Original document was submitted as an honors thesis requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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There is an absence of direct focus in the development of a dancer’s education within today’s competitive dance world, as current dance competitions have many holes in providing the proper training and education a young dancer needs. It is clear that dance competitions are for-profit businesses with a focus on making money, but it is time to turn these businesses into opportunities for growth, success, and a place where pure talent can be discovered and then launched into the next generation of professional dancers.

I am a strong believer in education. Therefore, I believe competitive dance should be another form of education. Unfortunately, in today’s society, the focus has shifted from education to gratification, which is why I believe the time is now to address this issue.

I conducted a series of surveys to send out to competition directors, studio owners, convention teachers, professional dancers, parents of competitive dancers, and current dance majors in college pursuing a professional dance career. The survey asked various background questions about their involvement in competitive dance to where they would like to see the dance industry move in the future.

The surveys help in the fact that now I do know it is not the industry as a whole that needs a major uplift, but the small details that all affect and go into a dance competition. There are many things that could easily change to help protect and promote the dance industry, and after many hours spent going over responses and rereading what all the dance articles say, I will now present my ideas for a new type of dance competition.

As you can see, the undertaking of a new type of competition is large, but the benefits are crucial. Reshaping the competitive dance industry will take time, but it starts with a brave individual to stand up and be the change for what the dancers of tomorrow need. Overall, the main purpose of my findings and ideas is to preserve the integrity and artistry of the competitive dance culture.

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