My students and I really enjoyed the actual competition, cool lighting and great pictures!(Although the stage was extremely small, I definitely would not recommend bringing any lines or productions) It's nice how they give credit to the Top 15/Top 20 rather than just a top 10 for solos. I wasn't crazy about classes though, it's definitely more of a contemporary based convention. I was disappointed in the ballet class, the combo for the Senior room seemed like it belonged in a Mini/Junior class level wise, and the teacher had them "flop around like a fish" in the middle of class? Honestly the classes weren't worth the money, one of the teachers literally had them stand around and "feel the vibes for an hour. I wasn't a big fan of the audition either, they seemed to be passing up good clean, technical dancers for random dancers around the room. For example one of my beginner dancers(It was her second convention ever, and while I am very proud of her for making it through) forgot the combo twice and was still selected to be a finalist, whereas some of my advanced dancers, who I thought danced great and picked up even the small details, were completely ignored by the teachers, I don't think they even looked at them once despite being in the front. I wasn't a big fan of the critiques either, Tommy was very rude to a few of my dancers in their solo videos, one instance he spent the whole time talking about how one of my dancers should be wearing jazz shoes despite the fact that it was a lyrical solo? As well as calling one of my students shallow and cold, and even saying NO, whenever one of the other judges tried to compliment her lines. I sent one of my 9 year olds to watch her solo critiques and she came back confused, because they said they wanted to see more of here aura and to travel more, despite the extremely small stage. So overall if your studio is more contemporary-based and more into groovy choreography, I suggest going. However ballet based studio beware, they are very into movement and apparently auras? They are definitely not a fan of good technique or tricks.
Great weekend of dance fun!
Extremely professional and well run! High quality comp
We enjoyed the inspirational aspect of this convention, and the general message of trusting the process and dancing for the love of dancing. Many teachers did not call out specific kids to come to the center and perform which I thought was very refreshing as kids could just focus on the movement and the passion behind their movement vs. "being seen" by choreographers. Really loved that there were teacher classes as well. We had a great weekend.
Just got back from Nationals. Girls loved it, as they do every time. I would suggest however that they may need to get independent judges for Nationals to avoid potential conflict of interest. It gives a bad impression when one studio in the competition is where one of the faculty started, one faculty member used to teach, and where at least 5 of the faculty or staff (including DMI co-owner) have taught or will be teaching summer intensive.
Our studio had an amazing weekend at this event! We will be back next season!
Convention was nice, choreographers/instructors were good. Competition ran fairly efficient. The awards seemed odd, didn't have anything for solo/small group numbers until well after the age brackets ended...then had a top 10...but only recognized top 5 on stage. Spent more time on special/s awards then actual placement of solo/small group/s.
Venue in Chicago was fine...dressing area was a bit congested/confused...but overall OK.
Photography vendors did not communicate well on when/what they were selling. Pricing was not competitive with other competitions. Quality was Average.
Have nothing but outstanding thing to say about Brooke Paulsen-Zelus! Clone her...and pay her whatever she asks!
Our studio received push back on total number of entries...not sure what the "rules" are on that but communication with studio owners well in advance of deadlines would make this an easier process with less stress.
Enjoyed the competition/convention aspect of what DM is doing...seems like the 2017 version is not what the 2016 version was...and in looking back probably not what 2015 was....seems to be trending in the wrong direction...maybe growing a bit too fast for their own good.
"Try Dance Makers, Inc", they said...."You won't be disappointed!!" ....And they were RIGHT!!! Our dancers were SO inspired with the positivity and encouragement received! What a difference ONE weekend can make. Thank you, Dance Makers, for making my job a little easier and touching the lives of these young dancers!!
Definitely one of our favorites. My only complaint about Dancemakers is that they favor the students who are attending with a large studio. We love Brooke, Dajan and Zach! And although he was not in our city, we are very excited about Justin Giles joining Dance makers!
