Forum: Teams / Dance Teams

Holding tryouts
By dancer_meggs
On Mon Oct 05, 2009 01:19 PM

I have a routine all made up and we're going to use it as our first performance routine...but I don't know what else to use for tryouts. I have no idea of the level of ability of all of the girls, I know some people trying out have been dancing all their lives, but I really don't know how many girls that would make.

What skills should I include for a basketball dance team? I know I can leave out kick lines, but should I include splits or side leaps if I don't know the expected level of the girls?

Also, I need more choreographers than just me, how should I hold choreographer tryouts? Just let them choose their own music and make something up?

2 Replies to Holding tryouts

re: Holding tryouts
By Briekiki
On Mon Oct 19, 2009 01:32 PM
Is this a high school dance team?

I'd suggest that for try outs have the girls display any tricks and techniques that you'd
A)Prefer they were able to do (to be a part of the team),
or B) Like to see if they can do (so you could possibly choreograph those things into a dance),
or C) Like them to have the potential to do (You could work on them in practice).

When they perform the routine for tryouts watch thier technique and facials, to see if they have the qualities you would like on your team.

Have the dancers show you thier pirouettes (Doubles and Singles), leaps, toe-touches, and splits. Tell them that they don't have to have any of these skills down perfectly to make the team, but they must always have good form.

The only way you're going to know what the girls can do, is if you ask them to show you. Also, remember that if some girls can perform a skill others can't (For example, if half the team can do toe-touches), you could choreograph that into a routine accordingly.

As for choreographers, you could tell the team that anyone can make up a dance, but they must have it approved by you before teaching it to the team.

I hope this helps.
re: Holding tryouts
By jojospins
On Wed Nov 04, 2009 05:34 AM
For my tryouts I have a routine that has purposely has a variety of difficulty levels build in - some very simple 8 counts and some that are a bit tricky, and some in between also 2 or 3 8's of kick sequence. It really helps me see how quick everyone catches on. Some girls get it the first practice, some return to tryouts with it down, and others still struggle with the tricky stuff. You need that so you can have a clear idea of where to make cuts. If its too easy, everyone will look good. Too hard and you wont see everyones potential.

I hold two practices - after school or evenings and then a saturday morning tryout. They try out in pairs - perform the routine once, then show any tricks and skills. We do pirouettes - doubles for tryout, and triple for "extra" credit, splits, toetouches, grand jetes, side leaps. - they do these one at a time, then repeat the routine. This way the judges can see both dancers, but they are a bit more comfortable having a friend on the floor with them.

Having practices a couple times on different days really helps me see how quick they catch on. Some girls come in never having done any of the technique but if I can see improvement over a few days, thats a real good sign. I am always sure to let them know that they arent expected to do everything perfectly. I am looking for potential, and will chose the team based on where the break is in scoring..

For choreography - we've kind of worked into groups by grade. They seem to enjoy that. Seniors are in charge of the final routine - which features each senior for a couple of 8 counts, Juniors get the christmas jazz routine, Sophomores and Frosh usually ends up being hip hop. I do the competition routines and pom and contemporary since the crowd loves that and the girls dont like making those up. If we need any more, I'll go to my captains.

Companies that cater to dance teams have routines on video for you to use - usually get these at their camps, and have gotten a few here and there in the mail as a promo. There are even some freebies on youtube. If it is strictly for a home game performance, I allow the girls to get their ideas wherever they can find them. They have to have all music OK'd before beginning choreography, and choreography approved before they begin teaching it. They are in charge of all music mixing and formations - this really helps them understand how much work goes into a routine!!!


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