A new competition from the National Deaf Children’s Society – named Raising The Bar – has been announced in order to encourage young deaf dancers and musicians to showcase their performance skills. Entering is simple, just through the NDCS website, and could mean the young artists could show off their talents and attend a masterclass led by successful deaf dancers and musicians.
Young artists aged 8-16 have until 22 February to create and submit a 1-2 minute video of themselves performing a dance or music routine via the Buzz website. To do this, they must first upload the video to YouTube and then provide the link when completing the entry form. 10 lucky winners will then be selected to attend a two day masterclass on 24 and 25 May in Birmingham. There are no boundaries: it can be any kind of dance or music, from hip hop to ballet, or playing the clarinet to signed song!
The entrants must be a resident in the UK, and if an entrant is under the age of 13, the YouTube account used to upload the entrant’s video must be an adult’s. Runners up will receive prizes of Amazon vouchers worth £25, and for the winners, there will be the opportunity to meet and be mentored by current successful deaf musicians and dancers. Danny Lane, an acclaimed deaf pianist from Music and the Deaf; Ruth Montgomery, a very successful deaf flautist; and Ava M Blake and Billy Read from world famous Defmotion will all be involved.
At the end of the masterclass, there will also be a chance to take part in a variety performance to an audience, following the opportunity to meet other deaf peers with the same interests – it sounds a lot of fun!
BBC Young Dancer 2015 is a new award for young people that showcases the very best of young British dance talent. Young dancers will enter in one of four categories: ballet, contemporary, hip hop and South Asian dance. The competition will culminate in a grand finale at Sadler’s Wells, London, when the best dancers in each category will compete for the competition title.
It is a brand new project for young ballet, contemporary, hip hop and South Asian dancers, as part of the BBC’s continuing commitment to the arts and the support of new artists. The new award joins BBC Young Musician as a showcase for talented and dedicated young performers. Since it was first held in 1978, BBC Young Musician has helped to launch the careers of many of the UK’s most successful classical music stars.
BBC Young Dancer 2015 is placing dance centre stage by looking for dancers aged 16-20 across the four categories. To reach the final dancers must make it through three competitive rounds, where they will be judged on criteria designed to reward technical command, creative and expressive ability, as well as hard work and dedication. Each round is a performance opportunity, and after each one they will receive honest and supportive feedback from leading professionals on the judging panel.
As dancers progress through the rounds, they will get opportunities to dance for leading professionals in their chosen dance style. There will be new choreography created for the finalists, and workshops along the way where they will have the chance to work on their performances with choreographers and leading dance practitioners.
The finalists will dance on the main stage at Sadler’s Wells on 9 May 2015, in front of the house and a UK-wide television audience. The winner will receive £3,000 to help support and further their dance studies.
It is often the case that dance competitions are not just about the dance students competing, but their parents too. Who is the pushiest? Who did the best for their dancer? For many parents, dance is just a fun pastime for their children which reaps much enjoyment and rewards, whereas for others it is cut throat territory, out to achieve the best for their young starlets.
It is easy to become overwhelmed with insecurities about yourself and your dancer when drawing comparisons between others and their abilities. Before you know it, you are wondering why you came to the competition or audition, or even class or workshop, and you may even be worried that you have set your dancer up for failure.
Despite this, there are many dance parents who are ready to connect with others. Most are experiencing the same fears and emotions and they are seeking camaraderie, advice, and friendship. It is often beneficial and rewarding to interact and become friendly with other dance parents.
The dance world is small and it is likely that if you are actively attending events with your dancer, the chances are you will see the same people again and again. If you attend dance events alone it is often necessary to make friends with other parents to make the events more fun and enjoyable. It also makes you realise that you are not alone in concerns, worries, and joys.
Making friends, networking and gaining advice are also large parts: it enhances dance lives and is essential to connecting with others with whom you have a shared interest. Some dance parents guard information closely in order to give their child every possible advantage and although hoarding information might provide short-term benefits, it backfires in the long-term. By hoarding information, you will eventually shut off possible opportunities for information to come to you. But by sharing information and being helpful, you create a culture that will cycle back to you.