Forum: Competitions

Any Advice? I'm starting a competition!
By fortheloveofit27
On Mon Jan 26, 2015 06:49 AM

Hello everybody!
I am 22 years old and I am in my first year of a two-year graduate program. My ambition is to create a dance competition, which I have been planning for years and years, and I think it's time that I got some advice!
I realize how much work it is to start a business, let alone a touring one, which is why I am leaving myself several years for planning and such. I have all of these ideas and dreams, as well as a business plan, a lawyer and an accountant lined up, but I was hoping to get some advice from dancers, teachers, directors, judges, competition owners, parents - basically anyone involved in the competition industry.
I am not afraid of hard work, in fact I live for it, and I am ready to work hard for my dream.
Oh - by the way, I am a dancer and instructor/choreographer. I'm also new to dance.net so I'm very excited to meet you all!
Have a great day and happy dancing,

fortheloveofit27 :)

7 Replies to Any Advice? I'm starting a competition!

re: Any Advice? I'm starting a competition!
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:34 AM
I guess the first thing I look at when I hear about competitions is "what makes you special". Or, to look at it from the standpoint of the teachers entering their teams...why would they want to go to your competition instead of the competitions they already go to. You can have a functional business model, but if you enter a market where they already have that particular model...you'll still go out of business. Part of your plan has to be "the thing" or "the style" that makes people want to come to you instead of your competitor.
re: Any Advice? I'm starting a competition!
By fortheloveofit27
On Mon Jan 26, 2015 03:35 PM
Thank you for the advice!
I was thinking about my "gimmick" (for lack of better word), but yes I agree with you. I think in the competition industry its all about being different. Thanks for the reply!
re: Any Advice? I'm starting a competition!
By DaDancingPsych
On Tue Jan 27, 2015 09:41 AM
Do you have experience with the behind the scenes of a show? While I have zero experience as a competition director, I would assume that a great deal of the work is about putting on a show. You mentioned that you are an instructor/choreographer, but you may want to solidify your experience on the show production end of things.

Be involved with the SO (if it's not you) when it comes to contracting and working with a venue. There are logistical things that may surprise you. Talk to the SO about your ambitions and she may be willing to take you under her wing in this department.

Be involved with the backstage and front end of a show. If not a dance recital than a community theater. Gain an understanding of what it takes to run a show.

Heck, consider doing your own show! It wouldn't have to be a huge production, but something to help refine your skills. If you have a SO that runs the big end of the year recital, maybe you could volunteer to do a smaller holiday or summer production. Or maybe a competition team showcase.

I really think that these sort of experiences will translate well into running a competition.
re: Any Advice? I'm starting a competition!
By fortheloveofit27
On Wed Jan 28, 2015 01:15 PM
Thank you for your comment! I actually have a degree in Theatre Production. That's why I think I'd do well in this business! But thank you for the suggestions!
re: Any Advice? I'm starting a competition!
By DaDancingPsych
On Thu Jan 29, 2015 06:16 AM
Scratch that! Then what are your business skills like? It may be worth while to look into some classes or obtain some books to refine yourself in this area. I have found that many people highly involved in the arts struggle with the business side of things and it can sometimes make or break their endeavors.
re: Any Advice? I'm starting a competition!
By NextLeveLDance
On Sat Jan 31, 2015 07:26 AM
Edited by NextLeveLDance (255657) on 2015-01-31 07:27:57
I started my competition in 2012 when I was 27. nextleveldance.com and I wish I had a mentor of some sort etc as it was a tough journey and am proud to be where I am at today.

My advice to you is to definitely start small, build relationships and keep them before you start the competition. Eventually have 1 or 2 cities in the areas where you know those contacts. Before all that however, you have to 100% know your costs and numbers.

Through asking around/calling, you need to do your margins for what a regional is going to cost you etc. The hardest initial thing you will find is how bad you want to automate things (using software) to expedite and simplify registration etc. However, you will prob have to start simple without it.

If you don't have a financier or backer, then just be patient and diligent. However, this is one of those businesses that if you aren't passionate about doing this, DO NOT get in this business lol. If you can make it, your finances and margins will be tremendous! However, this industry requires a lot of up front risk/sacrifice.

There is a reason why many have come and gone. Regardless I wish you the best of luck! Also, FEDERALLY TRADEMARK YOUR NAME.
Best of luck.
-Paul
re: Any Advice? I'm starting a competition!
By fortheloveofit27
On Mon Feb 02, 2015 07:11 AM
Thank you so much for the reply!
I am so excited to begin this adventure, even though I won't be starting it for a few years. Thank you for all of the advice, it is fabulous to learn from people that have been successful in this business.

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