Not a fan....very dated presentation and philosophy. I agree with others-the scoring is harsh and apparently based primarily (solely?) on technical skill; this is their prerogative, but if you are a smaller studio with mixed level groups or a recreational program, expect a weekend with Headliners to leave you feeling invisible, or worse, patronizingly patted on the head with a 'nice try' speech. (we noticed the owner and staff were on a first name basis with many of the directors of the very large studios....that alone was enough for us to decide we would never return...)
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This review has been responded to by the comp./ conv. rep on Nov 29 2016
Hello! This is Shari and I am the National Director. I am happy to address your concerns and wish you had contacted us directly. We are always interested in suggestions from our supporters. Headliners is known for being a goal-oriented competition. We do not start awards at a certain level nor do we tell our judges how to score. As a former dance teacher and competition team director, we feel it is important for dancers to get a true evaluation of their skills. Technique is the foundation of any dancer so yes that is our focus. We have 3 levels of competition that allow each studio and dancer to grow and learn. It saddens me that you left feeling deflated - that is obviously not what we want. As far as recognizing some of the studio directors, Headliners is one of the longest established competitions, now in our 28th season. We have many studios across the country that come to us each year and we feel it is important to remember who they are. We are known as the "Headliners family" and we take pride in being friendly towards everyone. However, make no mistake, it does not matter how long you have attended our events or how many entries you bring. Our judges are instructed to score based on what they see on the stage at that moment. They do not know the history we as an organization has with any studio. Currently we offer professional sound, lighting and flooring. We also offer on-site video critiques and an in-house media department that provides all videos and photos for each student. We are always expanding technically. If you have suggestions on what you think we can do to update our presentation or any other aspect please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wishing you all the best.
Judges: you cannot judge a 6-year old in the recreation category the same as a 10-year old in the competitive category. The majority of high silvers and holds went to young, inexperienced dancers. Isn't that what the Hollywood level is for?
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This review has been responded to by the comp./ conv. rep on May 21 2016
Hello. We make the Hollywood level available to less experienced dancers. As per our rules, special consideration is given to the presentation aspect however regardless of what level a dancer enters, the dancers still need to show proper technique and be able to properly execute the movements. A high silver and gold score is quite good and you should be proud of the children's accomplishments. We hope that by providing honest and realistic scores and awards that the dancers will work hard to achieve the higher levels. Best of luck to you and your dancers.
Rated on May 13 2016 | Edited on: May 13 2016 Event Rated (if any): Orlando - 2016-05-06 Venue: 4 | Judging: 3 | Staff: 3 | Awards: 3 | Communication: 3
I am sincere when I say that the judging was very confusing to me as a studio owner. I would see teams in our catagory get gold scores across the board, regardless of skill level. I felt recreational teams were being graded against the competitive catagory. My students need more experience on stage and that is why we do recreational. This system left them feeling very discouraged and confused. I had one judge say our flaps (in tap) were off and one say great flaps! I had one judge say,"I didn't feel it necessary to put that walkover in the choreography!" Even though my student performed her skill flawlessly, the judge decided I shouldn't put that move in my choreography. I thought that was odd. It was my vision.:/ We got many compliments on our routines being well rehearsed with great attack, yet still couldn't get any higher than a gold. That is where I just felt like giving up. Even when I looked at my own dances, I would see that one would look better than another and all were rated at Gold. If this competition had a more clear definition of recreational and competitive and actually grade them on a skill level for each, realistically, I would go again. I like that they value technique. I felt good as a teacher to not get a lot of notes on technique but on the kids experience performing, but at the same time....recreational teams need to be judged at a level that is truly recreational. They are beginner dancers who need these tips and advice, but please grade them appropriately and not set them up for rejection or feel no hope when they can't succeed past a Gold. They gave a Dad's dance an Elite Gold in the competitive category! That is when my parents were infuriated! When the dad came to get his award, they asked him how long it took for them to rehearse their dance.. he laughed and said, "Two weeks!" Our kids give up so much to be on team and work insanely hard. That was a big kick in the gut.
This Competition was absolutely amazing! Aside from the outstanding performances and talent, the judging was so outstanding. They were so nice and paid such close attention to each dancer. It was extremely organized and run so professionally I could not believe it. I love how they encourage each studio to support one another and show great sportsmanship. This is by far my favorite Dance Competition. If I could rate higher than 5 stars I would!
Rated on Mar 13 2016 Event Rated (if any): Ft. Lauderdale - 2015-04-10 Venue: 4 | Judging: 5 | Staff: 5 | Awards: 5 | Communication: 5
Loved this event! Normal, sane start and end times- (8AM- 10PM), highly qualified judges who gave very thorough critiques, and super organized. I love having the person running the music in the wings as well as a big screen back there where you can view the dance that is on stage, and then listed at the bottom are the upcoming routines. Awards ran quickly and smoothly. Those details were very much appreciated!
