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Lpr3

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Reply with quote  #1 
We're new this year and on a mini team. We did 2 competitions in the city that we live in this year and then did nationals of one of those competitions this weekend. Just trying to understand, what makes nationals a "nationals"? We didn't qualify for it or anything and also it wasn't nationals, in that there are like 4 or 5 throughout the country. I didn't notice a particularly large number of attending studios as compared to the other competitions we did. Also aren't there nationals for every competition? So "nationals" doesn't really represent competing against the best in the country? Or does it?
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #2 
No, it doesn't really represent competing against the best in the country.  Every competition has their own Nationals and basically anybody can attend.  It's just another competition.  Makes it sound good though!
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #3 

You understand perfectly. There are "nationals" for every competition, often more than 1 these days. It does not mean in anyway that you are competing against the best in the country. There are 100s of different competitions today. The scene has grown exponentially as, frankly, that's where the money is.  Many do not require much to qualify, attending the regional is often enough and there are even some where that isn't necessary. 

On the other hand, some national competitions in some locations will attract a wider geographical range of studios. And there are few, a very few, where it really is more of a national competition and competitive to actually attend (NYCDA and the Dance Awards come to mind). 

I peripherally watched the comp world grow from the time I was a child until now. I had a family member who competed back in the 1970's when dance competitions were far and few between. My own dd competed a bit when she was young. The differences between the late 70's and when dd competed were striking. The differences between when dd competed and today are even more striking. So many solos, so many groups. Many kids do far more numbers today, between solos, duos, trios, and various size groups than they ever did. 

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Lpr3

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Reply with quote  #4 
So why make "nationals" such a big deal and travel so far? We had to drive 2 hours and stay over night in a hotel. Every other year they go super far to a "nationals", like a 10 hour drive. Why do the studios make it like nationals is such a big deal and like the whole year leads up to this?
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #5 
Welcome to the world of competitive dance where pretty much nothing is as it's cracked up to be  lol
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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #6 
The reason why they make Nationals such a big deal is to make money.
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hsealover

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Reply with quote  #7 

Most nationals are just a larger, less convenient regional. The only few nationals that are actually somewhat worth the hype imo are The Dance Awards, Radix, and NYCDA based off of what DD says. Which from what I know, is pretty accurate. Our nationals if kinda just an opportunity to visit a vacation spot while DD has the opportunity to compete one last time.
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nodrama15

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Reply with quote  #8 
The kids like the big "Nationals" trip...spending a few days in a hotel with their friends.  We have found that the competition at Nationals is tougher than the Regionals.  But really, it's just a like a larger, more expensive regional comp. 
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birdmom

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Reply with quote  #9 
The only nationals we've attended that was truly a nationals was The Dance Awards. We attended last year and I we are going next week. I was completely cool with going again this year because my kid got so much out of it.
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NCKDAD

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Reply with quote  #10 
Ideally Nationals would provide harder competition and greater talent and amount of talent. We've seen that sort of increase in 2/3 we've attended... and anticipate as well for our upcoming one. After last year she picked wisely and it's one we've been to before.

Basically everyone "qualifies" for nationals and most have some sort of minimum adjudication to attend which you can basically attain just by walking on stage. And if you didn't compete in the regional but want to at nationals there are ways in too- it's about money - they'll accept anyone lol. There is usually a larger financial kickback to studios for doing well at nationals, as well. And most have workshops.

To me it's a glorified competition or a competition on steroids if you will instead of 3 days- 5.

my older daughter has really enjoyed being on national teams and dancing in the opening number and the workshop and master classes offered too though.

We alternate in and out of state.

Now the dance awards - that's to me a real deal nationals with legit bragging rights. It's about as comprehensive as the competitive Dance world gets for nafionaks- IMO. And maybe a few of the others mentioned earlier.
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purplerain

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Reply with quote  #11 
Nationals is a bigger regional. 
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amandafarris03

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Reply with quote  #12 
we always travel about 2-3 hours for any REGIONAL competition we go to.  nationals is taking us about 4 hours away.  normally at the regional comps you are competing against local teams.  with nationals you can competing against people you haven't seen before.  it's purely just for fun and bragging rights.
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1tinydancer

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Reply with quote  #13 
Nationals is only a big deal to your wallet.


