MOVE Productions may be new on the scene-2008/09 is its third season-but it's already got people talking. "People have mentioned to me how nice our staff is, how we really put the kids first and go out of our way to cater to everybody," says national director Jimmy Heywood. "As an organization, we strive to be there for each dancer, to make each individual child feel like it's their special day and the focus is on them."
Heywood feels strongly that education should be part of a dancer's training, and so MOVE gives out two $1,000 college scholarships at Nationals each year. "I've noticed that a lot of dancers come out to L.A. very young, and they don't have another game plan," he explains. "These scholarships can go toward the college of their choice, in whatever field they choose." Also of note: After every regional event, the highest-scoring routines in each category, regardless of age, are posted online. MOVE also launched online registration this season.
Heywood, a former competitive dancer himself, founded MOVE with the idea of bringing an insider's view of what dancers and studios hope to get out of competition. "I think the number one thing is that it should be fun," he explains, "as well as a place where people can showcase their talents. And then, there are the lessons you learn: teamwork, putting others first, always doing your best. Winning with grace and losing with humility. There's nothing wrong with being competitive, but I also hope people will take away life lessons when they come to MOVE." One of Heywood's 2008 highlights came at the national finals in San Diego, CA, when a dancer fell from a high lift, but nonetheless finished the routine. "You'd never guess that she'd fallen," Heywood says. "She showed such great teamwork and sportsmanship, which is what MOVE is really about."
"There's nothing wrong with being competitive, but I also hope people will take away life lessons when they come to MOVE. …