Competition technique

Lots of dancers may get the chance to compete in their lifetime, and competitions shift and change rapidly with what is current on the dance scene. Many judges may favour technique and execution over tricks, included in a routine to impress, sometimes at the expense of safety, whereas others may value this wow factor more over correct technique.

However, for now it seems the emphasis on technique is here to stay on the competition circuit. Despite the fact younger dancers are becoming more and more capable – in their many leaps and turns – virtuosity at competitions may be reaching its limit. There is only so much a dancer can execute safely and in an aesthetic and artistic way. Dance is an art form, and many feel a performer must be judged more so on quality rather than quantity.

For some this may highlight a risk at not being placed, if correct technique is to take precedence – aside from the fact this is safer and more effective at developing a technically accurate dancer. This depends on the competition and the judge: it is not always the case that expectations have risen so high that judges will overlook choreography without that wow factor. On the whole, student competitions focus on potential, and tricks are less important. At competitions for professionals, fully formed dancers are required.

Ultimately including tricks can be a gamble. When performed without sound technique, they highlight the limitations of the dancer. Pushing students to perform a trick is dangerous if the technical foundation is not there. Many would rather see something more basic performed correctly and with artistry, rather than messy tricks that are not executed correctly. However, when tricks are ready, one great one which is performed with ease and emotion is worth lots too. Back in the studio, they can help challenge the dancer until they are ready for the stage.