Nationals + Invitationals 2017 Recap

What a great past few weeks it’s been for the PNDC family! Nationals 2017 has just wrapped up after a whirlwind tour of Panama City Beach, FL, and Pigeon Forge, TN, and last week found us in Charleston, SC, for an amazing Ultimate Invitationals Championship. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all the parents, studios, teachers, judges, and especially the talented dancers that helped make these competitions the best yet! In celebration of the amazing performances we saw, we’ve put together a recap of our favorite moments from these past few weeks. Enjoy!

June 12-17 found PNDC in sunny Panama City Beach, FL, where we were welcomed with performances from superheroes, grannies, Grecian goddesses, showgirls, and more! We absolutely loved the costume creativity that was on display this year! Check out Panama City Beach’s opening act to warm us up for the performances to come here!

 

Later on in the month, we traveled to beautiful Pigeon Forge, TN, where we spent another fun-filled few days enjoying performances by some of the most talented young dancers in the country! The opening number in Pigeon Forge was incredible — see for yourself here!

 

It was unreal seeing the strength and flexibility that our PNDC Dancer family had on display throughout this year’s Nationals. It was clear that everyone had been practicing really hard – and it truly paid off!

 

We also loved seeing how much PNDC spirit our dancers (and parents and coaches!) had. Whether it was on their cars, on their t-shirts, or on the backs of their jackets, everywhere we turned, we saw people spreading the PNDC love! Thanks, everyone!

 

Then, we journeyed to charming and historic Charleston, SC, for a two-day dance extravaganza with our Ultimate Invitational Championship! This whirlwind tour featured even more beautiful costumes, talented dancers, and stunning choreography. What a fantastic way to round out our summer season! Thanks to all who came out to support PNDC!

 

As always, these competitions wouldn’t be possible without the support and assistance of all of our rockstar judges, choreographers, staff members, teachers, coaches, studios, parents and family members, costume designers, set designers, and dancers. We love you all and we are continually inspired to do and be better because of YOU!

So what’s next for PNDC?

We are excited to announce that the dates for our Platinum Dance Experience Convention Tour are out! Watch out for us throughout the fall as we visit over 10 different cities to offer a variety of dance classes and workshops to talented dancers like you!

How was your experience at Nationals and Invitationals? Which cities did you go to? What were your favorite performances? We want to hear from you! Be sure to follow our adventures on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages, and make sure to tag us and use #PNDCDancer!

Regionals 2017: Looking back!

Regionals 2017 has been such a wild ride! We have had an amazing season this year and it’s all thanks to our incredible dancers, parents, studios, teachers, judges, and MORE! We have had such an exciting season so far in 2017 and still have so much fun to have this summer. Regionals took us to dozens of cities across the country to watch hundreds of performances to THOUSANDS of fans! We are so grateful to our Platinum family of dancers past and present. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights from Regionals 2017.

 

We kicked off Regionals in Davenport, IA and Virginia Beach, VA! Here’s some memories from our first stops:

 

The costumes this year were off the charts! We saw some beautiful, sassy, sharp, and adorable costumes. We have such amazing designers that create the perfect pieces to enhance our dancers performances and make them shine like the stars they are. It’s not easy to make those costumes and takes some true talent and art, we are so lucky! Here’s a look at some of our favorites:

 

This year we saw some selfless acts of love, friendship, and sportsmanship. We got to see dancers from competing studios making friends and joking around backstage. It’s important to be kind to others and it can be hard to come by in a competition setting. We are so lucky to have such kind dancers help each other out and foster great relationships that will last years to come.

 

We want to give a HUGE thanks to all of the judges this year who made this possible. We do our best to choose judges who will provide constructive feedback and critiques to help shape our dancers. Hearing criticism can be hard but we have watched our dancers take it gracefully and use it to continually improve themselves. A big THANK YOU to the judges who carefully craft their critiques to provide our dancers with feedback that is healthy and helpful.

 

All of this wouldn’t be possible without all of the choreographers, coaches, teachers, parents, dance staff, costume designers, set designers, family members. We could not do this without you! Thank you for your continued support. You are the reason our season runs as smoothly as it does and we are SO GRATEFUL!

 

So…what’s next?

