a group of dancers jumping in the air with a large crowd of dancers watching at a convention

A Parent’s Guide to: 2021-2022 Dance Conventions

Warming up at 8 am with dance parties and sunrise salutations in a huge ballroom full of Iights, music, and your favorite dancers, taking class with some of the biggest choreographers in the industry, and living and breathing dance for an entire weekend— there’s nothing quite like a dance convention! Whether your home dance studio waits all year for convention season to start, or you’re just dipping your toes into the dance convention world, if you’ve been to even one convention, you know just how exciting and inspiring the experience can be for a young dancer.

Never been to a dance convention? Here are a few reasons that dance conventions are a fun and enriching part of a young dancer’s dance education:

  • LESSONS: Conventions are a supportive, highly engaging environment where dancers learn more about themselves and about the industry from successful choreographers. More than that, they get to learn by experience and can dance with nationally and even globally recognized talent in person. Even the best in-studio teachers can agree that sometimes, the experience of a convention offers lessons that you can’t find in your home studio.
  • NETWORK: Grow your dance family! Dancers learn to network in a supportive, exciting environment, making lifelong friends and noting which choreographers they’d like to work with in the future. If they’re consistent they may even get noticed by choreographers who will be integral to their dance journey.
  • EXCITEMENT! Need we say more? The faculty and convention directors put a lot of effort into making the weekend as memorable as possible. As you’ll learn in this article, there are so many different dance conventions these days, and each one is competing for YOUR attendance. This means they put a lot of care into how the weekend goes from start to finish, from choosing great hotels to providing opportunities for every kind of dancer (in many cases, including parents!). They want the dancers to leave inspired, excited, and stronger, and it really shows!

Navigating the convention scene can be tricky even for experienced dancers and parents, so we’ve picked some of the best dance conventions of the 2021-22 season and listed them below.

Don’t live in a big city or on the coast? No problem! We’ve included different types of dance conventions, including those with less-visited cities so that you can be sure to find the convention that suits you and your dancer!

The Best Dance Conventions of the 2021-2022 Season:

JUMP

October 2021 – May 2022

The largest dance convention in the world, touring to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica, Jump boasts an awesome faculty including many of our CLI family (like our co-director, Teddy Forance!), the prolific Wade Robson, and tap star Savion Glover. Jump, Nuvo and 24 SEVEN Dance all share the same Nationals called The Dance Awards— meaning that attendance at any of these conventions includes many chances to earn your spot at this prestigious summer event.

NYCDA

October 2021 – May 2022

The NYCDA family is big! NYCDA’s executive director, Joe Lanteri, is also co-owner and executive director of Steps on Broadway in New York City. NYCDA provides year-round training in the form of other workshops and intensives in both winter and summer, including their summer Nationals competition and convention. The NYCDA Foundation provides college scholarships for dancers that are a part of the NYCDA family. Notable faculty include Andy Blankenbuehler, the choreographer of Hamilton, Chloe Arnold, CLI faculty and director of the Syncopated Ladies, and Tony Testa.

NUVO

October 2021 – May 2022

Nuvo has a robust teacher program, with offerings for both parents and teachers throughout the weekend. Many NUVO faculty, including Ray Leeper, Travis and Denise Wall, Mark Meismer and Stacey Tookey, boast a long list of film, TV, and stage credits. NUVO participates in The Dance Awards and offers many tour stops in the Midwest, as well as several Canadian cities!

24 SEVEN DANCE

October 2021 – May 2022

24 SEVEN Dance is the third convention to participate in the dance awards. It centers the competition aspect of the weekend a bit more than its contemporaries Nuvo and Jump, but includes some fun weekend additions such as the ability to win awards for individual styles and genres over the course of the weekend, and an infamous parent dance battle at the end of the weekend! This year they are visiting 7 new cities, including several in less-visited states such as Iowa, Montana, and New Mexico. Notable faculty includes siblings Blake McGrath and Shannon Mather.

Jump, Nuvo and 24 SEVEN Dance are run by a parent dance production company called Break the Floor, which you may know from their summer event DancerPalooza, their national event The Dance Awards, the show Freddie Falls in Love, and the dance company Shaping Sound. Dancer Palooza is not a touring convention, it’s a jam packed dance festival that offers a huge variety of ways to train. The festival is known for its awesome faculty, and yep, you guessed it—many of them are a part of our CLI family!

RADIX

October 2021 – May 2022

Radix encourages versatility and unique artistic expression. Expect challenging combos all weekend long from a diverse and respected faculty— listing notable faculty would take up half this page, so visit the convention website to read their impressive bios. At the end of the weekend, enjoy (or take part in) the Core Performer dance-off.

