At “the dance project” we strive for the individualized attention to each and every dancer by providing the highest level of training in the smallest of classes. In essence we provide semi private lessons to our dancers and focus on their life beyond the studio but preparing them physically and mentally for the next step.
I started “the dance project – dallas” (TDP) last season after I saw a definite need for individualized training in the Dallas area. Based on a pre-professional company model the program is designed for young artists that want to train in all genres of dance to prepare for whatever life in the industry brings beyond the studio. With the faculty’s guidance the dancers spent the year learning about resumes, head shots, dance shots, scholarship applications/essays, how to audition both live and by video and basic tools of the trade that every dancer needs, no matter what age or level they are at. We concentrated on technique in our classes and most importantly we focused on “artistry” and how to become a true young artist. We studied all genres of dance and also included an acting class for dancers. We also looked at the numerous colleges that offer programs and determined what their requirements might be down the road in preparation for those applications.
We attended master classes that we determined were most beneficial to the dancers development, auditioned for everything that was available (mostly for training/practice purposes) and performed and competed at various events that had a benefit beyond a trophy (i.e scholarship opportunities). We even travelled to NY for an industry showcase (after being chosen by video audition) and had the chance to dance in front of scouts from both Bloc and Clear Talent agencies (as well as getting to dance alongside Chloe from “Dance Moms”). Each dancer that was of auditioning age was given an 1 minute audition solo as well as an optional full length competitive solo. We also prepared a couple of duets, trios and small groups for performance and audition purposes.
I am happy to report that our dancers were successful at EVERY audition that they attended, were accepted into every summer program that they applied and auditioned for, collectively received over $10,000 in scholarship monies for summer intensives, received the honor of 2 Dance Council of North Texas scholarships, and one was even offered a contract meeting with “Clear Talent” for full representation. Most importantly they grew as not only technical dancers, but as ARTISTS. A few of our dancers also have some very successful acting credits in local musical theatre productions as well as film and television appearances. This summer our dancers are attending summer intensives all over the country, performing in various local productions and training (and being noticed) in NYC and LA.
The program itself was designed for high school age dancers but we also have an intermediate age level for the younger students that are ready to commit to their training. All of our faculty teach to the highest level in the class so that all are challenged and they younger dancers get to experience the same program as those that are almost at the point of pursuing a career. In the fall, we are limited to 10 senior dancers and 8 intermediate dancers as we want to continue the individualized attention/training to provide what is needed for each dancer’s development. The beauty of this type of program is that it allows for complete flexibility in their training, as would happen in real life outside of the studio. No project outside of TDP is off limits, in fact we will bring you opportunities as we find them and help each dancer prepare for what is needed. Several of our students attend Booker T and are still able to participate in TDP and all that it has to offer even with their very busy school requirements. The dancers know that we train each night from 530-930 and they attend when their schedule allows.
The other advantage of our program is that is technique based and it can also be just a place that dancers can continue to train. It works well for drill team/cheerleading participants as well, especially with the flexibility. It also allows theatre students the opportunity to keep their dance technique fresh and ready for life in the theatre.