 

We’ve got a FULL summer ahead of us. First on the agenda, NATIONALS! We’re headed to Panama City Beach, FL from June 12-17 + Pigeon Forge, TN from June 27 – July 1. We can’t wait to see what our dancers bring to the stage this year and we couldn’t be more pumped. We’ll see you on the beach or in the mountains and we can’t wait!

 

After Nationals, we have our Ultimate Invitational Championship in Charleston, SC in July! We have invited some INCREDIBLE talent this year and we are on the edge of our seats to see what happens!

 

Don’t forget to register for Nationals and our Ultimate Invitational Championship here.

 

Our Viewer’s Choice Awards are now LIVE on our Facebook! Go check out all of the videos from Regionals and like your favorite. The video with the most likes will win the Viewer’s Choice Award at Nationals!

 

We want to hear how Regionals was for you! What city did you go to? What was your favorite performance? What are you doing this summer? Tell us what you’re up to on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Remember to use #PNDCDancer in all of your posts!

Spring Cleaning Your Dance Bag

Spring has sprung and you know what that means…spring cleaning!

Ah yes, the dreaded time of year where we have to acknowledge the clutter we’ve let accumulate throughout the year. Your room is a mess, the laundry is piled high, and your dance bag is barely zipping closed it’s so full. The season of renewal and rebirth inspires us all to get our things in line and clean up.

First thing on the list, your dance bag. It’s full of granola bar wrappers, loose bobby pins, worn out pads for your feet, used athletic tape, tights with holes in them, and that old pair sock that definitely need to visit the washing machine.

Below are four things you can do to spruce up your dance bag and keep it clean throughout the year.

1. Unpack those unhealthy snacks.

We’re all guilty of leaving those candy wrappers at the bottom of our dance bags. We all need a pick-me-up every now and then, so it can be easy to reach for the sweet stuff when selecting a snack.

But instead of reaching for the sweets, grab a handful of nuts. We love flavored nuts that are sweet and give us that sugar fix we’re craving. If you don’t like nuts or are allergic, another great option is sugar-free gum!

 

2. Up-cycle your old tights.

Take all of those old pairs of tights with runs and holes in them, and turn them into something new! Make a sachet with potpourri to keep in your dance bag to keep things smelling fresh. You can also cut the tops of the waistband to turn into a makeshift hair tie or scrunchie if you ever are in a pinch. Check out a list of things you can do with your old tights here.

 

3. Zip up the small things!

Don’t let the bottom of your dance bag be a graveyard of bobby pins and hair ties. Get a small zipper bag to hold your essentials so you don’t lose them. Keep your deodorant, face wipes, hair ties, bobby pins, bandages and tape, and any other small items inside one of these little bags.

That way, when you need something, you don’t have to fish around in your bag. You’ll know right where they are every time, and it’ll prevent clutter in the future too!

 

4. Keep it clean.

When you sit down to clean your dance bag, take a minute to empty the whole thing out. Dump out the loose crumbs and any trash you might’ve missed. Take a baby wipe or a damp towel and wipe your bag down for extra freshness. While you’ve got the baby wipes or a towel out, go ahead and throw them in your bag.

Use the baby wipes to freshen up your face after dancing. Removing all of the sweat and dirt from your face can keep your skin clear and healthy. Having a towel on hand can also be really helpful. You can use it to dab your sweat, dry your face after washing it, or keep it at the bottom of your bag to line it.

We hope these spring cleaning tips inspire you to dump out your dance bag and clean it up! A clean bag is a clean mind.

Share your photos of your dance bag and how you organize it with us! Use the hashtag #PNDCDancer. We are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Show Yourself Some Love

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In the spirit of February and Valentine’s Day we’re focusing on love. Yes, it’s important to show your love and appreciation for family, friends and dance teachers, but you must not forget to love yourself! Now that competition season is in full swing, it’s easy to get caught up in your day-to-day tasks. Read on to find out how you can take a moment each day to show yourself some love while still powering through your days for a successful season.

 

1 — Always be prepared.

Set yourself up for success! Whether it’s dance class or competition, it’s important to be prepared for whatever may come your way. That means all the right shoes, snacks, hair-ties and anything else you can think of. Check out this post for more ideas on how you can properly prepare yourself for success.