ADRENALINE, REVIVE

October 2021 – May 2022

The Adrenaline and Revive dance conventions both participate in the National Dance Honors in the summer as their national competition. Adrenaline is visiting 5 new cities this year, including locations in Utah, Indiana and Arizona. Adrenaline and Revive both work with the CORE The Movement Destination programs which offer genre-based training throughout the year in weekend and week-long workshops.

VELOCITY

November 2021 – May 2022

Velocity dance convention has many scholarship opportunities, from tuition free classes at Broadway Dance Center and scholarship money for AMDA College of The Performing Arts, to auditions for GO2Talent agency, a boutique talent agency in LA. Velocity offers many Midwest options on their tour and bring in choreographers like Ade Obayomi, Melissa Sandvig, and Shannon Mather.

TREMAINE

October 2021 – April 2022, June 2022 – July 2022

Tremaine dance convention and competition reaches tens of thousands of dancers annually in approximately 24 cities across the country. With faculty including Megan Sannet, Tiffany Maher, and Tony Bellisimo, they offer workshop classes in a variety of popular styles to both dancers and teachers, as well as scholarship opportunities chosen by both peers and faculty. Additionally, Tremaine awards AMDA scholarships in select cities!

DANCEMAKERS

October 2021 – May 2022

DanceMakers is known for having an overarching theme with each tour that they present–this year, their tour is called “In Bloom.” Visiting 19 cities over the course of the year, DanceMakers creates an environment full of positivity, creativity, and inspiration. Their faculty includes Kathryn McCormick, Erica Sobol, Robert Roldan, Josh Smith and more. General scholarships are awarded, as well as The Collective and The Collective JV–a group of dancers chosen by faculty to receive a year-long scholarship to all DanceMakers Conventions for their reigning year.

LA DANCE MAGIC

November 2021 – May 2022

Founded by Jackie Sleight and Dave Carter, LA Dance Magic’s mission is to provide a safe space for dancers to learn and challenge themselves to new movement. Throughout a weekend full of master classes and competition performances, there are opportunities for scholarship auditions, with winners awarded at the end of the convention. Instructors from CLI that work with LA Dance Magic include Julie Kay Stallcup and Scott Fowler!

HOLLYWOOD VIBE

November 2021 – May 2022

Each Hollywood Vibe weekend features a variety of workshop level classes in all major styles from choreographers like Kent Boyd, Caitlin Kinney, Karen Chuang, and more. They award many audition-based scholarships, including the LA Agency Award, where the winner receives a scholarship to Millennium Dance Complex, a headshot photo session with an LA photographer, and a consultation with an LA-based talent agency.

Most of the above dance conventions are both convention and competition. Meaning, they have a workshop schedule that runs most of the weekend and is full of classes taught by resident and guest choreographers, and another part of the weekend, typically Friday and Saturday that is dedicated to competition.

young dancer dancing in the middle of the room with a crowd of people watching

Some dance events are more workshop focused, some are only competition, and some still are festivals that include many different offerings for dancers to participate in. Events labeled dance conferences tend to be more specialized—think ballroom dance, or a focus on dance education. Dance conventions, on the other hand, are geared towards the type of training you would receive at a general dance studio— ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop and contemporary (although other styles often find their way into the weekend lineup, and can often be the highlight of the weekend!)

What conventions will we see you at this year?

If you aren’t heading to a dance convention this year, do not worry! Our on-demand library of classes is perfect for students who want to train with the industry’s best dancers right from the comfort of their own home. Head to clistudios.com/parents to learn more about our online program for kids ages 13-12 and teens 13+. Looking for a specific style or choreographer? Learn more about all of the styles we offer and the instructors we work with!

Dance Conventions in the Age of Covid-19

As this school year begins, we find ourselves still navigating a world with Covid-19. Last year, dance conventions had a variety of responses including limiting the capacity in the ballrooms and onstage during awards ceremonies and complying with mask mandates that vary by state. It is safe to assume that dance conventions may continue to have modified health and safety protocols during the 2021-22 season. For more information on how each convention is responding to the pandemic moving forward, check out their individual websites and instagram pages for more details.

Why should I consider going to dance conventions as a part of my child’s training?

dance instructor colby shinn onstage talking to a group of young dancers
Image by @jumpdance

Dance conventions can immediately diversify a young dancer’s training in a super engaging and exciting environment. Conventions offer networking opportunities, exposure to different genres of dance and styles of teaching, and for many young dancers, they’re just plain fun. Do not be deterred if you do not live near a big city or the coast, and remember that many of the faculty that teach at these conventions teach classes on CLI studios as well. Because anyways, the best time to start diversifying your training is….right now!

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