Spotlight Dance Cup 2017

Our final regional competition of the 2017 season, was Spotlight Dance Cup. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did last year. As far as the competition itself went, it was fine. I can’t put my finger on any one thing that made it less enjoyable for me, but it wasn’t my favorite. Maybe I was just tired, due to going from the competition to my brother’s wedding, and then back to the competition the next day … I don’t know.

I certainly don’t love the Roy Wilkins Auditorium as a venue for competitions. It makes for an expensive weekend, especially for those families that had dancers who competed multiple days, which we did. It adds up quick.! There are parking fees and food costs just to name a couple (we paid $14 for a small order of fries and 2 beverages, and later, $4.75 for a bottle of water).

On top of those costs associated with the venue, the program book was $15, a cost higher than at other competitions. It was smaller than most, which is not a big deal, but there was only one page to write special awards and their top recognition awards. It was annoying to have to keep going through the program to write everything down.  In general though, each award session went too fast to catch it all any way.

Things I enjoyed about Spotlight

  • They had a dance off which was fun to watch. Dancers were taught a short routine, and then they performed it several times, competing for a place in the final round.
  • There was great merchandise for sale. My daughter got a pair of shorts.
  • Phil, the Show Director, was really fun. He was very positive, and had a lot of energy.
  • There must have been microphones on the stage, because you could really hear the tap dancers. I like when you can hear all their sounds!
  • The program listed the choreographers for each routine. I liked that, because I often try to guess who choreographed routines. It was sort of like using the answers at the end of a math book to see if you were right. 😉

Other Commentary 

  • In my program, I wrote a note saying, “What’s with the angled wings? Dancers kept running into them.” I saw dancers in groups of all sizes tripping up in, and struggling to get past the wings when they need to switch lines backstage. I would imagine that it could also make entrances a struggle when they need to come onstage in a straight line (especially for younger dancers who may not have fully developed spacial awareness, which would help them know to turn their bodies as they got to the stage entrance).

A few of the hip hop dancers from my daughter’s team.

  • Instead of having all of one style of dance at a time, the styles were all mixed together throughout the day. I have mixed opinions about this. On one hand, I wonder if it makes it easier, or harder for judges to have to keep switching gears while scoring. On the other hand, audience members weren’t watching the same style of dance over and over. This can be good or annoying, depending on the person. I personally like when similar styles are grouped together.
  • There seemed to be computer issues several times, causing delays in the competition.

There were many of the same groups we saw the rest of the season. The routines were amazing every time! We did see a few new groups. That’s always refreshing.

The judging at this competition can be a little confusing. Instead of Platinum, High Gold, Gold, and Silver, this competition used a different ranking system. At Spotlight, Diamond is the highest score a group can get, Ruby is the second highest, then Emerald, then Sapphire. What makes it really confusing (I heard several parents in the audience trying to figure it out), was that they used the same ranking system for routines (vs 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on). So, a dance that scored in the highest range of points could get a Diamond, but then get an Emerald for their overall ranking (meaning they got 3rd place). Many routines, including several of ours, got Ruby or Diamond for their score, but didn’t place at all. I heard many audience members who were very frustrated not knowing what was going on during awards.

Our dancers did well overall. Most routines scored Ruby or Diamond, some even placed in the overalls. We got some special recognition awards for clean routines, choreography, Best in Musical Theater, and more.

After this competition, we looked forward to recitals and Nationals coming up…. Now, we are at the beginning of a new season. With my daughter doing 8 routines this year, it is sure to be extra busy, but also fun!

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