Tag Archives: score

How to score better at dance competitions

Cathy Roe dance awards 2010_1Have you ever wondered what it takes to do better at a dance competition? Well wonder no more because Cathy Roe, the founder of Cathy Roe Ultimate Dance competitions has spelled it out for you. Here is the link to her recent Facebook post on this topic, How to Stand Out at Competition. Here are the most important things as Cathy has listed them:

  1. Technique
  2. Rehearsal
  3. Stage Presence
  4. Originality (including unique music!)
  5. Dance within your abilities
  6. Be classy and age appropriate
  7. Show Good Will
  8. Innovative choreography (including using music that connects with you!)

Out of the eight most important things to score well and stand out at a dance competition, TWO of the items include the musical aspect. Reprinted here is the full text of Ms. Roe’s comments on these two aspects, musical aspects emphasized in bold:

4. Our motto “Dare to Be Different” means BE UNIQUE, BE ORIGINAL! I used to tell my students that if we heard a song at a competition, that was a guarantee that we would NEVER dance to that song. There is no dearth of exquisite, exciting, original, emotional, clever, mesmerizing music. If you haven’t checked out Spotify, it’s fantastic for finding music! And as for dance themes…. we see a lot of “love gone wrong” themes, especially from our soloist. The soloist that stands out has a unique and interesting message or song that makes the judges sit up and pay attention because they haven’t seen/heard it before.

8. Bring innovate choreography. How? Be yourself. Think about your life, what you love, your experiences. Listen to music until you find that song that hits you right between the eyes and you say YES! I GET THAT! I FEEL LIKE THAT! Tell a story that matters to you. Forget about imitating anyone and especially because you think what they do what “wins”. Be in it to love it; to be an artist; to be a leader. Be an original thinker, a path finder! My judges are people (that it took me years to find) that will appreciate you for it. But just remember, with all the innovation in the world, we can’t see your vision without technical dancers that can execute it. So I must go back to #1 because it is the technique of your dancers that will display your vision like fine paint on and expensive canvas.

Squirrel Trench Audio is in the business of delivering UNIQUE, original music and remixes to competitive dancers. There are two different ways we can help you in this regard. If you have a music idea, or songs you’d like remixed together, you can use this Request Form to get a price quote from us. In addition, we have a library of unique music remixes for you to choose from on Legitmix. Just take a listen, and if you find one that connects with you, you can purchase it immediately, no waiting! Here’s our catalog of unique remixes:

Get more remixes at Legitmix

Keys to a winning dance competition routine

As pointed out in this article on Suite 101, there are three keys to creating a winning dance routine for competitions.

1.) Start with fantastic and appropriate music. Dance is based on the foundation of music. If you don’t build your routine and choreography on wonderful music, then you are missing out on a major source of emotional impact on the audience and judges. I can help you select winning music for your next competition dance routine. I’ve attended numerous Regional and National dance competitions, and have decades of experience in music. When choosing songs, there are some songs (or versions of songs) that will leave the judges flat. I can help you pick something memorable and appropriate for your dancer. Just let me know the dancer’s personality, age and what song they’ve used previously, and I will give you a couple of suggestions for their next song. Whatever song you select, I can also edit it to the needs of winning competition routines, i.e. the correct duration, and any other minor adjustments it might need, such as a slight tempo change, or boosting the volume without clipping distortion.

2.) Choreography. I am no expert in this field, that is for YOU the dance teacher to make great. I agree with the article; great choreography nearly always tells a story. It doesn’t matter if the audience doesn’t fully understand the story conveyed, if there IS  a story, then the dancer has a message to transmit to the audience, and that’s the important thing.

3.) Costume. Dance is a very visual medium. While the music provides the auditory part of the routine, the costume provides the foundation for the visual part of the routine. The above referenced article goes into greater depth on costume choices.

4.) What this article leaves out is the most important part of a winning dance routine: PRACTICE. Practice equals love. If your student loves to dance, it will manifest itself in the practice habits of the dancer. One of my favorite sayings is the difference between amateurs and professionals is that amateurs practice until they get it right, PROFESSIONALS PRACTICE UNTIL THEY CAN’T GET IT WRONG.

So now we know that music is the foundation of the dance routine. Costume is the foundation of the visual part of the dance routine. Just as you wouldn’t put your dancer on stage with a ripped or torn costume, why would you put your dancer on stage with music that contains scars, hiccups, half-beats, partial measures, jumps, cuts, awkward fade outs, or unnatural silences? I’ve heard all of these music editing mistakes at competitions. Are they enough to reduce the scores from the judges? I don’t know, but why take a chance? Since you put countless hours of rehearsal into your choreography and practice every week, shouldn’t your music reflect the same meticulous level of detail and precision?

When you are ready for your music to step up to your dance, Squirrel Trench Audio is here to deliver.

What have YOU found to be the key to creating a winning dance competition routine?