It’s tough, beautiful, challenging, and full of energy. The next National Dance Team Championship (NDTC) is scheduled for February 2 through February 4, 2018. Dancers from all over the country will descend on Walt Disney World Resort®. Orlando.
Competitions run under the auspices of the National Federation of State High School Associations which also oversee high school sports and fine arts programs.
Who’s it for?
Middle-school, high school, and college dance teams compete throughout the county. It’s the step forward for those kids who participated in dance studio competitions as youngsters. And, participation has steadily increased and expanded in recent years.
It’s for young people who want to integrate dance movement with physically demanding exercise and win some fame and glory at the same time. You’ve probably seen the wide variety of quality, choreography, and styles on shows like NBC’s America’s Got Talent.
In their pursuit of originality and prizes, dance teams have added props, sets, lighting, and costumes to their routines. They employ professional choreographers, team managers, and exercise therapists for aggressive competition.
Groups compete in various categories, including modern jazz, precision drills, classical ballet, and traditional tap. Others perform cultural favorites like country clogging, Irish dance, or Mexican folkloric.
Still, others appear in interpretive modern dance, hip-hop, and acrobatic dance.
What are the rules?
Rules vary from one competition to another. But, teams are usually assigned to categories for experience, age, and group size.
Teams have only seconds to report on stage in their planned formation and only three to eight minutes to perform depending on the category.
Teams supply CDs of the preferred music weeks before the event. Teams must set-up and tear-down props and sets within one minute of the act.
What to wear?
Teams outdo themselves to dazzle judges with the right costumes. They need shoes, tops, and bottoms to suggest a theme or create color and impression. Contemporary teams have been opting for skirt illusions and pants for dance.
For instance, this Tri-Layered skirt in polyester and spandex combines two navy mesh layers paired with a white sequin layer that adds class to a matching sweetheart long sleeve crop top, creating the perfect performance duo. Polyester, Spandex.
The Youth Urban Vibe Harem Pant is shown here with bright red high top sneakers. It’s a unique high waist youth harem pant, with florals and stripes.
Blue Galaxy Legging is sheer and chic, a comfortable fit for another worldly presentation.
Of course, teams also need cosmetics, travel bags, rehearsal togs, and more if they want to make that championship impression.
What else does dance team do for you?
Dancers graduate their programs in prime condition. You can spot it in their posture and carriage. Hours of training and practice teaches them to walk as described at Varsity.com, with “lifted chin, elongated neck, and eyes off the floor.”
The body alignment wins awards and recognition with shoulders pressed, rib cage closed, abdominal muscles crunched, and hips level and even.
The individuals work in synch with each other and with the music to move and amaze audiences. But, behind the show is strength and stretch conditioning. Coaches put emphasis on dynamic stretching to move blood to the muscles quickly.
So, when you drop in on a rehearsal, you may be surprised by the time and effort devoted to conditioning because, even though the performance is short, it is very intense.
What else do those coaches do?
Dance Team coaches build strength and conditioning. But, they also decide on choreography, music, and personnel. Now, smart coaches do this as a collaborative effort with team members.
Collaboration assists the coach in motivating the team to more aggressive teamwork, coordinated stepping, and commitment to long hard days and nights.