 

2 — Eat well.

 

Healthy bodies start in the kitchen and finish on the dance floor. If you really want to stay healthy and get stronger throughout the competition season, eating well will help you reach that goal. Stumped on where to start? Check out this post for some tips and recipe ideas.

3.  Rest.

We all know that competition season is an extremely busy and somewhat stressful time. This is why it is truly imperative to give yourself some rest. Rest days are important because it gives your body time to recover from all of that hard work and come back stronger. Here’s a great article on why rest is so important and how it can benefit you.

 

We hope you’ll take a moment to treat yourself this season. Remember, you deserve it! What’s your favorite way to show yourself some love? We’d love to hear! Share them with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Dance Resolutions for 2017

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The holidays are officially over and it’s time to get back to the grind. Have you taken a moment to think about your goals and aspirations for 2017? If not, we’re here to help you create those goals and make 2017 your best year yet! Here are five great resolution ideas to help you build toward a happy and healthy dance future in the New Year.

1. Focus on getting stronger.

It’s important to do strength-building activities to help you grow stronger which, in turn, helps you perform better on stage. Check out these ideas from Dance Spirit.

2. Listen to your body. 

If something hurts, make sure to tell your teacher or coach and never dance through the pain. Addressing the pain early on could help prevent more serious injuries in the future.

3. Get out of your comfort zone. 

This could mean performing that hip-hop solo instead of your usual contemporary, or maybe even auditioning for a new team or production. Your life truly begins when you step outside of your comfort zone — go for it!

4. Pick one move you’d like to perfect and stick to it. 

Rather than trying to work on ten different things at once, pick one thing at a time and give it your undivided attention. Once you have perfected this move, continue on down your list to the next thing.

5. Relax and have fun!

We dance because it’s fun! Try not to get too caught up in the stress of practice and competition and remember why you started dancing in the first place.  

Have you made some New Year’s Dance Resolutions of your own? We’d love to hear! Share them with us on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Faculty Spotlight: Kyle Shukis

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Convention season is in full swing, and we couldn’t be more excited! Our dancers and staff are in it to win this year. We had the chance to speak with one of our great faculty members, Kyle Shukis, about why he loves to teach at Convention – and what he hopes you’ll learn this year. Read on to learn more about Kyle!

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Q: What are you most looking forward to about Convention this year?

A: I am always excited to work with a bunch of new dancers but also look forward to the students who return each year.  Getting to see their growth over time is so rewarding!

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to the dancers coming to Convention, what would it be?

A: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  So many dancers get used to the same teachers and styles and let that box them in.  Conventions are a great place to challenge yourself in new ways and you can grow so much as a dancer in just one day!

Q: How long have you been teaching dance?

A: I started teaching dance as an assistant when I was only fifteen and haven’t stopped since!

Q: What kind of dance classes do you enjoy teaching the most? Which ones will you be teaching at Convention?

A: I love teaching classes that push your thought process as well as your technique – improvisation, choreography, movement studies etc.  I will be teaching both contemporary and jazz at the convention and love those, as well!

Q: You have a lot of experience in many areas of the dance world – which part of this industry is your favorite?

A: I used to do a lot of work on the side as a lighting designer in NYC – it was a great way to supplement my income as well as have a flexible schedule.  It’s amazing how much lighting can change and influence a piece of work and you truly feel as though you are a part of what is happening on stage.

Q: What do you think the biggest challenge is for young dancers today, and how can they overcome it?

A: I honestly think that much as the way magazines can cause people to have image problems, social media and what is posted dance wise often has the same effect on young dancers.  Most of what people post and share are things that are “perfect” and when inundated with these videos and images it causes young dancers to think they aren’t good enough.  Always remember that people are only going to post their best, and no matter how amazing a dancer is, they have both fallen and failed at something – you just aren’t there to see it.  Use these posts for inspiration, but don’t let it dictate what you feel like you need to be as a dancer.

Q: You have been involved quite a few productions – which one is your favorite?

A: I was in an all-dance production of “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.”  I got to play Edmund and it was so fun to have to portray a child while also performing challenging movement.

