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Ballet Talk for Dancers

RDA Phoenix


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With another year's RDA festival wrapped up, I just wanted to comment on how pleasantly surprised I was at how smoothly an "all region" hosted event worked out. I suspect that the directors and Arizona members probably carried a lot of the load as we noted that many of the companies did not appear to have a large volunteer contingent. Despite the fact that we do not have a large company (I suspect we are by far the smallest), we literally had a 1-1 dancer/parent ratio, as every dancer's mom was in attendance, from performing company members down to the Juniors. Maybe because we are such a small company, it creates a tighter knit group, I don't know.


The faculty that I was able to observe were great. I especially liked Jerry Kokich, Nicholas Ade, and the darling Ms. Tchernova. The adjudicator, Rosine Bene put together a very nice, balanced program. My favorite numbers were Long Beach and the hilariously crafted piece that Amy London did for Marin Ballet. Although our company is a little like "David" going up against the "Goliath's" in the Pacific Region, I was very proud of our girls for pulling off a beautiful performance.


The Orpheum Theater was absolutely beautiful and ample enough to accomodate the first-come, first-serve open seating without having to line up an hour early or stampede in order to be able to get enough seats together. And, a nice, do-able two block walk from the hotel, even in heels!


My only peeve was the difficulty on the first day of trying to find my way around as the hotel map was basically useless as it did not indicate which floor the highlighted rooms were on, and the schedule room labels were very confusing. Studio #5 and Salon #5---not the same. And a show of hands please...how many people got lost trying to find the Pima room??

A small complaint, as overall, the hotel was very nice, well located close to shopping and LOTS of restaurants (and just a block from Starbucks!) with very friendly, accommodating staff and with complimentary water and apples available. A special shout out to the hotel staffer who snuck a group of us up the service elevator when we inquired about the location of the stairs rather than wait in the backlog of people in line for the elevators.


All in all, I give this year's festival an "A".

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I agree! This was one of my favorite festival experiences - loved the location, the dinner food was excellent, very smoothly run, teachers were fantastic, performances were inspiring - I agree with Cakers - Long Beach, Marin Ballet, and, probably Yuma Ballet's piece were my favorites. The emerging concert night was also wonderful. And.. after all my griping.. we actually had someone from our company volunteer to be the volunteer as she wanted to go but not chaperone! She also had a fun time seeing all the behind the scenes stuff going on. I am officially a convert - I really like this new system for the Pacific region :)

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I went to RDA/P Festivals as a kid, and it was great to return as an adult! This was my first adventure as a vendor, and I felt like RDA/P was the proper venue for it.... RDA/P was very accommodating, and for the second time in my life, RDA/P gave me the opportunities to grow into a better person (now a business owner, formerly a dancer).


I liked the venue/hotel. I agree that the map on the back page of the workbook wasn't very clear.... My table was up on the Ballroom Level, and I felt that the signage on that level could have stated "vendors & south ballroom studio." It was nice to have so many studios running at the same time, with slightly smaller classes (more personal attention). I wish that Honor Class was in the largest studio, and that more people were able to watch that class.


The theatre was gorgeous!! It was easily walking distance in dress clothes, and the weather in Phoenix at night is actually decent. I think the dancers felt special performing in that venue - I know I've put it on my list of favorite theatres!


It seems like a region hosted Festival is a smart idea. I know there are a lot of little details that need to be worked out on the administration level, but overall everything ran smoothly. I also enjoyed seeing the different AD's taking on different responsibilities.... Since they were all running around doing different things, I felt like I saw more of them (rather than them spending all their time with their dancers).

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  • 5 months later...

It is great to see that the Pacific's first region-run festival was a "hit" with parents and vendors alike!


Don't miss out on Festival 2014 in Spokane Washington. The Pacific directors all met there last month to look over the venues and it is going to be one fantastic experience. Convenient hotel connected to the convention center (classes and vendor space and food!!) and from there easy access to the theatre. And surrounding the facilities a river, waterfalls and wonderful park area.


This is a Festival not to be missed! Hope to see you there.....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wish someone could explain why Festival is Tuesday thru Friday this year instead of Thursday thru Sunday. That is a lot of school to miss in the middle of standardized and AP testing season. Where it would be nice to think our dancers will all become professionals, the reality is that most won't and some don't even want to. Although ballet is one of my favorite parts of life, the fact is that education has to come first.

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Usually Festival runs from Wednesday evening thru Saturday but not always. A few years ago in Las Vegas, the Festival was held Sunday thru Wednesday.


For this year's RDA/P Festival in Spokane it will be held Tuesday evening thru Friday. It is due to the availability of the Convention Center and theater. A Broadway show is loading in on Saturday so we chose to do our Festival one day earlier to be able to have the Festival in Spokane.


The facilities for this Festival are outstanding. The Hotel is connected to the Convention Center where all classes and seminars will be held along with vendor booths and college recruiter tables. The theater is then connected to the Convention Center all surrounded by a beautiful park with a river and waterfall.


As for missing school I like to think of it this way: life experiences are also great tools for educating our young people. The most important part of education is to foster a desire for knowledge. Experiences outside the "brick and mortar" school are an excellent tool for this purpose.


See you in Spokane!

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