By. Brian Henninger
Dance conventions are an incredible opportunity to get a lot of very intensive training in several different styles of dance over the course of a jam packed weekend. They are extremely beneficial to dancers who haven’t been dancing very long, as well as dancers who are at the pre professional and professional level as well. Conventions are not always the best choice for training depending on what kind of person you are and what environment you learn best in. Lets go over a few ways to make sure you get the most out of your next convention experience regardless of where you are in your dance career.
Manage Your Expectations: Before you head to the convention make sure you ask yourself “Why am i doing this?”. Its important to make sure that you manage your expectations and realize that the number one reason you are going to a convention is to TRAIN. Many conventions nowadays offer lots of scholarships to different studios or even performance opportunities like the monsters of hip hop annual show. These extra perks attract many dancers, but its important to remember that you shouldn’t expect to be noticed or win anything because that will cause you to feel disappointed. Go to the convention with an open mind and just do your best and soak up as much knowledge as you can.
Trust Your Ability( wherever it currently is): When you go to conventions you are most often learning without a mirror. This can be an amazing learning tool for making you more able to learn movement and trust your body and mind to be able to mimic it without having the ability to check yourself in front of a mirror. Dancing without a mirror also allows you to become more unique while still performing someones choreography. Without a mirror you don’t have the ability to be a perfectionist with trying to match the choreographer exactly.
Study Other Dancers: One of the best ways to become better as a dancer is by watching others. Conventions (Especially the large ones) offer a place where some of the most talented dancers from the surrounding cities all come together in one room to train. You can see so much talent and so many inspiring dancers in one room that you might never get the chance to see otherwise. Take advantage of the opportunity and really study people next time you find yourself at a convention.
Be Social!: Conventions are an incredible way to get in front of big name choreographers, and dancers who are all currently working in the industry. Be friendly and outgoing, make sure to introduce yourself, and make an effort to make some connections. It is also a good idea to make sure you have business cards with you because agents have been known to scout at dance conventions for new talent !
Dance conventions are great ways to get intense training and make connections in a very short period of time. If you’ve never experienced a convention then I highly suggest you try it out. As always you can’t go wrong if you just stay present, and focus on doing your best.