So great, we love DMI
2016-2017 SEASON: SIX STARS! One of our fav conventions if not the
fav. Again, so positive and well-organized. My dancer loves her classes.
Our whole studio went this time and lots of happy moms. Looking to do
an optional 2nd city this season. ***2015-2016 SEASON: This was an
optional for us. My 7yo moved up to their Junior room (7-10 years).
These guys are soooo positive and well-organized. Love their meet and greet
breaks. Her solo didn't score well but I trust and respect their scoring. ***2014-2015 SEASON: This was my dancer's very first convention ever (6 years old) and it was an optional for us. She was in the Camp Dance room and had fun. Personally, I would have liked her to be more challenged but then the faculty (Becca Ritter) explained her approached and I really appreciated where she was coming from. My dancer did not compete.
The staff was all excellent and so were the convention classes. I wish
there had been a little recognition of the soloists in the awards as the
groups seemed to get much more recognition. The judges did give good
feedback and I liked that all the reviews were together. We liked this
competition overall and my daughter would like to attend again.
Disagree with a few of the posts below that are concerned about large
studios getting the recognition. We attended with only 4 students and our
dancers were recognized appropriately for their abilities. My daughter
always leaves inspired and wanting more. She goes back to her home studio
with a new hunger to improve.
This rating was in regards to the Nashville event from this year...we have
been to several Dancemakers events, but this was the first time attending
in Nashville. Although, we loved the convention, this particular venue is
very expensive, so we most likely will not be back (to this specific
location). As always, the classes were fabulous. I do agree, however,
that many awards seem to be based on whether you are there with a studio
with a large number of participants, which is unfortunate. We love
Dancemakers, overall, and will continue to attend this convention at other
Just finished with our 7th year of attendance at Dancemakers in Nashville.
Very disappointed & have been the last couple of years. It seems that only
the larger studios that bring the most routines & pay the most money do the
best. We are from a small studio & definitely used to not feel this way.
DMI used to be my daughters favorite & mine too as a parent. I\'m sad to
say but this will be our last year. They don\'t even talk to the solo
winners. Just rush them on & off stage. With the price they charge they
should be able to recognize more dancers. They need to have at least 2
levels in my opinion to make competition more fair. Only positive note is
my daughter does enjoy some of the classes. Was disappointed also no
Marjorie Perry Award. Just seems they have lost passion for dance & it\'s
all about $
Positive experience for all.. Very organized, friendly staff, and
Dancemakers has always been one of our favorites; and Nationals
Beach was an all around awesome experience! However, I
that there was not a tap judge in the senior room
was further evidenced by all of the top 10
soloists coming from the
which was not
the case in any of the other
age groups...We love
Dancemakers; and all
of the Nationals classes were top
will, of course, continue
to be loyal to this outstanding
but it was unfortunate that
some of the soloists from other
were not recognized in the senior
loved Zach and Dejan\'s classes, Matt
Tseng and, of course, Brooke
Paulsen!...so much positive energy!!!
One of the best, love it with my heart :)
Definitely one of our favorite conventions! Love Matt Tseng! He brings
much positive energy! Brooke\'s tap class is awesome! And Dejan
Zack are just out of this world! I think that the DanceMakers
process is the best out there...really gives a lot of good
feedback to the
kids...we are definitely considering DanceMakers
Nationals. My daughter
would absolutely love to be a part of the
Collective! She LOVES this
Always the most positive experiences. We have attended for 5 years and now
travel to other cities on the tour due to the inspirational teaching. The
focus is on the convention and showcasing each dancers abilities and
fostering growth. The competition is well-run and on time, but isn\'t the
reason we attend. We walk away looking for the next opportunity to dance!
My daughters love this workshop! I thought they needed to offer better
Every year we go to other conventions in addition to Dancemakers, and EVERY
year we say \"nothing can compare to Dancemakers.\" They live their
motto and their teachers are the most down to earth, kind, and inspiring
people we have ever been able to take class from. I could go on and on, but
the bottom line is. . . DMI is the best and there is NOTHING that can
compare to the energy, inspiration, and joy that it brings our students,
teachers, and parents. If you haven\'t tried it. . . you must!
