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breaktf

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCHNG
For what it's worth, we attended TDA this year in Orlando for the first time, naively not knowing the cache and everything else that comes with BTF, so our DD could dance her first (ever!) solo as part of The Best Dancer program. DD didn't have any shot at placing, and we went alone without our studio with us, but it was hands down the best run, most worthwhile convention/ competition experience we have had. There was plenty of room, and the more experienced dancers easily found space by not crunching up front near the stage. Even if she doesn't qualify at regionals for Best Dancer, we'll be back again to TDA. We're looking to take her to the other two conventions this year that our studio doesn't attend because the teaching was just that good. Also, the kids in all the optional classes were focused, and being able to come together with so many other dancers that are just as committed to what she does was encouraging and inspirational for DD. In an optional Modern class with Francisco Gella, there were easily 250 dancers in the room, and you could have heard a pin drop. No one was chatting on the sides. Every student was fully engaged. Every student was given the chance to dance full out, and Gella kept giving corrections to dancers that were clearly at varied levels. I can't speak for anyone else, but it just hasn't been our experience that BTF has been anything other than excellent. If you're looking to attend a convention just for the convention portion, I'd suggest any of the Jump/ 24/7 or Nuvo conventions. Good luck scheduling for this year!!!


Thank you CCHNG! Glad you guys had a good time. 

-Gil
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cynmckee

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by breaktf


Thank you CCHNG! Glad you guys had a good time. 

-Gil


Gil, for what my opinion may be worth, I do think (the Denver venue aside) BTF has consistently great conventions. The consistency, year after year, really says a lot...that you obviously care about quality of instruction and that you care about the students and what they take out of the weekend.  Crampness, aside, the kids usually come out of the weekend with a refreshed and excited attitude that they take back to their home studios.  Thanks for caring about what us stressed out dance parents think as well.


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DanceREVEL

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel
Looking for conventions that do not have a solo portion or competition attached; straight up dance workshops only. Any suggestions? Looking for Florida area.


Hi Noel, REVEL will be holding a 3-day convention in Orlando, Feb 23-25. While there is a competition component in the evenings, competing is not required. We'd love the opportunity to have you with us for some incredible classes. Feel free to reach out to me with any question at frank@dancerevel.com. -Frank (Director, REVEL Dance Convention)
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DanceREVEL

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beccasmom
What about Revel? As far as I know they are convention only. We have not done them yet, but may this fall, as they are coming to our area.


We hope to see you at REVEL! -Frank (Director, REVEL Dance Convention)
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DanceREVEL

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdsmom
We did Revel. They do have a competition section. DD, who is a tapper, enjoyed all the classes except tap. She said the teacher's style didn't mesh with hers. She liked all the other classes, and liked that there was plenty of room to move around because they have ATTENDANCE CAPS!!! So, unlike BTF, she actually had interactions with and corrections from the teachers. 


Hi rdsmom! We appreciate all of the warm and positive comments. The REVEL team works very hard to remain in sync with our vision, which rings true in your feedback. Hopefully, your DD will enjoy the next tap class she takes at REVEL much more. As you may have seen, we now have 3 Tap teachers (Val, Aaron and Maud). See you this session! - Frank (Director, REVEL Dance Convention)
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DanceREVEL

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julieg
We attended Revel this past season and it was by far our favorite convention ever.  It was pretty small but I suspect it will be crowded in the next few years as they gain more popularity.  It was really nice of the owner to come introduce himself to parents and thank them for their business.  I highly recommend this convention.

