5 Reasons Why the Arthur Murray District Showcase Rocked
I've been to every Bay Area District showcase since 1986.
In those days the showcase was mainly a solo routine event with a few freestyle heats. My Dance Director always said, "you learn to dance by dancing" and that's why I believe that today's students are much better dancers than the students in the past: They dance more, Train more, and Study more.
Bay Area District Showcase - San Jose, CA - September 2016 from Maude Productions on Vimeo.
Here are the Top 5 Things I Loved about the District Showcase
1. The Country Western Division
This year, everyone really stepped it up with both great dancing and fun costumes. There's no better way to start your showcase day. You get to feel the floor, get a sense of the room, and get rid of the jitters.
Bonus: Miguel Dominguez dancing in a Zorro hat and mask was hilarious !
2. The New Judging Sheets
For this showcase each of the judges watched 2-3 couples at a time, but this time with new judging forms. These new forms were easy toy use and gave the Judges more time to watch the dancers. We checked 5 areas:
If everything was good we placed a check and if was an area that needed attention we put a X. Some of the areas we left blank, those were the points that good or in the middle. The information helped to make the critiques/feedback so clear, it created a picture of what areas were working and also what need some attention. Most of the students that I had consultations with could really get a clear picture of their dancing and in what areas to improve.
3. The International Division
The International Category focuses on the basics because there are fewer patterns and dance positions. This means that more time is spent on developing things like advanced footwork, frame, and lead and follow. One of my old bosses used to say " life is too short for international" meaning it's a continuous journey developing the basics. Personally, I believe that learning this styles is like taking daily vitamins, you can live without them, but they will make you stronger and healthier. This was only the second time we offered the International Standard and Latin and the students that danced this division on Sunday are already improved from the last event.
4. The New Amateur Three Dance
Another milestone for our local event.
The couples dancing in this division were dancing for placements: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. It was fun to see so many new amateur partnerships and many were friends that put in the work to dance this new category - all without a teacher dancing it with them. For some what started off as " let's do this for fun" turned into genuine dance improvement in lead/follow/timing and floor craft skills.
It was so exciting for me as a judge to hear Chris Lynam announce "judges, we are going to our traditional sheets". The traditional sheets are the ones we use at Dance O Rama to judge and place both amateur and professional competitions. This says so much about the growth of the District Showcase, and the dancers that participated in this division. Congratulations to all the amateur competitors.
My favorite part of the District Showcase was how smoothly the two day event went. Sometimes an event is like the duck that's calmly swimming in a smooth lake, but underneath the water you see the legs and feet frantically moving. This showcase went smoothly, and like that duck, you wouldn't even know that administrative team, judges, staff, and organizers were working so hard. The end result was that the days moved smoothly, with plenty of time for social dancing, food, and time getting to make new friends.