We love, love, love this convention! Such a positive experience all the
way around! It\'s hard to find competitions/conventions that appreciate
tap as much as the other styles; but Dancemakers is one of them! We are
thinking about adding a second city this year; and definitely considering
Dancemakers nationals! ❤️
Absolutely outstanding!! We will return every year! Great convention!
They have HUGE screens to watch the dancers competing which is great - I
loved that and the classes were excellent. Everything ran right on time.
The participation award for solos waa nice for the kids (but I disagree
with previous posters from last year that everyone should be recognized - I
just think in this day we do too much of the trophy and awards - everyone
DOES NOT deserve one!!) 5 stars!!
Great comp. At nationals , collective dancers videoed in the smaller comp
room.and did a horrible job. I communicated and just got a copy of the same
horrible disc. No refund offered. Camera was not always on dancer, was
knocked a few times and not centered. Videos pricey and require too much
negotiation. Would be nice to have online livefeed access and for video
ordering. Otherwise, good comp. judging not great. Feedback for tap is mot
very helpful(esp when judged by ballerina). Awesome teachers and very
positive staff nonetheless
My son competed at both the regional (in Dearborn, MI) and the nationals in
SC. He had an amazing experience. As parents, we were thrilled at the
interaction he had with so many of the teachers that he looks up to. Also,
the members of their Collective were so warm and kind towards him. We have
nothing but wonderful things to say about this competition/convention.
Wonderful faculty, very inspiring to dancers! Will return!!
We just finished nationals in Myrtle Beach. This was our first time
attending Dancemakers nationals. The whole experience was top notch from
start to finish. The classes were excellent and inspirational, the
competition was on time and well run and the closing show fabulous! Brad,
Felicia and Doug as well as the entire staff were very attentive to the
teachers and their needs. My only criticism was for tap numbers the dancers
and the audience could not hear the sounds. Thank you for a great
experience . See you next season.
Faculty is amazing. Always a great learning experience. I would love to see
DM take it to the next level. Limit class sizes, recognize more class
participants, select The Collective by looking at the person both on stage
& how they represent themselves in the community. DM is a well run
organization. With dance competitions becoming very popular and more
competition choices, DM can be the best. As with any judging, it is
subjective depending on panel.
By far, our favorite event this year! Really looking forward to Nationals!
Really glad that this convention started coming to Indianapolis! My
daughter loves it! It is so well rounded! We don\'t come away feeling
that the focus is just on contemporary, or hip hop, etc. The audition
process is my favorite! They really give the kids a lot of
feedback..whether they make the cut or do not. We love this convention and
My daughter has been competitive dancing for 4 years now. This is the best
convention/competition to date. She loved all the classes and usually, she
does not like conventions. I loved how helpful all the staff members were
(my daughter\'s friend lost her phone and there was a security guy who
went out of his way to help find it-and did). The photo/video guys were
great. The venue was the best (I could go on and on about how great the
venue was)! Awards were fast and fair. We loved watching the teachers
perform at the ending awards. WOW! They are awesome. We especially loved
watching Kyle. Thanks Dance Makers! We can\'t wait for Nationals!
I can\'t say enough about how wonderful this organization is. You will
not find a more inspiring set of teachers, a more caring staff, and a sound
and lights scenario that makes performances look like a Broadway Show! Not
only for competition, but in convention classes as well. They are there FOR
the kids, and it shows in every aspect of what they do. Some people find
the way they do competition to be an adjustment, as final awards don\'t
happen until the end of the weekend Sunday, and that they only recognize
the Top 5 Solos in each age, however I think it is brilliant. The kids
compete first, but then can focus on the rest of the classes for the
weekend without preconceived notions of victory or defeat. They can get the
most out of LEARNING without worrying about what score they earned.You
don\'t go to conventions, to come out with a plastic trophy, you go to
soak up knowledge and inspiration. The Dance Makers Family pours this out
of every fiber of their being. Dance Makers has had a life changing impact
on my students. We go to multiple cities just to continue to be inspired by
these fantastic humans.
