable lessons about sportsmanship, resilience, and dedication.

Cost Considerations:

Dance Conventions: Conventions can get pricey and often involve an entire weekend with travel, accommodations, meals and optional extras such as merchandise and photos. This is in addition to the typical registration fees, which cover access to workshops and classes.

Dance Competitions: Competitions involve registration fees for each routine entered, along with expenses for costumes, props, travel, accommodation, and other related costs. The total cost can vary depending on the number of routines and the competition's location.

Which One Should My Child Go To?

The decision between attending a dance convention or competition depends on your child's goals, interests, and preferences. In recent years of the 'So You Think You Can Dance' era, cross training is essential and many professionally trained dancers attend both ballet competitions and conventions.

Choose a Dance Convention If: Your child is focused on skill development, looking to learn from a variety of industry professionals, and expanding their dance repertoire. Conventions offer a supportive and educational environment for dancers of all levels covering several genres.

Choose a Dance Competition If: Your child enjoys performing and thrives in a competitive setting. Competitions provide opportunities for dancers, especially ballerinas, to get scholarships, practice, receive feedback from judges, and challenge themselves to grow and evolve.

Ultimately, both dance conventions and competitions offer valuable experiences for dancers. Consider your child's individual needs and aspirations when making the decision, and support them in pursuing opportunities that align with their goals and interests. Additionally, it's essential to factor in practical considerations such as cost, schedule, and logistics when planning participation in either event.



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