Forum: Competitions

When to start teaching choreography?
By SJTechniques
On Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:13 PM

Looking to poll those of you working with competitive teams/companies:

When do you start your competition choreography, mid-summer, end of summer, teach it during the year?

Also, under what format - 30-60 minute classes, at a camp or week long intensive?

I'm in the process of re-evaluating our schedule for next year and wondering how soon other studios start teaching their routines. In the studio I'm currently working for, the teams dance in the Winter Showcase before competition season starts in February/March so we have to be done by mid-December. I don't know if we'll always do that, but it's be difficult to have them ready by then and I'm reading about a lot of groups that finish choreography in August.

Thoughts?

5 Replies to When to start teaching choreography?

re: When to start teaching choreography?
By Sumayah
On Sat Dec 03, 2016 09:42 AM
We have a choreography camp mid summer. Each company learns 2 dances that week. They have 90-120 mins Monday and Tuesday to learn one dance, 90-120 minutes Wednesday and Thursday to learn the other dance, then on Friday all the groups get together, go through forms and review. They have a "show off" on Saturday for the parents.

Then in October they have an informal show in the park. After that they start learning more pieces during their regular company choreography class and in December have a second show - sometimes a stand alone for us, sometimes part of the local holiday festivities. Meanwhile, we start bringing pieces to competitions. Then come January they learn more dances, more competitions, then spring show.
re: When to start teaching choreography?
By SJTechniques
On Sat Dec 03, 2016 06:25 PM
Sumayah - how many dances do your students end up learning? Is everyone in your company expected to do all styles or are these later routines for small groups, specialty teams/groups, etc?
re: When to start teaching choreography?
By Sumayah
On Sun Dec 04, 2016 09:13 AM
Each company learns 4 - 6 dances for the spring show. Littles learn 4, seniors are in 6 or more. We're a contemporary based company, so not necessarily all styles, but not necessarily not either. One year they had jazz, hip hop and tap in the show because it fit with theme. This year the seniors have a hip hop they're competing that will get work in to the theme (but even then it's contemporary hip hop).

Mostly the older kids compete, and the competitions we go to have conventions attached because the convention is the point of going, competing is because they enjoy the experience. We used to not compete at all but started when the kids started asking and committing and we also had encouragement from other local studio owners to share our movement and artistry. We usually do well, we have dancers in the top 10 for solos and frequently a group dance is selected for the Gala show at the end of the convention. It works for us.

The comp studios in the area have amazing dancers, and it's a nice measure to see our kids hold their own or see where we need to improve.
re: When to start teaching choreography?
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Dec 05, 2016 08:33 PM
We chunk our dances up a little different - we place the kids according to team level. Company has certain requirements, then Pre-Company, then Elite, then Star. So the kids are placed in the appropriate levels, and then we sort of feel out what there's interest for. The Pre-Company and Company levels are very solo and Duo/Trio heavy. Some of their solos will start in the Summer, they like to be competition ready by fall. Then our Elite kids, which are very group heavy, groups don't start until school starts back. Then our Star level is our lowest level group, and there typically isn't many kids, they usually do one dance that starts when school starts back.
re: When to start teaching choreography?
By eu_dancer_girl
On Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:01 AM
For groups we learn them all the first week of January. 2x 60min per dance so they have time to let the first half settle. I have kids who have 4 dances, I have kids who have 9+. Depending on level and age. Competition season starts late March or early April. It works for us. Solos, duos, trios start in the fall.

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