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Ballet Talk for Dancers

WorldBalletCompetition(WBC)


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While there is a very active discussion in the thread "To Compete or Not Compete" about high cost of YAGP, particularly for NYC final, I am wondering if anyone has participated the WBC in Florida? On paper, WBC offers $10,000 grand cash prize and from $100 up to top performers. It also offers scholarships and master classes and judge panels looks prestige. You can check out their website by googling. The only thing is the qualification: $50.00 and a video would decide if your DD is qualified. I think it might not be a bad thing. It is certainly a viable alternative to YAGP for some?

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I have done both but I'm not sure my experience will answer your question. I did them both in the same year so I used the same variations. Since the competitions were only a few months apart, the extra coaching was minimal. I already had costumes. Travel to WBC did require flights, but my family used it as the vacation that year since it is in Orlando and my siblings got to see Disney. I will say that they are two very different competitions in all aspects from scoring to awards/scholarships and everything in between. But in terms of cost to prepare, if you only did YAGP or WBC, in my opinion the costs would likely be similar as you would still need coaching, costumes, and travel fees.

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I think you are right in the cost preparing the dances. However, Orlando may be a little different than NYC? Also, how many variations do dancers usually do? Is there a Contemporary piece? I am also curious about scoring system. I like them as transparent, but are there sub-category of scoring, like technique and artistry etc.?

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A reminder that we do not do comparisons between programs here and it applies in the case of the competitions also. Rather than that, since we do not have alot of WBC information on this forum. Let's focus this thread on what WBC is, how it's run, how awards are made, what the awards are and what the costs are. Then our very savvy members can read about both programs and make their own personal comparisons. Please do continue on in that vein.

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The number of dances depends on the age category. You are only required one classical and one contemporary in the youngest ages, but can add an optional classical for an additional fee ($80). This is for ages 11-14. The older ages divisions require more classical but I am not sure of the exact amount.

 

The scoring system is different in that is reminds me more of the way the Olympics scores. You have 7 (I think) judges and your scores are shown on the big screen onstage immediately after you dance. It is out of 10 points -split between technique and artistry. In the youngest age divisions, the classical (round 1)and contemporary (round 2)are rounded together to get the final score which then determines prizes. If you add an additional classical, only the highest score is used to round with contemporary. This is both good and bad. If you don't do as well on your first round, you can get sort of freaked out and then maybe not do as well on your second round. It's sort of stressful to know exactly where you rank as each person dances. The judging is the same for all categories. I'm just not sure if the older dancers have all their rounds averaged together for a final score or not. There is no feedback given from judges other than the score you see at the competition. There are no score sheets with judging comments or anything like.

 

The cash prizes are all listed on their website. www.wbcorlando.com. It's nice that they give cash to even the youngest competitors.

 

For scholarships, you are given a form when you check-in on the first day that lists all scholarships available. You check off which schools you would be interested in. There are no dedicated scholarship classes. You have warm-up class every day where I guess the school's representatives could watch and then also at the competition itself. It's not really clear exactly how these are decided. I was offered a scholarship one day during a warm-up class by the person teaching the class. Others were announced at the awards ceremony and I don't know how/if those people were notified before that or not.

 

Downtown Orlando itself is expensive. Hotels are expensive. There is a lot of "free time" for the youngest dancers who are required to be there for a week, but only dance 2 days so many families were going to Disney or to a beach a couple hours away. I think you can have a wide range of costs depending on how you spend your week.

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Professional dancers may also compete, similar to rules applied to IBCs. The length allowed for solos, including contemporary, is 3.0 minutes. So if you plan on using a piece for more than one competition, make sure the time limit of the choreographed piece is acceptable for all of the competitions. (Some competitions have a shorter allowed time, especially for contemporary.)

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babybal-since you mentioned Olympic style judging, do you remember if the highest and lowest scores were dropped so that only the middle 5 were used in actual calculation?

 

Thank you by the way for sharing your first hand information.

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Yes, the highest and lowest scores were dropped in the year I attended, but I'm not sure if that is current policy now. I believe some of the judging system has changed in the last couple of years.

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DD did WBC last year because we were curious to see how it compared to other competitions. She was 13 at the time, but I have no memory of which category she was placed in or when the birthday cut off date is applied. I think the older competitors perform at least two of the 3 (?) classical variations they prepare. DD had to prepare two classical and one contemporary but ended up only doing one classical since she did not have a high enough score to enter the final round. Choosing which classical variation to do first can be tough. On the advice of her teacher DD did her weakest one with the hopes that if she made it into the final round she would end on her strongest piece. It was therefore disappointing that she didn't get the opportunity to dance the variation that was the most polished. I think if I had purchased a costume specifically for this event then it would have been disappointing from that perspective also. I know another competitor who was advised to do her better variation first since they knew that the final round might be out of reach, and at least ended up with a better score because of that.

 

The other thing that I noticed when watching the (more senior) categories that my DD was not in, was that it was extremely tough to dance first or near the beginning, before the judges had caught their stride with assigning scores. As far as I remember, the scores were cumulative, so that if you received a low score for your first piece it was hard to recover from that place. And while I am definitely not the best person to evaluate performances, it did seem to me (and others seemed to agree at the time) that the scoring did seem to mellow out and adjust as more competitors cycled through.

 

As you can tell, I'm not that familiar with the rules for the levels DD was not participating in, so I would recommend visiting their site to get the specifics.

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LovesLabor, this isn't specific to WBC, so I would have PMed you, but you don't yet have enough posts, so I will just put it out here. I am in music, and I judge auditions of various kinds, and I am thinking that these things might apply to dance.

 

My teachers always told me, and I now tell my students, that if you have 3 pieces, sandwich your weakest one in the middle. This is because people remember best what they see/hear first and last. Likewise, even within one piece, people remember best the beginning and the ending, so make sure that those are strong within each piece. If you only have 2 pieces, I would put the stronger one first, just because people tend to make up their minds about a performer/performance in the first few seconds. I know that there are arguments to be made for ending strongly, but we have actually witnessed judges decide unfavorably if they didn't like what they saw/heard in the beginning, and then not really even watch/listen to the rest (sort of writing the person off), so I base my advice upon that.

I find the same tendency to judge more harshly for the first competitors, simply because you don't want to give out your highest score in case someone better comes along later. The rare exception to this is a stellar, amazing, "perfect" early performer, who then "sets the bar" for the ones who come after, but usually it works the other way. Judging fairly is hard. The way that I deal with it is: I start everyone with a perfect score, and for each infraction, I subtract a tenth of a point, or a half, or whatever I have decided works with the system of the program for which I am judging. This keeps it consistent for each person.

I don't know how ballet judging is done, but I thought that my experience might provide some insight. I hope it helps.

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The other thing that I noticed when watching the (more senior) categories that my DD was not in, was that it was extremely tough to dance first or near the beginning, before the judges had caught their stride with assigning scores. As far as I remember, the scores were cumulative, so that if you received a low score for your first piece it was hard to recover from that place. And while I am definitely not the best person to evaluate performances, it did seem to me (and others seemed to agree at the time) that the scoring did seem to mellow out and adjust as more competitors cycled through.

 

Very good point and I definitely agree that it is a disadvantage to be one of the earlier competitors at this competition. Unlike other competitions, it is not arranged by age. You pick a number from a hat at registration the first day and that determines the order.

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