My favorite convention with the best teachers. I wish they focused on us
more than the collective, but it is a great opportunity. I also think the
competition is well run but wish adjudications were given out or more
overalls. Definitely go back every year. Their photos and videos are also
DMI is always a favorite of ours! The classes are amazing and the
competition is really good too :-)
We competed in Branson and the dressing rooms were crowded, more than
usually. Our kids were disappointed to not be recognized for their solos.
Thanks for coming to DanceMakers Branson! We are sorry that our dressing
rooms were a bit crowded and we definitely do not want our dancers to leave
us disappointed. We are changing our formula on solo recognition next
season. With the continual growth of competition routines, we are aware
that we need to recognize more dancers for their hard work. Thanks for your
suggestion. We are always open for good change.
DanceMakers is OK. We did like the classes, but the competition was a
disaster. If memory serves me...I think high score awards weren\'t done
until Sunday!?? And our competition was on Friday. Very odd. Next year we
are making this optional.
We are sorry to hear that your competition experience wasn\'t up to par.
Just so you know where we\'re coming from, we have always done High Score
awards on Sunday because we want all of the dancers to be able to focus on
the classes without preconceived ideas of how they placed in competition.
Our focus is always to help young people grow as dancers and as people and
for everyone to leave inspired and energized. However, we do take all
suggestions very seriously and we will be making some changes to our
formula so that we can grow as well. Thanks for your support!
Great time with these instructors . They were motivating and really had the
kids feeling their love . Not too many kids to a room which is great ! The
girls really felt like they were learning a ton .
Compeition seemed a
little unfair at times but each judge has his/her opinion so that\'s ok .
Good one to go to for people that are looking for smaller classes sizes
and more personal instruction :).
Look forward to it every year. We love the classes and the inspirational
messages. However, soloists are not recognized for their hard work at all.
Thank you for your continued support. We hear your concerns and will be
changing how we recognize solos for next season! Hope to see you again
The classes and the teachers are awesome.... the competition itself, not
worth it at all!! The backstage area, not only was extremely small, it is
basically run by children. The stage was small and dangerous for the
dancers. The soloist perform on a Friday and don\'t know how they did
until Sunday late afternoon... and even with that only the top 5 are
recognized. The ONLY competition that we have attended in 4 years that
does that. Those solo dancers DESERVE the recognition of more than just a
pin they are handed in handfuls to the owners... SAD! They are more
worried about showing off their teachers and \"the collective\" than
they are about recognizing the dancers. We attended this convention 2 and
3 years ago, it was smaller at the time... Each soloist was presented a
participation trophy, the first year after solos were done and the second
they were just handed the trophy while walking off stage... seems the
bigger you get the more you forget about why you are putting these
conventions/competitions together.... The venue was so small, the parents
changing their children between dances were unable to go back in to the
\"ballroom\" to watch their dancers on stage and were forced to watch
on screens in a crowded hallway. The scoresheets provided to the owners
offered ZERO feedback and strangely enough had 3 consecutive scores from
the judges on most of them.
We are very sorry to hear that your experience wasn\'t up to par. We
strive to give everyone the best experience possible, but are aware that
sometimes we can\'t meet everyone\'s expectations. We are going to
change the way we recognize our soloists for their hard work next season,
but we are also clear that we are not just about trophies. Our mission has
been to educate dancers on how to be the very best versions of themselves
and to give them the absolute best in dance education. Competition is very
important in this, but we can\'t lose sight of why we do what we do as
dancers. We want it to be less about a trophy and more about why we started
dancing in the first place; because we love it! Thank you again for your
continued support and we hope that you will have a better experience with
us next time!
