Magazine article Dance Spirit

American Dance Awards

Magazine article Dance Spirit

American Dance Awards

Article excerpt

American Dance Awards, which celebrates its 30th anniversary season this year, wants dancers to leave motivated and inspired. "We like to encourage more than just competing," says director Gloria Jean Cuming. "For instance, we really promote camaraderie among the dancers. They all come to win, of course, but we also want them to remember-years from now-the friends they made at ADA. "

At ADA, every child receives a medal, while high-scoring routines are awarded trophies and scholarship money. National finals, held in a different city each year, feature an optional convention component, and studios are awarded free class cards depending on the amount of their entry fees.

One major aspect that differentiates ADA is that Cuming offers one national event with three "teams," or divisions, rather than offering events on three separate weekends in different cities. Each studio begins the Nationals week competing within its own team and then the top seven winners in each category progress to the Dance Off, where performers from the various teams compete against one another for the ultimate title. "This means you're not competing against 2,200 entries from the very beginning," Cuming explains. "It starts off more intimate, so more kids are able to participate and win within their own teams. Then, the Dance Off brings together the top talent."

Anyone who receives a gold medal at regionals is eligible to come to Nationals and compete to qualify for the U.S. Dance Team in tap, ballet, modern and jazz. USDT travels to Europe each year to compete against dancers from around the world in an Olympics-style event. And not only can ADA dancers travel outside the country, dancers from around the world attend ADA. "Last season we had teams from Europe and South Africa at our national championships," Cuming says. "Seeing that ADA is starting to attract dancers from outside the U. …

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