In a way, dancers are like runners preparing for a marathon.
No, we don’t dance 13.1 or 26.2 miles. But we do set goals and prepare to hit them.
Just like everyday people train to run marathons, dancers in our studio often train for a dance competition. And whether or not you ever want to compete, from your first lesson, we will encourage you to set goals for your dancing so we can guide our curriculum to help you achieve them.
Our students represent every age bracket and stage of life, though the majority are between 45 and 60 years of age and many are female. Still, we have couples, men, teens, senior citizens, and dancers from every category compete, too.
The competition circuit is interesting. Once you get into it, you really want to go more. It all depends on time and resources. Most people don’t start dancing with a goal of competing but once they achieve ease on the dance floor, they want to up their game.
An average regional competition draws 6,000-8,000 entries. Many people dance 50 to 100 entries throughout the competition. Consider that one dance is an entry lasting a minute and a half, and competitions last several days or fill an entire week.
And, competitions draw some 200-300 people. Fun! That’s just a regular competition. A big competition, like the three Fred Astaire nationals, which are some of the biggest dance competitions in America, we’ll see anywhere from 13,000 to 15,000 entries, and close to 150-200 people for the whole week.
A competition is different than just dancing itself. There is camaraderie, a team atmosphere. We cheer each other on, support one another in our entries.
There are incredibly ornate dresses and vendors to support every aspect of dancing – from shoes to costumes to more.
The lights shine, the people are glamorous, electrified with enthusiasm, and they range from beginner level bronze to a very advanced gold dancer dancing open routines and four different dance styles.
Our competition days begin at 7 a.m. and go until 10 or 11 p.m. While the majority of the dancing is by amateurs, we get to see professionals, too, and boy, is it a great show.
From the moment you rise, you step into the role of dance performer, with your hair and makeup done for you as you get all glammed up. Then, you’re dancing all day and enjoying dinners at night with your friends and colleagues. Perhaps you go out as a group to see a show or gather for scheduled entertainment. Whatever the plans, you’re together in a community of really happy people who are so glad you’re there.
The goal for most people when they come to our studio is to learn to dance. They may want to make friends or meet like-minded peers. Few start off wanting to compete.
But once you get past your initial nervousness, you realize how much fun it is dance, and how happy it makes you, and you just keep going. You set new goals and work hard to achieve them and before you know it, this is your community, your peer group, your happy place.
It’s really fun to find the place that you fit. Many people say it’s here at our studio.