Only one thing about Revel left me scratching my head and it was more about the parents.  Revel had studios nominate a few dancers to act as "Pro Revelers" basically teaching assistants.  My daughter applied and was accepted and she absolutely loved it.  Because she was a Pro Reveler she competed her solo for adjudication only which to me was fair.  Not long ago, my daughter got an invite to participate as a Pro Reveler again but in the paperwork it stated that because of parent feedback, Pro Revelers were no longer able to compete their solos.  I just wonder why parents would take issue with a handful of kids competing their solos for adjudication only.  It did not affect their kids in any way.  They were not included in the overalls and were ineligible for scholarships. It maybe added 20 or 30 minutes to the competition but it was pretty small and didn't drag out until super late anyway.  My daughter did it just to get her solo up on a stage as their convention was the very first event of the season.  But, I still think that Revel is the best out there and am looking forward to sending my daughter again.


Hi Julieg! Humbled by all of your wonderful feedback. I'm so glad you and your daughter loved REVEL, and we appreciate all of her hard work as a PRO REVELER. While we felt the lack of overall placement and ineligibility for scholarships was fair, there were very mixed feelings across the families and SO's. It's never easy to please everyone, but this new policy seems to be the path that causes the least amount of concern. We will continue to revisit the topic though. We are grateful to you for the support in our first season and look forward to many more years ahead! -Frank (Director, REVEL Dance Convention)
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DanceREVEL

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by breaktf


Hi again. First, let me say, I appreciate your honesty and have no problem responding. Of course, I am never happy when people walk away from my event feeling they didn't have a good experience. As most business owners can probably attest, it personally feels awful to have even ONE person feeling unsatisfied with your company. If you knew me personally, you would know I don't take for granted the fact that we are the largest dance conventions right now. I realize that can change quickly. I DO agree with you that in some cities we are more crowded than I would like. However, I do disagree with many things you said. 

-- We DO take the fire code and capacities at every venue very seriously. It is the FIRST thing we look at when determining how many dancers we can accept. We have NEVER been shut down by a Fire Marshall in 16 years. Twice only, we have had to pause a ballroom to do an actual count of the dancers and observers. They did the count, and we were within the capacity and continued. Regardless... I understand that this is dance. Just being within capacity isn't good enough. Obviously, we would like to provide the best possible dance space for kids to move. You are correct... we don't always achieve that.

--I could go on and on about why capping attendance or capping observer bands isn't as easy as "Why don't they just cap attendance!???" I will illustrate one example of what happens.... STUDIO RED sends out their comp schedule to their parents in August. They decide to attend JUMP in Atlanta in May and then The Dance Awards in Las Vegas. The studio is in Alabama, 3+ hours away from Atlanta. Many parents decide to put in a day off of work. Parents make reservations at the hotel in Atlanta. Parents must do this WAY before 30 days prior, as the hotels sell out quickly in most cities. To save money, many parents do Advanced Purchase where there is no refund. Many parents book through an online outlet, where refunds are almost impossible. Some hotels also require a non-refundable deposit. The SO also decides to charter a bus. She can't wait until 30 days before because most charter companies need to be booked more in advance and certainly to get a better rate. Our registration deadline is 30 days before the event. Studio Owner tries to collect the money from her 80 dancers. That's not always easy. Finally, the SO probably only gets 80% of the fees, but knows she has to register 30 days prior because Jump is well-attended in Atlanta. The SO goes online to register, before the deadline, but quickly finds out Jump is SOLD OUT in Atlanta! Sorry STUDIO RED! Sorry families. Sorry SO who will take an enormous amount of flack for "not registering on time," which of course she did. Now what about Nationals? They were planning on attending Nationals. They were pre-qualifying their routines at JUMP. They already have flights, hotels in Las Vegas, time-off work. But even if they DID qualify at Jump Atlanta, who's to say The Dance Awards won't be capped before the registration deadline? Do we turn away Studio Red 35 days before they are leaving for their trip to Las Vegas? So... this DID happen to me. At JUMP Atlanta. My second year in business. It was a NIGHTMARE. I was threatened with lawsuits from the SO and parents until I refunded their Charter Bus deposit and hotel rooms that were unable to be refunded. Obviously... the SO was furious with me, it hurt her business, made her look disorganized to her parents, and she will never attend my events again. My point is - it's never that cut and dry of just "turn them away."

