Courtesy Hollywood Vibe

These Dance Comps and Conventions Are Coming to a Living Room Near You

While dancers all over the world are sharing the heartache of canceled classes, shows, and projects, our hearts hurt especially hard for a group of dancers we at Dance Spirit couldn't admire more: comp and convention kids. Determined to challenge your artistry and learn from cutting-edge faculty, you dancers normally brave crowded ballrooms and nonstop schedules all year long. But just because you might not be in one of those crowded ballrooms for a while doesn't mean that part of your dance life has to grind to a halt.


Many conventions and competitions, forced to cancel upcoming tour stops, have taken some of their extraordinary offerings online. They're streaming classes, holding Instagram dance "competitions," and even putting on entire virtual convention weekends. We've compiled a roundup of such events, along with all the information you need to participate. Keep that dance spirit alive, and we'll keep this list up to date.

Artists Simply Human

What: A two-day virtual convention experience with Beginner and Advanced level classes

When: April 10-11, or April 25-26

Where: Visit ASHDance.com/Register to register

Cost: $59 Early Bird, $69 Regular for two days of classes in one level. $99/$109 for two days of classes in both levels. Studio discounts available; Email info@ashproductions.com for more info

Faculty: Braham Logan Crane, Jojo Gomez, Dusty Button, and more

Break The Floor

What: "Break The Floor: Live," dance convention and competition with scholarship auditions and two class levels: Mini/Junior and Teen/Senior

When: April 18-19. Competition routines must be submitted by April 10

Where: Visit live.breakthefloor.com for more info and to submit routines

Cost: Free

Faculty: Travis Wall will be hosting the two-day event. More faculty to be announced

Dupree Dance

What: "Virtual Movement Experience" dance instruction videos for dancers and teachers

When: Ongoing

Where: Watch and download the videos at www.dupreedance.net/the-virtual-movement-experience

Fly Dance Competition

What: A virtual competition with the chance to win overall titles and scholarships, as well as a live improv competition and online convention experience

When: For the competition, register and submit a video of your routine by May 1st, May 13th, and June 1st for the next three events. Conventions will be held every Saturday in May. The live improv competitions will be held May 3rd, May 17th, and May 31st.

Where: Register for a virtual convention at www.FlyDanceCompetition.com/virtual. Enter the virtual competition at https://www.flydancecompetition.com/reg. Enter the improv competition at www.FlyDanceCompetition.com/improv

Cost: $30.00 per routine entered. $52.00 per dancer for the day-long virtual convention.

Faculty: Mollee Gray, Fik-Shun, Brittany Pent, and more

Heat Dance Convention

What: "Heat From Home" classes. Each class includes a dance challenge; dancers can post videos of themselves performing the choreography on their Instagram using #HeatFromHome and tagging @HeatDanceConvention. Winners are announced three days later and win a full convention scholarship, half scholarship, and HEAT merchandise.

When: Classes are announced and posted on Heat's IGTV every week.

Where: Heat's Instagram

Faculty: Cat Cogliandro, Heather Morris, and more

Hollywood Connection

What: "HC @ Home," combos and class videos available for download. Includes "Broadway Babies" program for 5-7 year olds

When: Weekly; as announced on HC's Instagram

Where: Content is posted on HC's YouTube and available for download on Vimeo

Faculty: Mitchel Federan, Kristin McQuaid, Lindsley Allen, and more

Hollywood Vibe

What: "Vibe Live," a series of Instagram Live Q&As with Hollywood Vibe faculty and Dancer of the Year winners

When: Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6pm PST

Where: Hollywood Vibe's Instagram

Faculty: Kent Boyd, Adrian Lee, and more, as announced on Instagram

Imagine Dance Challenge

What: Weekly TikTok dance challenges, with selected winners receiving Imagine merchandise

When: New challenge posted every Wednesday

Where: Imagine Dance Challenge's Instagram and TikTok

Impact Dance Adjudicators

What: A virtual dance competition for both solos and group numbers. Once you submit a video (either in the studio or onstage) of your routine, three IDA judges will provide a score sheet and feedback. Overall winners in each age category will win cash prizes and be featured on IDA's website.

When: Solo entries must be submitted by April 8th. Group entries must be submitted by April 17th.

