Magazine article Dance Teacher

High Five

Magazine article Dance Teacher

High Five

Article excerpt

Desiree Robbins of Tremaine Dance speaks her mind.

Desiree Robbins, a judge with Tremaine Dance Competitions and the artistic director of the Tremaine National Teen Performing Company, has been on the competition circuit for more than 15 years. She's seen it all-the good, the bad and the very ugly. As you choreograph new performance routines for the upcoming Regionals season, keep her advice in mind.

What trends do you anticipate for the 2010 Regionals season?

I am looking for a little bit of change in what everybody presents. People are really influenced by "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing with the Stars." It brings out the best in everybody's creativity. I'm looking forward to seeing how people use those ideas to bring fresh, new dances to competition. Just don't try to directly mimic what you see on television.

What do you never want to see at competition again?

At Tremaine, we call it the "crotchma." It's the side tilt kick that everyone is doing. Instead of doing a technical side battement or extension, dancers turn their hips and what opens to the audience is something that should not! It's an incorrect second battement, but they think it's right because everyone is doing it. Your hips should be facing downstage and the leg should open up to the side of the stage. When the dancers turn their hips, the battement is no longer technically correct. We've allowed it to happen for a few years now and people mimic it. But if you don't know the proper technique, you're not going to do it correctly, and you'll get marked down. …

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