Really a 4 3/4 stars! The whole experience was so positive and uplifting.
Our students came home wanting more!
The only reason I didn\'t
give them 5 stars is because they give an adjudicated award to all the
duo/trios, groups, lines, & productions but nothing for the soloists, they
only give out the top 4. I wouldn\'t mind if they didn\'t give an
adjudicated award to any of the routines and only overall awards that would
be fine, but to give the soloists nothing at all unless they are the top 4
is a bit off putting. So had I known, I wouldn\'t have entered my
soloists unless I knew they were able to score in the top 4. Which one of
our soloist did get in the overalls for her age division, but our other
soloist who is an intermediate dancer and had about 20+ soloists in the Sr.
division so it was expensive to just go and perform for critiques.
The convention classes were wonderful as always. Very positive and
encouraging. Very well organized and all staff was very friendly/helpful.
The competition went well, although our girls said they could hear the
judges while they were dancing. This was distracting for some while others
could tune it out. I wish we could have more feedback about how soloists
did in the competition, having to wait for scores is very frustrating for
the dancers, would be nice to at least see top 5 at awards. Wish they would
have a isle to the stage made during awards so those on the floor could
get though the sea of dancers easier.
We absolutely love Dancemakers!! The amazing and talented staff provide
more than just dance technique, they inspire the young dancers with their
passion and strive to just be you! The atmosphere is fun, energetic, and
inspirational.. what more can a parent of a dancer ask for in a
My two daughters attended Dance Makers for the first time. This was the
best convention/competition we have attended over the past two years. What
I noticed and liked about this convention: all dance styles were equally
represented and valued, the teacher teaching the dance style was actually
trained in the style and did it extremely well, they value the dancers and
the focus is on the dancers (not the staff showing off their own talent),
the schedule was not insane which tells me that they care about the dancers
(number one priority is not about \"packing them in\" to make money),
they interacted with the dancers, they were professional and organized, the
classes were challenging but fun, the final Showcase was not too long
(again, respect for people\'s time and understanding of exhaustion
Also, I felt the competition was judged fairly and liked how
feedback was given (you can read about that on their website). It seemed
that they care about giving \"real\" feedback as opposed to jotting
down a few generic comments. In listening to the comments on the USB
recording, it is obvious they are focusing on the dancer and have dance
training and understanding of the different dance styles. Great weekend
and we will attend again!
Awesome! They really care about the kids and it\'s clear the conventions
are for everyone. Kids love it! They work haft to make it fun but an
intensive process. Worth the price!
Great faculty. Great classes. Expensive but you know that it\'s worth it.
Convention better than competition. Best dancers don\'t even place in
competition. Family environment. Look forward to it every year. Great
photography and videos.
Love that their critiques are all together. Judges can hear each other and
they converse during the routine. I think it makes them more engaged in the
performance, and it makes it easier for us to watch all of the critiques (3
per dance is just TOO many in my opinion)
Very positive experience. After attending HWVibe this past weekend, I love
DMI even more. Very respectful teachers. Constructive criticism given in
class and during comp critique.. Always at same venue and adequate space
for the number of dancers. Very organized. Professional show. Very
personable. Best comp we have done so far and can\'t wait for nationals.
Also video quality is awesome and worth the $$ if you get a studio deal.
Feedback is on 1cd and can hear all judges vs having each judge have a
different commentary that u have to listen to separately. Should check it
Look forward to DMI every year
Great competition runs smoothly and the classes are challenging and
encouraging to young dancers.
Love Dance Makers!
Very friendly staff...convention kept the kids motivated and entertained.
Competition well organized with lots of opportunity for recognition... Will
definitely attend again!
Convention was great. Wonderful teachers. Competition ran smoothly.
My favorite convention. All of the teachers are truly experts in their
fields and care deeply about the students. So inspiring and refreshing for
all of my students and my staff. A great weekend for learning and
competition. Great feedback for the dancers as well.
