Congratulations to four New England Dance Center soloists, a duo, and a trio, using Squirrel Trench Audio remixed songs and choreo by Miss Lesley, for winning 1st overall in your category at Star Systems‘ Worcester Regional yesterday morning… and the duo and trio scored the PLATINUM prize as well.
There are more dance competitions to choose from these days than ever before. If you are a dance studio owner, how do you pick which ones to attend? Which ones are well-run and have the most fair scoring?
Squirrel Trench Audio is jumping into the void by presenting a survey of your satisfaction with dance competitions you’ve attended. This 10-page survey asks you to report your satisfaction level overall, and then breaks it down by asking your satisfaction with several aspects, such as judging fairness, dressing room accommodations, quality of photos and videos, etc.
Take the survey and find out how your results stack up with others’ experiences!
Squirrel Trench Audio’s Dance Competition Survey
The first question must be answered for at least one competition; all the rest are optional.
The competitions represented in the survey are:
West Coast Dance Explosion • Nexstar • OnStageNY • Starquest • Dancers Inc • Hall of Fame • Showstopper • Starpower • KAR • Legacy • Star Systems • Candance • Elite Dance Challenge • Headliners • USTD • Bravo • Groove • Power of Dance • Starbound • Turn It Up • Encore Dance • On Stage America • Step Up 2 Dance • Ticket to Broadway • I Love Dance • Spirit of Dance • Sophisticated Productions • Dance America • Access Broadway • NYCDA • Jump/Nuvo • Creation • Tremaine • Dance Makers Inc. • Dance Educators of America • Countdown • Dynamite • Revolution • Showbiz • Primetime • Masquerade • Beyond the Stars • ADA • Dance Machine Productions • Star Talent Productions • Encore DCS • Applause Talent • International Dance Challenge • Platinum Dance • Legacy Dance Championship • Odyssey • VIP • Talent on Parade (TOP) • Thunderstruck • Spotlight
This past weekend, Squirrel Trench Audio was honored to be in the audience for the performances of two amazingly talented young singers at Star Systems’ Worcester Regional Competition.
These two young talents have been rehearsing their singing skills all season long, and with the backing track of Squirrel Trench-mixed instrumentals, have taken home the Top Vocalist and Third Place Vocalist trophies.
The choice of song and choreo for Shaunessey was supplied by Miss Kerrin Clark, and additional choreo for both girls was supplied by Miss Lesley. Additional vocal coaching for Shaunessey supplied by Pam Bussell.
To aid these young singers in improving their performances, I recorded them a month ago, and supplied them with rehearsal CDs that had three versions: the instrumental-only version, a version with a professional reference singer, and their own sung version, which was created by editing together the numerous takes they had laid down in the recording process. The recording process itself is a great learning tool; you can really zero-in on minute details and trouble spots that are not immediately obvious on first listen.
The results speak for themselves, and Squirrel Trench Audio is proud to be associated with these marvelous entertainers.
Here is Shaunessey’s rendition of That’s How You Know
Here is Ava singing Nothing (from A Chorus Line)
Occasionally someone arrives on this site by googling for something like “song length for dance competitions.”
While there is no definitive answer, I can give you some guidance. The most important thing you can do to determine the allowable length of your song is to check the competition rules for each competition you will be entering in for the season. Most competitions follow the same guidelines for maximum allowable length.
Many competitions state that solos can not be longer than 2:45 in length, while group numbers can be 3:00. Some competitions allow for even longer songs with larger groups. For example, Star Systems allows:
• 2:45 for a solo
• 3:00 for a duo or trio
• 3:30 for a small group (4-9 dancers)
• 4:00 for a large group (10-18 dancers)
• 4:30 for productions and lines (19 or more dancers)
However, not all competitions follow these guidelines. For some competitions, 3:00 may be the maximum, no matter what size the group, so be sure to check EACH of the competition rules that your studio is entering for the season.
For recitals, many times the maximum length is 2:00.
Bear in mind that these are maximums. It’s much better to make your routine shorter and tighter than to drag it on and on with no real purpose. Also, more important than the total length is the story arch that the dance and music follow.
Here are the things I keep in mind when trying to determine the right length for a music edit or remix:
For tap or acro, endurance can be a factor, especially for younger students. For younger tappers, 2:00-2:10 can be a good length. More experienced tappers who have built up endurance can be in the 2:20-2:45 range. And in general, younger dancers will want to be in 2:15-2:30 range, and older, more experienced dancers who have developed their style and moves, and want to tell a story with their dance should have music in the 2:45-3:00 range.
Congratulations to Jacob Lill for winning Junior Mister Superstar at Star Systems’ National dance competition 2011 at Myrtle Beach. Jacob was smooth on stage for his brief interview, citing his mother as the coolest person he’s met in real life, and finding nothing bad he could say about his home state of Connecticut. An hour later he was on stage performing That Old Black Magic, choreographed by Lesley Lambert. The music was by Jeremy Davenport, and edited by yours truly. It was somewhat of tricky song to edit, since the tempo of a jazz song will drift slightly through different sections of the song. I am very proud of the results of my audio editing, making the song perfectly seamless.
But I am even more proud of Jacob and his choreographer for all of the hard work they have put into becoming a National Champion!
And now Squirrel Trench Audio can claim to have edited the music for a National Dance Champion! For more on the keys to a winning dance routine, check out this entry.
After months of rehearsal, Pixie Hollow, a dance routine choreographed by Lesley Lambert featuring a music creation of mine has finally premiered at competition. Pixie Hollow started with a concept by Lesley for a character dance centered around the theme of Tinkerbell from Peter Pan. She then searched out several songs on the theme, including Fly To Your Heart and Magic by Selena Gomez and Never Never Land by Jane Monheit, which I mixed along with other music and audio elements to form the soundtrack for the piece.
Here’s the music for Pixie Hollow, along with a couple of glimpses of the costumes backstage:
Pixie Hollow has been performed at three regional competitions to date: Headliners in Lowell MA, Star Systems in Worcester MA, and Onstage New York in Springfield MA. Each performance was great, and the dancers continue to improve and refine their techniques. At its premier at Headliners, it won a High Silver and was invited to go on to the US Dance Team Finals at their Nationals; at Star Systems it won a High Gold; and at Onstage New York it won a Gold and 6th place overall in its age group. Not bad for a group of 8-11 year olds!
If you’d like to hear another Squirrel Trench Remix, check out my remix of Incubus’ Drive. If you’re interested in a having a custom remix created for your studio or your dancers, feel free to contact me; I’d love to create something just as unique for you!