BravO! Dance & Talent Competition

This year, Lake Area Dance Center went to a new (to us) competition, BravO! Dance & Talent Competition. This was our last Regional Competition of the year. It was a great way to end the season!

I really liked this competition. Many parents and dancers said it felt more like a show, which made it even more fun. They had the lights go down between dances, which several dancers that I talked to said they liked. Before the awards sessions, there was a musical intro, light show, etc. It really built it up, making it fun to watch! On the screen on the sides of the stage, it said what award they were giving, which helped when trying to follow along with all the extras that we weren’t familiar with. The emcee was quite entertaining too. He had some corny commentary while props were being set up or taken down, or if there was any downtime while waiting for a group to finish a costume change. It was pretty funny (if you like cheesy humor).

Another nice thing about this competition, was that it wasn’t spread out over several days. It was very small – 2 days, and done! The downside that came with that, was that there were a lot of FAST costume changes. There were typically 4 dances in between each routine.

The Venue

This competition was held at Chanhassen High School. The theater was very nice. Acoustics were great, the stage was a decent size, There were two downsides of this venue. The first was that there were a million stairs to get down to the dressing room. There was no elevator accessible. When you have 8 costumes, and all the shoes that go with each dance, that bag is really heavy to carry down! With so many quick changes, going up and down the steps super fast was exhausting (for the parents, and we weren’t even the ones dancing). I don’t know how the dancers did it! The other downside of this venue, was that there were no concessions. The upside, is families could bring in food, which meant potentially healthier choices, and less cost to families. The boutique did have candy and water (maybe pop too) for those who needed something quick.

The Breakdown

One thing that was new (and a bit confusing), were the levels that dancers competed at. The first level, was “Encore!”, which would be the equivalent of recreational or novice. Next was “O!verture”, which would be like the intermediate level. Finally, was the “BravO!” level, which is the equivalent of the advanced level.

Categories were broken down by age, which made it seem like there were a lot of divisions. For example, within Junior, there was Junior (9), Junior (10), and Junior (11). There were also a ton of different awards they gave out at the overalls. There was the Entertainment Award, Outstanding Performance, Choreography, Standing Ovation, and Costume Award. There were scholarship opportunities (for dance intensives in Chicago), a Discount Dance Supply gift certificate raffle, and an Excellence in Showmanship Award. For this last award, the winner got a bag with a few goodies from Discount Dance Supply.

Another thing that was a little different was the scoring. The highest scores received a Platinum. Next, was Elite High Gold (we are used to High Gold at this level). I believe Gold was next, though, I don’t recall seeing any given.

During awards, they always called the teacher up for the 1st place winners. It was sometimes a bit awkward while we waited for the teacher to come up. They almost should have sat the teachers on the side of the stage so it would have been easier for them to get up there, and/or waited to interview the dancer until the teacher was there.

Duets/trios only got 1 medal. Participants could purchase a 2nd/3rd medal from the boutique if they wanted to. This caused some frustration for some of the younger kids when they placed. The only other thing I didn’t like about awards, actually had more to do with the program. It wasn’t overly expensive (I think $10). What I didn’t like about it, was that it didn’t have a place to write the awards. They did awards in a way that it was not too bad to go back and forth through the program to write them down, but I always appreciate being able to just sit on one page.

Something I noticed this year, was that there were a couple of studios that always stood up for the 1st place winners. Plie Dance Company did that at this competition. I love the sportsmanship that this shows!

The Results

Our studio did pretty well. “Gaga”, our Production dance, got 1st place, and the Standing Ovation award. “Studio 54”, our disco themed Line dance that has our preteens-seniors, also placed 1st, and got the Entertainment award. Several of our other large and small groups placed, and most got platinum scores. Grace’s solo got a Judges’ Award for being a Joy to Watch. The judge said she had a smile that made her want to watch her routine. It was such a great moment for Grace, since that was one of her goals all year! She also scored a platinum. 🙂 Some of our friends stayed after large groups to watch her… It was such a great day!










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