I had SO much fun at this competition! The master classes are great, and
the teachers and coaches are awesome. It is always hosted in a high-quality
hotel or preforming arts center. I highly recommend trying it.
Pleasantly surprised with quality of convention. My dancer loved the
The comp in DET was over sold and the hotel was not
prepared for the amount of people there. While we all like a comp that
moves along quickly, the back stage help was a little snippy at times.
My daughter attended this competition in Branson for 4 years, 3 of which
our entire team attended as well. As the mother, I appreciated how well ran
this comp is. They have staff in the dressing room to call the upcoming
numbers to the stage, it runs on time, they announce the children as they
come on stage. The stage is great, monitors everywhere inside and out of
the ballroom, lighting and sound awesome, photography and videography is
top notch (and their crew travels with them) with plenty of ipads to look
it over. The last few years it has become over the top branded and
commercial, as well as more popular, which makes the convention rooms way
more crowded. The parents of the younger children especially say that the
way classes are scheduled in the morning before the comp is too long of a
day for little ones. The price is higher than other comps. The quality of
critiques has started to suffer, several of our dancers got no constructive
criticism, positive or negative. And any comments that were made were not
very dance specific (ex. Oh, pretty boots!). I also think that there needs
to be more of a variety of awards given, not just 1st and 2nd place. Our
studio opted out starting this year.
I love the summer intensive. Several age groups, runs smoothly, observer
fees are a little high.
DMI was awesome! My daughter came out of class wishing that it wasn\'t
over. We love how DMI makes every dancer feel like they\'re important. My
daughter and I loved their awards, they didn\'t give out an unnecessary
amount. This was our first year going and we can\'t wait for next year!
We went and even though they are trying to create a new image from their
older dated convention, it wasn\'t working. Still not a good way to
spend the time and money for an entire weekend.
We just finished attending the Dance Makers Convention and Competition this
weekend. After several years of comps and conventions I was extremely
impressed with the organization, sincerity and level of professionalism
that Dance Makers possesses. This was our first experience with DMI and we
will definitely be back! Registration was not only simple but included an
incredible studio packet/box, coffee mug and great customer service!
Classes were done with encouragement and taught the dancers that every
dancer is important. The competition went quickly, without mistake and was
so well organized. LOVED the red carpet experience - we will be back and
encourage other studios to attend.
DMI has always been and always will be my favorite competition and
convention. Teachers and staff are always so friendly and helpful. The
competition is well organized and energetic. The convention\'s classes
are inspiring, and you can tell that the teachers are there to see dancers
grow and to share their love of dance. I love it!
Well organized! Inspirational talks to the dancers in classes. Competition
went quickly. Loved the video monitors set up so the dancers could see the
instructors even if they were in the back of the room. This was our studios
1st time attending and I believe we will be back agin next year.
Did it for four years but not going back. Pros, great teachers, well run
comp and awards, beautiful stage and lighting. Cons, judging feedback was
very complimentary but not instructive, getting more popular so the
classrooms are getting full, no room to move. Nail in the coffin, now
caters to big studios. The prize giveaway one night was done by a parent
from a big studio who could see the list of entrants. Guess who won all
the stuff? The big studio. Really unprofessional DMI
Really fun, great staff.
My FAVORITE competition. Always looking forward to it. The staff are super
friendly and the competition is so fun! The conventions are very tiring but
totally worth it :)
Most favorite competition of all!! Lots of fun at convention too. All of
the teachers are so nice and helpful.
First convention we have ever attended and was very pleased! The staff and
classes are top notch. Looking forward to attending again this year.
love DMI I have been two years to both the regional and national
competition and love the teachers and the over all experience. I plan on
going every year that I can..
Always an awesome experience. We love DMI! They are always improving what
is a top notch convention and competition.
DanceMakers is my studios favorite competition. Inspirational, organized,
professional... Simply the best convention and competition experience each