BravO! Dance Competition 2019

Two weeks ago, we were at the Ames Center in Burnsville for Lake Area Dance Center‘s first competition of the year for our whole studio, BravO! National Dance & Talent Competition. The weekend started for us on Friday night, with my daughter’s two solos. There were a total of 71 Senior BravO! level (Advanced level) solos. I was really proud of Grace, she did so well on her dances! She really got into her character for her musical theater solo, and got into the emotion of her contemporary solo. She felt great about her performances, which is always a good thing. She scored platinum with both. A big accomplishment for her!

Saturday, Grace only had her Production dance. Production amazes me every year. It always exceeds expectations. All of our competitive dancers are part of this routine. I don’t know how many dancers there are in all, but it must be somewhere between 75-100 dancers on stage at once. I know it gets chaotic backstage and in the wings, but on stage, it looks great. The minis are always so cute, when they come out with little pitter-patters across the stage. Studio ownner, Maria,  does a great job of highlighting strengths of different dancers in different sections. Production got a platinum score, and took first in the line/production category in the Junior level Encore! (Intermediate) division. They also received the Standing O!vation Award, which combines choreography, showmanship, costume, technique, etc.

Grace with her two Platinum Score plaques.

We went early to watch the Minis, Petites, Juniors, and Pre-teens’ large groups. Grace also wanted to help with props, and assisting where needed. We ended up staying to watch small groups, and a few of the solos too. It was fun to see all the dances we don’t usually get to see, though it made for a long day.

Sunday was our scheduled long day. Grace had 9 dances over about an 8 hour span. The morning was filled with her three small groups (tap, contemporary, and the Graduating Seniors – also in the contemporary division). It was my first time seeing all these dances. The tap one looked so fun, contemporary looked very together, and the Seniors one was so sweet! All three scored Elite High Gold. Next came large groups, starting with our Line that combines Pre-teens, Teens, and Seniors. The day continued on with one dance after another. My poor girl was exhausted, and hungry by the end. I got her popcorn chicken to nibble on as she was able, and she had other snacks in her bag, but there just wasn’t a lot of time for eating. She was on Spring Break the following week, and slept most of Monday. Most of her routines scored Elite High Gold, with tap and hip hop scoring Platinum.

A few notes about this competition:

  • The programs were a reasonable price at $10, but there weren’t any places to write awards. I always appreciate when they do have those sections. On the up-side, the pace of the awards was not so fast that you couldn’t keep up to record them. They were very good at announcing the numbers (with the exception of one judge announcing her special awards).
  • I mention this with almost every competition, but when awards are being announced, they should really turn the music off. It’s distracting, and can make it hard to hear.
  • I liked the shorter sessions between awards. It made the awards sessions go faster too.
  • I don’t understand why they only give one medal to duets/trios. Two-three people earned it, they should each get one.
  • I appreciated that at the awards session for Seniors, they acknowledged the Graduating Seniors, and asked them to stand up. It was weird to see Grace among them.

    BravO!, Honoring Graduating Seniors.

  • Tap sounds were picked up with microphones. You couldn’t see them from the audience, but tap sounds were loud enough that you could often hear them out in the lobby.
  • I liked some of the different awards they gave, such as the “Excellence in Showmanship” award which gave the winner a goody bag of swag, plus a scholarship to a summer intensive (one of our dancers won this one), and the Scholarship Award that gave the winner a larger ($300) scholarship to a summer intensive. My friend from high school was there, and her son won this award. It was so cool to see familiar faces on that stage! They also had a raffle that gave gift cards to Discount Dance Supply, and garment bags from Dream Duffel. I enjoyed seeing the variety of interaction that we don’t often get to see at competitions. I’m sure the sponsors appreciate their mentions as well! 😉
  • Being the “New guy” at a competition can be somewhat frustrating. This is our 2nd year at BravO!, many of the other studios there come every year, and/or attend their Nationals. We were very familiar with other studios there, as we have seen them at the Masquerade Nationals we attend every year, or at other competitions. We saw some great routines, which is part of the fun of attending competitions. These routines, as well as some of ours, scored very high. The frustrating part came when the Top 5 in different categories became what seemed to be predictable. I’m not saying anything was “rigged”, or that judges were playing favorites. Some routines were very clearly entered in the wrong category, others were given higher scores that I would have given. I know I’m not a judge, but I have been attending competitions for years. I just didn’t agree with some of the judges’ choices or scores… I just hope the critiques justified the scores, and/or were helpful.
  • Overall, this is a fun competition. Grace told me it felt like a big party. The music and lights at the beginning of awards’ sessions are exciting. The announcer is a little over-the-top with his commentary, but he is also very entertaining. I enjoyed most aspects of the competition. On to the next one!



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: In10sity Dance Comp. | My Life as a Dancem0m

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