What Are They?
The easiest way to explain Dance Festivals is to say that it is a Dance Competition with the competitiveness taken out. Each child receives recognition-typically in the form of a bronze, silver, or gold medal. (In some instance a merit, or a high gold, may be awarded).
How Do They Work?
The group is placed in a category with dancers of similar age and ability. They perform their dance number on stage and an adjudicator (judge) awards them a percentage based on their performance. This percentage determines what type of medal they will receive. The adjudicator bases their decision on what expectation he/she has of dancers at the age and ability level. She/he does not base their decision on other groups in that category.
The scheduling is broken down into time slots (or categories) that are usually ½ hour to 1 hour of various performances. At the end of each time slot all the dancers go back up on stage for adjudication. At this time the adjudicator comes up on stage with the dancers and provided them with some feedback on their performance, as well as informing them of what their medal standing was. The festival organizers will distribute the medals at this time.
How Are They Scheduled?
Festivals are run slightly different depending on the company organizing each one. However, they usually operate from 9 am to 9 pm during the designated days. All dance studios are required to have their information (regarding which classes and dancers are going to participate) and all their funds, submitted prior to specific deadlines. The festival organizers review all the submissions and develop a timeline from that point. In early spring they will send out exact dates and times as to when each class will dance. There is always the chance that your child may end up being scheduled during school hours. Unfortunately we cannot provide any refunds as the organizers have no other way of processing the information. They have to receive the forms and funds guaranteeing participation from the studios before they can prepare their schedule. For this reason they will not provide refunds as doing so could ultimately change the whole schedule.
How Much Time Does It Take?
We expect our dancers to arrive at the festival location at least one hour prior to their performance time, with hair, make-up, and costuming complete. Most festivals are divided into ½ to 1-hour increments. At the end of each session, adjudication takes place. Depending on who the adjudicator is, this process can take from 10 to 20 minutes.
Why Do We Participate In Them?
Dance Festivals provide excellent opportunities for dancers to enhance their performing abilities by dancing on stage, in front of an audience.
They also receive feedback from the adjudicator with regards to their strengths and areas where there is room for improvement. The feedback is always given in a positive manner and often the adjudicator will provide the dancers with some excellent tips and techniques as to how to further develop and improve their performing skills.
- We expect all our parents, dancers, and teachers to be encouraging at all times. Although you may not agree with the adjudicator’s decision or comments, we count on good sportsmanship from everyone. We also expect only positive comments regarding all performers. Regardless of the age, level or studio dancers are from, it takes an incredible amount of courage to get up on stage in front of an audience and dance. All performers should be commended for this.
- The festival organizers do not allow any type of photography (video or still) in the theatre. Doing so can result in disqualification of the entire group and/or studio. Some festivals have videos and still photos available for purchase.
- Most festivals/competitions now charge admission. It is usually approx.$5-$10 per person.
Festival EtiquetteTime Frames – All dancers are required to be at each festival AT LEAST ONE HOUR PRIOR to the time they are scheduled to go on stage. Their hair, make-up and costuming should be complete by this time. A reminder that full stage make-up is required. Costumes should be clean and neat. Meeting Place – Dancers will meet outside the auditorium in the main lobby area. If the teacher is not right there, please be patient, as he/she may be backstage putting another group or soloist on stage. If you are late arriving, the teacher may have already proceeded with the group to the rehearsal hall. Personal items and cell phones – All personal items should be left with a parent, or in the change room. Valuable items should be left at home. The teachers are unable to look after everyone’s various items so we ask everyone to have their jewelry, hair ties, sweaters, etc. stored away prior to going to rehearsal hall. This is especially important with cell phones Absenteeism – If a situation arises where a dancer is unable to attend a festival, or will be late, please advise the teacher so that the group can proceed with their rehearsal. Procedure before performing – Once all members of the group have arrived, the teacher will proceed to the rehearsal hall so they can run through their number prior to their performance. Parents can proceed into the theater at this time. From this time forward, the teacher will take charge of the students as it is very distracting for dancers to have parents in the rehearsal hall. Procedure after Performing – After they have performed, the dancers will either remain with the teacher, (dependent on the age of the performers, and how many numbers remain before adjudication), or they can enter the auditorium to watch the remaining dances. The festival organizers will announce when they want all dancers backstage for adjudication. Once adjudication is complete, all dancers are free to leave. On stage expectations and etiquette – Dancers are required to stand quietly on stage while waiting for the adjudicator, and while the adjudicator is speaking. They should remain in their costume. If they have another dance coming up soon after, and need to change into their next costume before going on stage for adjudication, they need to have their costume covered up. They can slip on the studio jacket or housecoat for this. Off stage expectations and etiquette – Dancers are required to stay with the group at all times, unless the teacher has given them permission to do otherwise. We expect all our dancers to always be respectful of other performers and to refrain from any foul language or negative comments.
FESTIVAL HOUSEKEEPING RULES-FOR PARENTS, DANCERS, AND ALL OTHER SPECTATORS
- Food and drinks (other than water) are not allowed inside any of the theatres.
- Taking photos or video is strictly prohibited. Groups can be disqualified if this rule is violated.
- When entering or exiting the theatre, wait until the music stops. This allows fewer distractions in the theater when a performance is in progress.
- Dancers must not be in the theater, or on stage for adjudication, in a costume that they have not yet danced in- unless they have it covered.
- Most Importantly-Respect all dancers. Every dancer getting up on stage to perform deserves respect and appreciation from audience members, and other dancers. Festivals should be a positive learning experience for all involved. Please encourage and congratulate your dancer, the group members, and even other “competitors”. Having fun and performing on stage is our main purpose for entering festival. Please make us proud by displaying excellent sportsmanship at all festival and community events.
Costuming and Make Up For Festivals and Community Productions
For all groups there will be a Group Coordinator. This person will send out the information to group members and ensure that their group has all the correct information for costuming, make up and scheduling changes.
Costuming and make up will be decided by the Instructors and will depend on the style of dance, the look and feeling the instructor wants the dance to portray. This year costumes will be bought and owned by the individual dancers. Jeté Dance Studio will be taking costume deposits at registration and then will collect any outstanding amounts (or refund amounts) once costumes are ordered.
We are planning to keep the costuming fun, simple, classy and affordable. You will own the costumes so when you are done with them you may sell, or keep as you wish.
Make up will be stage makeup. This will be communicated to families very soon after the year has commenced by the costume/makeup contact person for your group. We will be recommending a specific brand and color so that all dancers have the same look.