Awesome experience. Staff was super helpful and went above and beyond. We brought our music on flash drive and found out at the competition it needed to be on CD's. We didn't have a laptop, let alone blank CD's with us. Todd, the Extraordinaire, went ahead and took our flash drive and put our music on CD's for us! He absolutely did not need to do this! WE also had a dancer we had to move and that went seamless as well! Great group of professional administrators, judges and technicians!
Rated on Aug 17 2015 | Edited on: Aug 17 2015 Event Rated (if any): Huron - 2015-07-07 Venue: 4 | Judging: 4 | Staff: 5 | Awards: 5 | Communication: 5
LOVE Headliners Nationals! ... very grateful for their commitment to equipping dancers with quality training and taking it to the next level by offering college scholarships and professional auditions for agency representation! ... The finale banquet was fabulous with cash awards, a great meal and fun dance party!
Rated on Aug 07 2015 | Edited on: Aug 07 2015 Event Rated (if any): Huron - 2015-07-07 Venue: 4 | Judging: 5 | Staff: 5 | Awards: 5 | Communication: 4
We attended Nationals for the first time at Headliners and it was a better experience that I had expected it to be. I have to be honest and say I was a little worried about having to wait until the end of the week to get the results of the overall awards but the banquet experience was wonderful. Dancers had a blast, especially dancing on stage. The "Academy Awards" presentation was exceptional because the dancers were called on stage in front of over 800 people and how can they not feel special about that along with overall winner videos being displayed on the big screen as they announced overall winners. They never even asked during the week about overalls since there was so much to keep them busy throughout the week with performances, master classes and an audition workshop which was a great experience for all. Parents were able to observe at no additional cost and the cost of the master classes and audition workshop were very reasonable. That's one of the best things I like about Headliners is their fee pricing, AFFORDABLE.I am a mom of dancers and a teacher so I see both sides of the spectrum. They give the kids a wonderful experience and I've seen nothing but appropriate performances at all Headliners venues we've attended, which as a parent I greatly appreciate. The competition always ran on time and the staff was wonderful. I never felt there was favoritism of any one studio as the overall winners came from a variety of studios. They awarded individual dancers with extra scholarships and they were never given to the same dancer so they showed no favoritism or toward any specific studio. They really do care about the dancers and all that they've worked toward. I've read some negative comments and yes there is going to be negative critiques with any competition you may attend and nothing will ever be perfect to everyone, but Headliners is well run and they're judges do give critiques and not just sit in silence like I've experienced at some competitions.
I did not care for lumping all of the Hollywood division together. Our small and large groups worked very hard and it was disappointing not to have the different categories recognized separately, and this is coming from a group that did score in the top 5. I understand a cash award was being given but when you work hard all year the kids would have rather had the overall award over any cash. However, my biggest complaint was the "resort" and I use that term very loosely. Sawmill Creek was disgusting. The rooms were moldy, smelled of smoke and mildew and the staff was completely unfriendly, sometimes even rude. The dressing room for our studio was in a kitchen with water dripping from the roof. The stage that was constructed was uneven and I witnessed several girls trip and almost fall. I would not recommend Headliners to ever go back to that venue.
Overall, Headliners (nationals) was very good. The competition was very organized and almost always ahead of schedule. There were extra breaks added in to slow down the competition. The backstage staff was awesome. The judges were also rather knowledgeable about dance and judged fairly. I found my critiques to be worth watching and helpful. My one and only complaint about judging was the tendency for lyrical to win pretty much everything, BUT this could easily have been because those dances just happened to do the best. I guess more tap knowledge could be wished for. Based on my scoresheet, the tap judge thought my technique was much better than the non-tap judges which I found odd. The only big complaint I have is not directed to Headliners but to the venue. The "resort" was awful. It was dirty and overpriced. The staff was very rude. I hope the Headliners never returns to the Sawmill Creek Resort. If I were not a graduated senior, I would definitely return to Headliners as I have the past few years. I also recommend Headliners to others.
Finally a competition that breaths life back into the dance community. Although I have to admit that I love when my child earns a high placing award it is refreshing to see that my child has to earn her award while being judged fairly as the talent that shows up at Headliners is fierce. Keep up the good work Headliners, keep doing what you do best!
Fair and consistent judging and extremely professional. Love how they reward a dancer with amazing technique just as much as a dancer with exceptional artistry. The key to a successful dance competition is well educated judges. Staff always friendly and accommodating. My students have learned so much not just from the workshops but from the other talented studios that are also attending. They have a banquet at the end of the competition to give out all the overall scores which makes it so much more exciting and so different from a regional competition. Love it.
I have never been to a competition, where the judges were so unfair to specific studios. To not even recognize them for a special award that they give or one of their choreography awards is a waste of our time and money. The idea of not doing any overalls to know where you even stand with the other teams is unusual, save the time with the glitter throwing and add a overall awards. I would also like to mention, the location, I have never been to a competition where are dressing room is in a hotel kitchen where the ceiling was leaking. I misunderstand a majority of what goes on behind headliners, except for a lot of politics of favoring studios. Can't wait to hear the video comments, hope they were as great as regionals (sarcasm)