December 23, 2021
by Stacie Collins

7 Ways VIP is Changing the Game of the Dance Competition Experience

ARTICLE AT-A-GLANCE
- The New Motto.... Break Everything
   It's time for an overhaul of the competition experience. 

- 7 Ways We Are Changing the Game
   1. Event Media Policy: Devices Welcome
   2. Pro Media Sharing & Easy Access
   3. Interactive Event Program
   4. Sending Compliments
   5. Meaningful Multisensory Feedback
   6. Accessing Scores & Critiques
   7. Digital Results & Highlights

- The Future
   The future is bright for VIP Dance.
   We have set the framework for unlimited possibilities.   
   We will keep marching ahead. 

The New Motto

"Break Everything"

Change the rules - change the game. Technology advances. Styles change. People come and go. A pandemic comes along and turns our whole world upside down. Don't get caught standing still through it all. What once made sense, may not make sense any longer.

I am motivated by change. I thrive on it. I am not afraid to make mistakes, to fail, or to try things and then change my mind. I come up with something and I go for it. My business is not the right fit for every potential customer and I cannot please everyone with every decision. So why not break all the rules and create something special?

Seventeen years ago, I made the decision to eliminate trophies at our events, replacing them with various types of other awards through the years. Most of our customers now prefer the types of awards we present. Yet others are still looking for events that offer trophies. No problem. But perhaps I could sway the opinions of those trophy-hunters if I had the chance to explain that our aluminum award plates show beautifully in photos and make for a great promotional post on the studio social media accounts - something that could greatly benefit their own business.  

Every decision is made with purpose and intent. There are so many ways competitive dance studios can benefit from the unique tools provided by VIP Dance. In 2022, we are rolling out a massive overhaul of event features. Read on to find out why you are going to love change as much as I do. 

"Break Everything"

7 Ways We Are Changing the Game

Vision, innovation, and passion (VIP) continue to guide our every move. New policies, tools, and features are coming your way this season... and there are certainly some game changers that will add a spark to your competition experience. 

1. Event Media Policy: Devices Welcome

Enjoy and capture the moment... in the moment! You are welcome to video and shoot non-flash photography of your dancers while performing. Parents want to post videos and pics to show the world that their kid is competing on stage with your studio. They are promoting your business and it makes them happy. We love it when the parents are happy.

We've spent a lot of time through the comp seasons reminding our audiences to put away camcorders, photo cameras, and devices. It just doesn't make sense anymore. We are live streaming and providing professional photos and videos with 2022 entry fees. So if you would like to capture some additional media, devices are welcome.

*If someone outside of your studio members is videoing your routines, our staff is happy to step in and address it.

2. Pro Media Sharing & Easy Access

Gain valuable studio exposure with a hassle-free tool to locate, view, save, and share pro-quality event media. Now included with entry fees, videos and photos are posted to our website in the week following the event. The media is displayed beautifully in a search and filter format within the event program alongside any award achievements . Parents, dancers, and teachers are able to download the desired files or easily share the links via email or social media channels, promoting your competitive team. No need for parent order forms, studio bulk media orders, or time wasted on distributing files and links. Just visit the city event page and access an incredible display of your work.

3. Interactive Event Program

All of the event info you need is now at one digital access point. From the city event page you
will watch the event live stream, read judges' bios, find event protocols and updates, access shared event photos from the VIP staff, print a program, or follow the digital interactive program throughout the event.

We have eliminated the sale of printed programs. There is so much more that can be done with a digital version! And of course, we provide early access to the digital program so that it can be printed at home if desired.

FREE access to the interactive program now includes filters, search, live tracking of performed routines, and routine compliments... taking your competition experience to a whole new level!

4. Sending Compliments

Brighten your competition day, and someone else's, by sending a compliment. Compliments are shoutouts to routines in the form of emoji comments via the interactive digital program. This feature promotes "Community Over Competition" as we encourage sending compliments to routines from other studios in addition to your own. An uplifting experience for all, both the senders and receivers, this tool provides the opportunity for community-driven encouragement and good cheer. It's fun, easy, and free!

"The easiest way
to brighten your day
is to send someone a compliment
so they feel the same way."

5. Meaningful Multisensory Feedback

You deserve meaningful, quality feedback that may be used as a tool for growth. Through our proprietary judging software, we have created a new scoring system with multisensory feedback utilizing both auditory critiques and visual graphs.

The scoring system was broken. Judges entered a number value for each scoring category (technique, performance, choreography, overall appearance) to arrive at a total score for each routine. After surveying both customers and judges, I learned that most studio owners were reading into the scoring breakdown as feedback much more than the judges were utilizing it as such. The scoring duty of a judge is twofold - to adjudicate a routine against a standard and to rank routines for division high score placement. More focus was placed on the latter. So the numbers in the scoring category breakdown were often determined by the calculations needed to reach the desired final score, not necessarily reflecting an accurate per-category rating.

This is how we fixed it. Judges submit one number for the routine score as they determine the proper adjudicated placement and rank the routine against the other scores they have submitted in the same division. Separately, judges adjust feedback sliders in various subcategories under the three main headings of ability, execution, and composition providing a visual representation of data to justify the total score. Under each slider, keywords are available should the judge wish to highlight certain elements for the dancers to Work On or to denote as Doing Great.

In combination with audio critiques, visual feedback is presented via digital score sheets with beautiful graphs and scoring data. You can now rest assured that the scoring, critiques, feedback sliders, and keywords represent an authentic and thoughtful analysis of each routine. 

6. Accessing Scores & Critiques

Data in your hand. Now accessible through "accounts" with studio owner permissions, viewing and distributing scores, feedback data, and critiques is an enjoyable process. What was once a tedious task, is now quick and easy in just a few clicks. View, share, download, and print from a single web location on the city event page with filter and search features. Tailor to your access  preferences for dancers, parents, and teachers to use this tool in the way that works best for your studio. 

7.  Digital Results & Highlights

Oh what fun it is to see your digital awards on display! Once results are uploaded to the city event page, the digital program is magically turned into a beautiful display of accolades that may be filtered by award type or scrolled through in a browsing fashion.  As we have stated through this article, this is the HUB for the "VIP After Party"... accompanied by videos, photos, scores & critiques (with access permission), and compliments. Gone are the days when you need to fiercely jot down every award announced. We have that covered... and you may print an award page for any routine should you be the scrapbooking type. 

Enjoy videos of the winning routines in the following categories featured in the new Highlights Gallery: Idol Soloists, High Score Hollywood Duo/Trios, Mini/Junior Groups Hollywood VIP LIST, Teen/Senior Groups Hollywood VIP LIST, Productions VIP LIST.

The Future

If I haven't wowed you just yet, come along for the ride. The framework is set for unlimited possibilities in the years ahead. This is just the beginning of a much bigger plan. 

The future is bright at VIP Dance.

Have questions or comments?

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Stacie Collins
VIP Dance Owner, Founder, & CEO
With a passion for business, technology, and dance, Stacie started her dance competition business shortly after graduating from Louisiana State University in 2003 earning a BA in General Studies with minors in dance, sociology, and speech communication. She grew up in the world of competitive dance and traveled the nation teaching and choreographing through her college years and beyond. Stacie continues to run VIP Dance alongside her husband, Chris, and is the proud mother to their six year old son, Preston.   

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