Q: There’s always that one move or combination that gives you a hard time. Is there any specific dance move that has been difficult for you? If so, how did you get better at it?

A: I always struggled with flexibility as a younger competition dancer.  Learning how to stay warm and stretch properly and for the right amount of time helped increase my range by a huge amount.

Q: What is your favorite dance memory?

A: I have so many! One of my favorites was getting to work an extended residency in the Cayman Islands where we taught residents in the community about dance.  Everyone was so welcoming and so open minded and excited to learn new things.  We also got to perform on an open air stage outside where chickens would wander into the wings – it was so cool!

Q: Who are your favorite people to follow on social media (dance related or not!)? 

A: I love Michelle Obama on social media – she is so inspirational as a person and does so much good work around the world.  She has a snapchat that really lets you in to see how much she does each day and she is always full of positivity.

Q: Are you on social media? Our dancers would love to follow you!

A: Yes! My Instagram is kyleasaurusrex.

 

We can’t wait to see you at our next Convention stop, Kyle! Dancers, check back here to learn more about our amazing faculty and what’s in store for you this season! Are you coming to convention? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Back to School 101: How to Choreograph Your Classes

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School is back, and that means one thing: Lots of scheduling. Between school, homework, and dance class, it can be hard to figure out how to manage your time. But don’t worry – we have some ideas for you.

1) When in doubt, write it out.

You might think you can memorize your entire schedule in your head – and maybe you can! But you don’t have to. Find a way to write down your schedule so you can glance at it quickly when you need it. Many people use their phones or email for reminders. You can also use a good, old-fashioned day planner. Write down all of your commitments – maybe even color-code them! You’ll be surprised at how quickly you gain control over your hectic schedule.

2) Education over extracurriculars.

You won’t find bigger fans of dance than us. But during the school year, it’s important to prioritize your schoolwork over any extracurricular activities so you don’t fall behind. Dancing is hard work and requires a lot of practice and commitment – but so do your classes. Take the time to finish your homework and give your education the attention it deserves.

3) Veg with the veggies.

 Dancers already know the value of eating well. But this becomes especially important during the school year. The right foods will make you healthier, which will allow you to think more clearly and have the energy you need to handle school and dance. We’re not saying you can’t enjoy a little ice cream once in a while – but keep everything in moderation. Find a buddy to commit to eating healthy with you and keep each other accountable during the year and at dance class.

What do you think? How do you stay organized during the school year? Tell us below!

Year in Review: Platinum National Dance Competition Celebrates 10th Anniversary Season

Competition season might be over, but we have so many great memories from our 10th season that it’s hard to choose a favorite. Dozens of cities, hundreds of performances, and thousands of fans made our 2016 season one for the books.

Let’s take a moment to remember what made this year one of our favorites.

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1) We hosted our first Ultimate Invitational Championship! Dancers from around the country were invited to participate in this exclusive competition. We saw some amazing talent this year and can’t wait to see what next year brings!

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2) Our annual Ultimate Viewers Choice competition was a success! We had dozens of great routines to choose from, but “Glam” from Scenic City Dance showed us what it really means to be the best. Congratulations again!

3) Last, but not least, we want to remember the hundreds of people who worked to make this season so unforgettable. Coaches, teachers, parents, dance staff, costume designers, set designers, family members – we couldn’t do this without you.

Thank you for your continued support!

So what can you look forward to next?

  • A new season! Our 2017 schedule is posted on our website, and we think you’ll love it. We’re heading to 30 cities across the country to watch the best of the best perform fresh routines, and we can’t wait to see what routines our dancers come up with next year.
  • Convention is almost here! You won’t have to wait until next year to dance with us again – join us at Convention in October! You’ll have an opportunity to learn new moves, make new friends, and prepare yourself for the upcoming season.

Check out the whole schedule on our website, and learn even more details about Convention here. Will we see you at one of our stops?

And now we want to hear from you: What will you do to pass the time until we meet again? Are you focusing on a new routine this summer? Or are you taking the time off to relax? We came up with some great ideas to make this summer a great one – take a peek at some of our other posts here, here, and here. Tell us what you’re up to on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Three Things Every Dancer Needs to Know to Become (and Stay) Flexible

Competition season is well under way – but it’s not over yet! You want to give your very best from the first competition to the last, and that means staying focused and in-shape for the entire season. Therefore, so many skills need to be honed and maintained – like your flexibility.