--Look... I understand your argument. I really do. I have been doing this for a long time and have heard every rebuttal to the above story. "Have studios leave a deposit," "That's tough luck, events sell out all the time," "They just have to register earlier Gil," etc etc. I don't want to write a novel here haha, but I am more than happy to get on the phone with anyone and talk about this more in depth. I'm not just a greedy idiot trying to live my "groovy lifestyle" haha. I understand the long-term effect of things. It is very difficult weighing accepting another studio to a city that will then make it crowded or turning them away.

--The biggest issue I have is how you are describing the clientele that DO come to my events and like them. To make it seem like they are only people who are looking for their kids' "shot" or "sprinkles" is insulting to the overwhelming majority of people that attend. If you are aware of most of our clientele and the clientele of The Dance Awards, these are some of the best, most well-respected dance studios in the USA and Canada. Studios that have been training legit dancers for YEARS. To make it seem like BTF caters mainly to convention hoppers and Independents is unfair and incorrect. BTF is also one of the few organizations that don't have a "company" and invite their scholarship kids to a ton of cities. We actually LIMIT the number of cities our scholarship kids can go to. Again... I understand and respect your opinion. And I DO agree that we can do a better job, always. But to imply that somehow we mainly attract independent fame-seekers is just false. 

--I also feel it's extremely unfair to compare BTF to very new conventions. I had a new Convention Director attack BTF on another board for having over 2,000 people at our event in Las Vegas. You would probably say: Wow, isn't it nice this new convention capped their attendance. They stopped comp at 10. The classes were so small the teachers even knew the kids' name! I would say: That convention is full of it. They don't need to worry about capping attendance. VERY easy to say they capped it at 400 when only 400 people registered. Also... I would argue that the overwhelming majority of people left The Dance Awards very pleased. These are some of the best studios, who continually come back.

Like I said earlier, I understand your opinion and do agree with you that we can do a better job. My only disagreement is some of your characterizations of myself, my "assembly line" business model and some of our clients. I get it... you don't like the BTF experience. I respect and understand that. But I hope you also respect the opinions of the overwhelming majority of amazing dancers and dance studios that DO feel they get a lot out of BTF events. 

I do not think that our way "is the only way." First, there are other conventions out there that I respect tremendously (NYCDA, for one). Ballet schools, Performing Arts Schools and even not attending conventions at all, are all great paths that produce great dancers. Ultimately, I believe the best training is NOT at a dance convention. Most times, it is consistent training at your home studio that trains the best dancers. I just hope, and believe, that BTF provides motivation and inspiration to the majority of dancers that come. I know that is not your experience, and I truly feel bad about that. 

Again, thank you for your honest feedback. I would be happy to talk to you, or anyone else on the phone at any time. Just Private Message me your phone number and i will call anyone back within 24 hours.

Have a great day everyone,

Gil


Gil, appreciate you taking the time to respond on here. A few of the studios I still teach and set choreo for attend BTF events regularly, and there's wonderful things to be said about the empire you've built. I commend you for the dedication to dance, and the countless lives you've positively impacted throughout the years. REVEL had a great first season, and we certainly aspire to keep putting forth quality dance education opportunities for young dancers - and doing so in an uplifting and inspiring format. Every convention offers something different to the community and that's what makes our dance world wonderful. REVEL's goal is to maintain a more intimate training environment and personable atmosphere for our attendees and faculty, but we realize that's not what every studio/dancer is looking for. And that's okay. Like I said, there's plenty of room in the sandbox for all of us, and I'm grateful to be surrounded and inspired by so many great conventions. I know you'll agree that we do a lot more good lifting each other up versus the alternative. Hoping we'll have an opportunity to say hello in the near future. Have a great 2018 Season! -Frank (Director, REVEL Dance Convention)
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hsealover

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Reply with quote  #33 
DD really enjoys Revel and Broadway Collective!
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