Friday Night is Delegate Night!

For me personally, our Delegate Showcase at the start of the festival weekend on Friday night, is one of the highlights of the event and something I eagerly look forward to every year. The process starts when we open booking for performance spots and the excitement builds as I begin to receive applications and see what lovely things are in store for us to watch and enjoy.

I am quite passionate about this aspect of our festival because I know just how wonderful it is for dancers of all levels and experience to have the opportunity to perform in a friendly, supportive and non-judgmental environment. The aim of the Showcase is to be all-inclusive and welcomes dancers at all levels of experience. In fact, with the atmosphere being so friendly, many dancers use the Delegate Showcase as the venue to perform their very first solo, safe in the knowledge that their performance will be in front of an audience who is 100% behind them.

What we end up with is a wonderful mix of those who are just starting out through to those with lots more experience. It is my job to ensure that we have a healthy balance of styles Vs solos/duets/groups and experience. I understand how important it is for those with less experience to  perform as early as possible in order to cope with pre-performance nerves and also how important it is not to put on a very experienced dancer immediately before those who are just starting out. No one wants to be faced with the prospect of “how the hell do I top that!?” Daunting at the best of times but even more so if you are new to performing!

In fact performing could be described as daunting for most of us at one point or another during our dance adventures and therefore I see it as doubly important to reduce the impact of that as much as possible for all those taking part in the Showcase. Dancing should be fun not the equivalent of a trial by fire.  🙂

So with all that in mind, here are some friendly pointers on how to make the most of your Delegate Showcase experience (you can read the full guidelines on the website – celebratingdance.co.uk/showcase.htm)

  • Choose carefully. Make sure that you choose a song that fits within the time limits (no more than 4m30s) and in a style that is suitable for a family-friendly audience. If you are not sure it’s right, please ask us early enough that you can rehearse something else if necessary. We reject all applications for longer numbers, so the sooner you ask the more time you will have to prepare.
  • Think carefully about your staging – whilst the dance space is not huge, you do need to consider that you will be facing an audience on three sides. Try to find a balance between using the space effectively whilst not dancing too close or too far away from the audience.
  • Dancers in small groups (2s, 3s or 4s) need to plan so that they don’t have large gaps between the performers or they end up looking like a group of soloists or two competing teams! 🙂 Tighten things up so that you have two thirds of your performance dancing as a cohesive whole. The end result is that you will have some lovely group photos rather than a string of individual dancers.
  • Using a prop? The ceiling is relatively low so ensure that your prop will clear a low ceiling comfortably. Note that props using fire or smoke are not permitted.
  • Costuming can be tricky to get right so make sure that firstly you wear something appropriate to both the venue and what you are performing and secondly that it is up to the job. Check that everything fits securely (safety pins are a dancer’s best friend!), won’t get caught on jewellery, veils etc and actually suits your build, colour and height. If in doubt, ask your teacher or a friend for advice. Something that looks fine in daylight maybe transparent under performance lighting, it’s best not to find that out once you are on stage! 🙂
  • Make up and hair are as important as your costume, in fact you should see them as being part of the same thing. Leave yourself enough time to apply make up and style your hair and remember that you need to wear a lot more make up when performing. Not sure how to create the right performance look? Try visiting the cosmetics counters in the big stores and ask for a very glam makeover. Pick a brand you like and trust but don’t feel obliged to buy all the products that are used.
  • You can’t do anything without your music! Hand in your music at registration (CD or Mp3) and bring a back up to the ballroom in the evening.
  • Be ready on time! We recommend having an early dinner so that you have plenty of time to get ready without rushing. You can find out what segment you are in at registration and running orders are well displayed.
  • Have fun, the last and really the most important point! Take a deep breath, put on your best smile and give it your all. It doesn’t matter what level you are at, I can guarantee the audience will love you because we love everyone who takes part.

I am looking forward to seeing all the exciting things this year’s Showcase will be filled with. It’s different every year but it’s also brilliant every year!

See you there!

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