Preparing The Young Dancer For Competition
Ballet competitions are typically held once a year in major cities around the world. Depending on the age group allowed to participate, ballerina’s as young as the age of nine will need to prepare well in advance for the big day. The young dancer will need to practice, practice, practice to perfect her routine.
The competition judges will expect each contestant to perform one variation of a classical ballet and one of a contemporary style. The student will need to decide which variations she will learn because this will affect her ballet costume design. There will be a lot of excitement and activity around the young dancer as teacher, parents, and costume designer work together to make competition day a success.
Why Are Ballet Competitions Held?
Ballet competitions were created to allow serious students a means by which to showcase their talents. They were also created as a recruiting method for the best ballet companies and schools. Gathering young talent together in one dance competition is much easier than trying to find raw talent by going from one ballet school to the other.
What Can Winning A Competition Mean For A Ballet Student?
Competing in and winning a ballet competition can have many positive perks for the young dancer:
- The judges in the audience have the power to advance a dancers career quickly and assist her in obtaining her goals in the best way.
- An unknown but very talented young dancer with much promise can finally receive public recognition in the ballet world.
- The best perks about winning ballet competitions are the ribbons, medals, scholarships and contracts that a dancer can obtain.
What Do The Judges Look For?
- Technical ability
- Stage Presence
All of these factors are taken into consideration when judging a dance contestant. All competition judges look for perfection in the details of the dancers appearance.
- Is the hair properly pulled up into a professional bun?
- Do the shoes and tights match the ballet costume?
- Does the ballet costume look professional and age appropriate for the dancer?
With all of this attention to detail, I must give credit to all the young dancers who can overcome their nerves and actually go out on stage without fainting. What pressure they must feel! Everything must be as close to perfection as possible if a dancer wants to wow the judges. Especially her appearance.
I don’t know if the young dancer in this video was ever aware that the tulle on the back of her tutu skirt was slightly drooping away from the body of her costume.** Some costume designers rely on the hoop of the tutu skirt to hold it up and skimp on the extra tacking and precision pleating that would have prevented this.
All of the classical ballet tutus that are made by Costume Creations are hand-tacked and precision pleated with care to avoid the “dreaded droop” that makes a tutu flop on the stage.
**This post is not intended to discredit the beauty and skill of the young dancer in the video above and is only an example of the mechanics of tulle. In order to show how tulle can separate from the body of the tutu skirt, I had to provide a living example.Many professional ballerina’s in the finest dance theaters have also experienced issues with their tutu skirts during performances. I applaud the bravery and dedication of all young dance competition students, including the lovely ballerina in this video.