If you need some fresh ideas on how to become more flexible and stay that way, check out these three tips below

1. A little yoga can go a long way.

When it comes to flexibility and stretching your muscles, yoga is one of the most useful activities. It is designed to strengthen your body through building muscles and endurance, two key components of a dancer’s exercise routine.

By incorporating yoga into your regular workout, you will find new ways to build and stretch your muscles that will be invaluable to your dance career. Bonus: Yoga has been shown to reduce stress and improve your overall health.

Check out some of these great stretches on Pinterest.

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2. Start small.

If you are a beginner to the world of stretching and increasing flexibility without the help of a coach or teacher, don’t do too much too quickly. Start with a small goal for yourself – like some of these beginner-level stretches.

Every day, try to do a little bit more. If you were able to stretch for twenty minutes you first, day, try stretching for twenty-one minutes the next day. Slowly and gradually build up your endurance until you are able to maximize your flexibility and improve your jumps, lifts, and turns.

3. Listen to your body.

It’s tempting to see how far you can push yourself when learning a new skill, and stretching is no exception. But while you do want to do your best, you don’t have to start by being the best.

Pay attention to the clues and signs your body is giving you that tell you to stop or slow down. Being the most flexible dancer in your company won’t do you any good if you are injured and unable to dance. Even the Rockettes recommend taking a break now and then.

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It should always be your goal to improve and make a little more progress than the day before – as long as you do it in a safe, smart way.

How about it, dancers? What are some other things that help you stay flexible during the competition season (and the rest of the year, too)? Share your tips with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

What would I tell you?

There are two types of people in the world: people that have been dancing for as long as they can remember, and those who are about to start dancing. As a long-term dancer, what do you wish you had been told when you aspired to be where you are now? If you could turn back time and tell yourself anything about dance and what it would take, what would that be? Check out the 5 things we have found that older dancers would like to tell up and coming dancers:

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 5.29.11 PMAs a dancer, you should never compare yourself to other dancers. We are all dancing and learning at our own pace. You cannot expect to pick up and be on the same page as someone that has been dancing his or her whole life. For some it may come easier than others, but do not get discouraged about it! In the beginning you will have all sorts of thoughts about your abilities. That is the beautiful part of the journey. Keep working hard and give it your all!

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You should always walk in to the studio with your head held high, ready to learn. Every dancer is learning at a different pace. Dance is all about confidence. Confidence is the belief that you can do whatever you put your mind to. People can tell if you are confident or not. If you walk out on that stage with confidence in yourself, your dance will reflect that confidence.

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Training is the most important aspect of dance, since practice DOES make perfect. If you are consistent in your practice and your training, you will continue to improve. There will be days where you do not feel like going to practice. You will want to be at the next high school football game or a friend’s birthday party. Commitment is key in being a successful dancer. You might not see the results right away, but every long term dancer can tell you that practice is what makes you the best. When training gets hard, do not quit!

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Dance is all about being you. You can be an introverted dancer or an extroverted dancer; however, the most important thing is that you are not shy about your dancing. You want to walk off that stage knowing you gave it your all. Surprisingly, being shy goes hand in hand with being confident in yourself. The higher level of confidence you have, the less shy you will be. Even if you are nervous before your first competition or recital, walk out there with positive intentions and act like you own the stage. Everyone will be thinking, “Wow! She just owned that stage!”

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You have to put yourself and your talents out there. If you do not take a chance and show people your abilities, they will never know they exist. You have already conquered the first step of putting yourself out there by starting the next season! Before you ever started dancing, you were the only person that knew you could dance. Now is your chance to bring your talents to the stage and show them off! Be willing to put yourself in the front row, ask questions, and show them what you’re made of.

As you can see, dance takes a lot of confidence, hard work, trust, encouragement, and belief in yourself. The best dancers out there did not take an easy road to get there. All dancers have moments where they felt like they had failed, messed up, or even wanted to give up. Committing to something and aspiring to be great at it is hard work. Be the best you can be and do the work to get to the top: THIS is what “I” would tell “you!”