ETA - Has anyone ever figured out how many dance comps there are? And then with that number, figure out how many of them have a nationals? And the number of nationals they have?
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dmjrm4

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Reply with quote  #14 
Our studio is flying across the country to compete at The Dance Awards and we are competing for the coveted "Studio of the Year" award.  It is a big deal for us.
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Suzit42

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Reply with quote  #15 
All of our regionals are local. Nationals are a bigger deal because we travel to a fun location together. The talent isn't always at a higher level at Nationals. Like regionals, it depends on who shows up. It is interesting to compete against and watch new studios too. After eight years, I've seen most in our area.

I agree that the Dance Awards are probably the closest to a true national. They do attract top talent. It is livestreamed.
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birdmom

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmjrm4
Our studio is flying across the country to compete at The Dance Awards and we are competing for the coveted "Studio of the Year" award.  It is a big deal for us.


Which one? We are headed to Vegas. Our studio doesn't sent all teams to it so we aren't in for Studio of the Year. 
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disneymom2two

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Reply with quote  #17 
We found there was more competition when we went to nationals last year (we go every other year) but I think that was because the regional we went to was very small.  I wouldn't be at a studio where we had to fly; the nationals the soloists are going to is about a 3 hour drive; last year it was an hour and a half.  There were people who flew into the one we went to last year; I met someone from TN.  I'm good with driving up to 6ish hours.  The kids loved nationals- there were master classes, the competition was better, and it was at a hotel with a water park in it.
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Jacaranda

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Reply with quote  #18 
It seems crazy to me. I k ow you have a huge population the USA but for any activity (ie dance, gymnastics) there should only be one national Championships in the country every year, where the best in the country all compete. Dancers should not be calling themselves national champions unless they win this one nationals, for the best of the best in the country.
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Beccasmom

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Reply with quote  #19 
While I agree that Nationals isn't the "prestige" event it's cracked up to be for most competitions, in many cases there are extras you don't get at a regional .Many have master classes and the opportunity for some dancers to participate in an opening or closing show. The dancers get to meet kids not from their immediate area and some make friends and keep in touch via social media.  We are in northern NJ and the farthest we have traveled is Ocean City, Md. and Plymouth, Ma. Both are driveable from here. Most Nationals are held in resort/tourist areas where there's more to do outside of the competition as well.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #20 
We have travelled from just outside of Toronto to Myrtle Beach.  Some flew which took about 5 hours but we drove so we would have a car and that took 18 hours.
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dancedaughters

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Reply with quote  #21 
We have only attended Nationals a couple of times.  It's not necessarily harder competition or bigger (although the ones we attended were a lot bigger than the regionals we attended).  The National competition did attract studios from farther away, and it was fun to see/meet dancers from Canada, South Africa, and other places.
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PastrySugar

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdsmom
The reason why they make Nationals such a big deal is to make money.
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PastrySugar

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Reply with quote  #23 
Competions are all about the money. And the more money you throw at them the better you do. Sometimes you will run across a flawless dancer, and they do rise above the rest. But by golly those dancers are in the studio a lot!
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Suzit42

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beccasmom
While I agree that Nationals isn't the "prestige" event it's cracked up to be for most competitions, in many cases there are extras you don't get at a regional .Many have master classes and the opportunity for some dancers to participate in an opening or closing show. The dancers get to meet kids not from their immediate area and some make friends and keep in touch via social media.  We are in northern NJ and the farthest we have traveled is Ocean City, Md. and Plymouth, Ma. Both are driveable from here. Most Nationals are held in resort/tourist areas where there's more to do outside of the competition as well.


Yes, that is something I forgot in my comment. Last year, DD danced in the opening dance for the big, end show. DD is a tapper. Too bad her studio is not big on tap. She got to dance and perform with other dancers who shared her passion for tap. She was even up front next to another girl who won 1st overall for her tap solo. The look of joy on her face during that dance was priceless.
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #25 
The competition part for most is just a bigger regional but the one dd went to provided by invite only some really cool opportunities.  And the cool thing was it wasn't just about the elite dancers.  DD then aged 11 & 12 (went 2 years) was a intermediate dancer at the time and new to the comp world, got to be part of a group that made music videos.  It was really cool.  They talked about how music video dancing is different than stage dancing, etc.  It was a really great experience.  Another group they had was for kids who weren't the best dancers but showed a lot of heart on stage - one of dd's teammates got invited to that one.  They did a dance in the finale.  Another group was a fashion show, 2 of dd's teammates did that one.  It was a great opportunity for them to have a performance experience that they wouldn't have otherwise had.  Learn dances in 3-4 days, dance with dancers you've never met.
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