Where: See additional rules and register at www.impactdanceadjudicators.com/virtualcompetition

Cost: $30 per entry

New York City Dance Alliance

What: NYCDA Virtual Dance Experience, featuring live classes from NYCDA's convention faculty

When: Ongoing

Where: Catch live class announcements on NYCDA's Instagram. Live classes are streamed at live.nycdance.com, and combos from the classes are posted on NYCDA's YouTube page

Faculty: Chloe Arnold, Grace Buckley, Joey Dowling, and more

Revel

What: "Rev-Virtual," an online convention experience with live-streamed classes and the chance to win scholarships

When: Apr 11-12, Apr 18-19, Apr 25-26, May 2-3

Where: Register and attend at dancerevel.com/virtual

Cost: $79.00 per dancer for a 2-day virtual convention

Faculty: Derek Mitchell, Jaimie Goodwin, Zach Venegas, and more

Showstopper

What: #ShowstopperClassics, throwback episodes of Showstopper's American Dance Championships

When: Episodes posted every Thursday at 8pm EST

Where: Showstopper's Instagram, with full episodes on YouTube.

Starbound

What: A live virtual competition for solo and group routines. All routines will receive audio feedback from Starbound judges. Cash prizes and/or gift certificates will be awarded to the highest scoring solo, duo/trio, and group routines, and overall scores will be awarded.

When: Deadline to register for the April 17-19 competition is April 13

Where: Visit the Teacher Center on www.starbound.net to register and submit videos of routines. A livestream of the competition will also be held on the website

Cost: $35 per routine

Starpower

What: Weekly Instagram Live challenges with prizes awarded, as well as an ongoing "Bingo" dance challenge

When: Ongoing

Where: Check Starpower's Instagram for challenge announcements

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For the young child, it was love at first sight.

"I saw a beautiful, black Clara," Ashton says, "and I wanted to be just like her."

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Shouldering the Load: What kind of dance bag should dancers use?

Walk into any dance convention, audition or class, and you'll see a vast variety of dance bags lining the walls. But can the style of bag you use (and how you wear it) have an impact on your dancing?

Don't worry—you won't have to shoulder the load alone. Dance Spirit spoke with two physical therapists who specialize in working with dancers to find out what dance bag is best.

What should dancers look for in a dance bag?

Dr. Meghan Gearhart, physical therapist and owner of Head2Toe Physical Therapy in Charlotte, NC, recommends dancers opt for a backpack-style dance bag rather than a duffel or cross-body bag.

"A bag that pulls the weight all to one side creates a side bend and rotation in the trunk," Gearhart says. "That is going to lead to muscle imbalances that will affect dancers while they're dancing, as well as just in regular everyday life." Muscle imbalances can mean limited mobility on one side of your body, as the muscles on one side are overly contracted and the other side is overly extended to compensate.

Gearhart suggests dancers pick a backpack made from a lightweight yet durable and breathable material, such as cotton, linen, nylon or polyester. Straps should be wide enough to not dig into your shoulder muscles, so avoid drawstring styles with rope straps. Adjustable and padded straps are best, so you can wear the straps at a length where the bag rests at the middle of your back.

Dr. Bridget Kelly Sinha, physical therapist and founder of Balanced Physical Therapy and Dance Wellness in Matthews, NC, emphasizes the importance of finding an even weight distribution when choosing a dance bag.

"If a dancer has a lot to bring, like when heading to the theater for a full day of rehearsals and performances, then I recommend a rolling suitcase to offset the load," Sinha says.

How should dancers wear their bags?

Even if you've selected the perfect dance bag, it's important to be mindful of how you wear it.

Gearhart advocates wearing both straps when carrying your backpack. She also suggests placing heavier items towards the back of the bag, where they will sit closer to your body. A bag with straps that are too loose (or a bag that is too heavy) can create an increased arch in the lower back or cause a dancer to compensate for the weight by leaning forward. Ideally, Gearhart recommends a dancer's dance bag weighing no more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight.

"I usually tell dancers to use their common sense. If you don't have tap today, you don't need to bring the tap shoes," she says. "If your water bottle makes the bag too heavy, just carry it." If your studio offers lockers, take advantage of that storage space to lessen the number of clothes, shoes, and dance accessories that live in your dance bag.

And if you think your bad dance-bag habits have given you alignment issues, seek out a dance physical therapist to prevent further injuries.

"As a dancer, your body is working so hard all day," Sinha says. "It does not need excess strain from your bag."

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