Practice Hard, Perform Easy!

What JSOD dancers love about dance and competition season

Emma+Wesley+in+costume+for+Outlaws.+Photo+by+Kristen+Bailey.
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Practice Hard, Perform Easy!

Emma Wesley in costume for Outlaws. Photo by Kristen Bailey.

Emma Wesley in costume for Outlaws. Photo by Kristen Bailey.

Emma Wesley in costume for Outlaws. Photo by Kristen Bailey.

Emma Wesley in costume for Outlaws. Photo by Kristen Bailey.

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During the weekend of March 15-17th 2019, Jane’s School of Dance dancers attended another dance competition located in Cleveland, Ohio. The schedule for this competition was very busy, especially for the dance teachers. On March 14th, all of the dancers rode up to Cleveland on a bus. The bus ride is intended to be a bonding experience. 

On the morning of March 15th, the 12 and under competitive and elite solos competed. While they are performing, the students over the age of 13 are in their scholarship audition classes. Later that day, the thirteen and over elite solos competed and the twelve and under dancers took their scholarship audition classes.

Scholarship Audition Classes are much different than normal classes. These classes include ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and acro. Acro is an optional class and it is not counted against the dancer if they do not take it. Each dancer wears a number so that it is easy for the judges to write down any comments about each individual dancer. The dancers will learn a short combination, then they will perform twice in groups for the judges. While other groups are performing, the dancers have to stand at the other side of the room, looking at the wall. They can’t watch the other dancers when they are performing, as it would be unfair for some students to be able to watch and learn from more people before they went. The judges will then judge each group and decide the winners of each class. If you win 3rd, 2nd, or 1st place, you will win money that will go back to your studio. There are also four and five phase winners. The five-phase consists of all classes, while the four-phase consists of all classes except for acro. Thirteen JSOD dancers placed in the scholarship classes. 

On March 16th, the twelve and under duets, trios, and groups performed. While they competed, the thirteen and over dancers attended their normal classes. At the end of each class, the teacher picks out one student to give a Shining Star award to. For this competition, one JSOD dancer received the award in the 15-16-year-old Ballet class. That night, the thirteen and over competitive solos competed.

On March 17th, the final day of the competition, all competitive and elite thirteen and over duets, trios, and groups competed. While they competed, the twelve and under students attended their classes. The last day is the longest day for the dancers, as the awards did not even start until after 9:45 PM that night!

Jane’s School of Dance took thirteen group numbers, two trios, four duets, and forty-six solos. Below are the results listed from the group routines. Listed by the routine name are the categories that the dances were in. A routine is either in competitive or elite, depending on what the teachers put the dance in. If a dance is in large line, that means that they are a large group of dancers in that specific dance. If a dance is in small line, that means that there are a small group of dancers in that specific dance. The numbers are the age category that the dance is in. Lastly, the genre of dance is listed. 

“Outlaws” (Elite, Large Line, 15-16 Tap): Platinum Award, High Score Award, and 2nd Runner Up

“Put It On Me” (Elite, Small Line, 15-16 Lyrical): Gold Award

“You Give Love A Bad Name” (Elite, Small Line, 15-16 Jazz): Gold Award

“Sweet Dreams” (Elite Group, 15-16 Tap): High Gold Award

“Move” (Competitive, Small Line, 13-14 Jazz): High Gold Award

“Passenger” (Competitive, Small Line, 15-16 Lyrical): High Gold Award

“Swing It” (Elite, Small Line, 13-14 Tap): High Gold Award

“Fools” (Competitive, Small Line, 13-14 Lyrical): High Gold Award

“Schemes and Dreams” (Competitive, Small Line, 13-14 Jazz): High Gold Award

“Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” (Competitive, Small Line, 9-10 Jazz): High Gold Award and a Judges Special Award

“Beatpatized”(Competitive, Small Line, 11-12 Tap): Platinum Award

“Riverside” (Competitive, Small Line, 9-10 Lyrical): Platinum Award and the Choreography Award

“Singing in the Rain” (Elite, Production, 13-14 General Variety): High Gold Award and 1st Place Production


Not many people realize just how much work it takes for a dancer to prepare for a competition. It takes a lot of hard work, but in the end, the hard work pays off. Dancers from Jane’s School of Dance were asked a series of questions about what it is like to be a competitive dancer. 

Addison Kerr (9)

Addison Kerr waits on awards. Photo by Kristen Bailey.

What is your favorite part about dancing on the competition team?

My favorite part about dancing on the competition team is the bond you make with the girls around you and the life long bonds you will have.

What inspires your love for dance?

I have been dancing since I was one and I haven’t known anything different but I have always loved performing and entertaining others and just being on stage.

What advice would you give someone who was wanting to become a competition team dancer?

I feel the best advice I could give is to go with the flow and try your best not to stress about everything and to just relax.


Marie Hite (10)

Marie Hite in costume for Passengers. Photo by Kristen Bailey.

What is your favorite part about dancing on the competition team?

I love being able to have more performance options and being able to get comments to make myself better.

What inspires your love for dance?

I think that when I was put in at a young age I slowly learned to love the sport and arts behind the performance.

What advice would you give someone who was wanting to become a competition team dancer?

Be prepared to handle a lot of criticism and if you want to improve watch yourself and make changes to help fit your body to make the performance look it’s best.


Emma Wesley (11)

Emma Wesley in costume for Outlaws. Photo by Kristen Bailey.

What is your favorite part about dancing on the competition team?

My favorite part about dancing on the competition team is being able to dance with those who are as passionate about the art form as I am. I also love being able to go to the dance studio and feel my stresses wash away. Dance is an escape from my reality.

What inspires your love for dance?

My love for dance comes from the love of self-improvement. Dance is different from other sports because it is purely individualized. I can continue to mentally push and grow myself through dance yet still be there for my teammates.

What advice would you give someone who was wanting to become a competition team dancer?

Dance is difficult. Dance is hard. There are days when you will love yourself and your abilities but some days you will hate them. These feelings are completely normal, changes in self-esteem are natural. Comparison is the most toxic thing you can ever do to yourself. Each dancer has a specialty and a kryptonite, and you have to except both.


Eliza Beach (8)

Eliza Beach ready to perform her solo. Photo by Lori Bailey.

What is your favorite part about dancing on the competition team?

My favorite part of being on the competition team is leading up to the competitions because all the groups come together as one and everyone is so supportive and that’s just a great feeling.

What inspires your love for dance?

My love for dance comes from the people that surround me there. Everyone is supportive and accepting and I wouldn’t give that up for the world!

What advice would you give someone who was wanting to become a competition team dancer?

My advice for someone joining the competition team is to be patient. Everyone is very tired after being there every day but we still love each other no matter what.