The Bay Area in California where this event was held, is home to MANY world famous tap dancers. This being said, it was rather disheartening to read that the Headliner judges had little to no tap judging experience and unfortunately it showed. After digging into this further, we were told by teachers in our tap dance community that also train with the local professional tap dancers, that they do not send their tappers to shows such as Headliners for this very reason. In addition, for an event this size, there should have been two stages going at the same time. How Headliners expects their judges to be able to fairly judge from 7am until 10:15pm is beyond my level of comprehension. The awards were rather disappointing as well. For an event this large, only giving placement awards to the top three was also very disappointing. Having been a studio instructor that has attended many shows, I can honestly say that the placement medals that our dancers received were poorly made. In fact, the medals were by far the cheapest ones we have ever seen. It seems to me that Headliners moto is to line their pockets first and then to serve their high paying customers later with the little that is left. Because of this, our studio will not be back next year.
The music man was the best thing about Headliners. His energy and smile was infectious.
Hello Lisa. My name is Shari Tomasiello, CEO of Headliners. Knowing how hard my staff and I work and how passionate we are about what we do, I was upset and disappointed to see this review. I feel the need to respond due to the many inaccuracies in your comments and the lack of understanding of the circumstances surrounding this event and our rules in general. I was onsite and accessible either backstage or in the lobby the entire event and I wish you had asked to speak to me so I could have addressed your concerns as it is our overwhelming desire to make sure everyone leaves happy. Before I begin, I do see that you gave the venue a 1 which I don't understand since it is a technically advanced venue with tons of dressing space that also provides video or audio of what is happening on stage. 1. Tap concern: You should be aware that tap is my forte and what I love teaching most. I was trained by many master teachers including Henry LeTang and Bob Audy (who also taught Gregory Hines and his brother, Maurice). It is the policy of Headliners that our judges have training in the basic 3 - tap, ballet and jazz - as well as any additional dance forms. If tap is not their forte, judges may choose to comment on a variety of other components such as musicality. I find your comment regarding discussions with other studios suspect due to numerous tap routines receiving overall awards as well as judge's awards and titles at this event!! It should be noted that there were also a lot of Hip Hop routines so having Chris, who competed with the USA Hip Hop Team, on the panel. 2. SIZE OF EVENT - I agree this event was a bit larger than normal for us. We only commit to 1 stage for our events and typically limit entries to 500. However, what you did not know, or try to find out, is why there were more entries at this event. During pre-registration a number of studios in attendance indicated their anticipated number of entries. Once we hit close to 500 we closed the event. What happened was that the number of actual entries registered was more than what was listed, so we had an overage of 70 entries. You should also be aware that we TURNED AWAY 4 studios who wanted to attend, 120+ entries!! We asked the venue for Thursday night for a few hours in order to accommodate the overflow, but they had a school event. I find it curious that you mention the hours when all I see across the dance boards is other competitions starting at 7AM and hosting awards at Midnight on a regular basis. Or other competitions starting Friday morning. We do not do that and never have. We felt that the best way to move forward was to start 1 hour earlier Saturday and Sunday rather than go later at night. What disappoints me is that you failed to acknowledge that we ended almost 1 hour early on Friday night and that we were at least 30 MINUTES EARLY every session over the weekend and that the event ended each day when awards were scheduled to begin. The judges and staff were engaged for the entire event and after reviewing many critiques from the weekend, I was impressed with the level of constructive commentary provided, which we require. 3. AWARDS - First it is clear that you did not review or know the rules. It clearly states that for Novice and Intermediate levels that we award the top 3 placements in overalls. (Competitve level awards are top 5 with the exception of Solos which can go up to the top 10 based on the number of entries). The main issue of this event, as I see it, is based on the level of talent of the studios and ability of the dancers, the majority of Novice dancers should have been in the Intermediate, and some even in the Competitive level, and that the majority of Intermediate dancers should have been in the Competitive level. I say this with all sincerity that I hope that the placement of the dancers is not due to a lack of confidence in your abilities. I hope your studio and the others will recognize your talent and not sell yourselves short. Having your dancers dance down in the end is detrimental. As a teacher and choreographer, I only entered my students in the highest level of competition because, as I stated to them, if you want to compete then let's compete. And it paid off. My students worked really hard and ended up in Competitive overalls consistently. 4. TYPE OF AWARDS - Cheap? This upsets me for a number of reasons but mostly because you did not recognize the work and expense in producing our awards. Adjudications - Our awards are 16 inches long, 1/4-inch-thick custom acrylics. Not cheap plastic or other cheap material. Medals - Soloists in all 3 levels receive custom die-cut medals with specific levels and different ribbons. We don't present generic overall medals but ones that indicated each placement and had a different color neck ribbon. To do this required the design and purchase of 5 different molds. We could have taken the cheap way out and just do an overall placement medal, but that is not the case. Same for the overall banners - other categories received vinyl banners with grommets that indicated each level separately as well as placement (ie: Novice 1st overall duo/trio, etc). In addition, we presented custom plaques recognizing choreography, entertainment, spirit, high score 12&under and high score 13&over. There were also cash scholarships presented in the competitive division for any category with 10 or more entries (as indicated in our rules) as well as the scholarships to summer intensives and the $750 scholarship to each dancer in the routine that won the ADCC Studio of Excellence to perform in Disney! Our awards are NOT cheap by any stretch of the imagination and we have never in 34 years had anyone complain. I encourage you to take our awards to an awards business in your area. I think you will be amazed at what things cost. FINAL THOUGHTS - Never has Headliners been accused of only being interested in lining our pockets and I take offense at this comment. Our goal first and foremost is to make sure the dancers feel seen and have a good time and I know that this was the case. Our entire staff and the judges were totally engaged. We laughed and took photos with them, danced with them, interacted with them. I personally received numerous comments about how well run and organized the competition was from teachers and parents alike. I also received a number of comments about how it is clear that we love what we do. We are a small, family run business. Headliners was started by my mother and me, and now run by me and my daughter. I ask that before you degrade a business that you know and understand the rules and remember that we are people too. I also hope that you will consider an apology now that you know that, for the most part, you did not do your due diligence or know the facts.
I (parent and teacher) had the pleasure of attending a dance competition hosted by Headliners, and I must say it was a great experience overall. The venue was top-notch and provided a perfect setting for the event. The judges seemed great and we can’t wait to get their feedback!
However, I did have one small concern. I wished there was more competition as the majority of the dances, 65 out of 82, were from one studio. It would have been great to see more diversity and a wider range of talent on display. Despite this, the performances were still captivating, and it was clear that the dancers had put in a lot of hard work.
The staff at Headliners were fantastic, the merch guy was funny and providing helpful and friendly assistance throughout the day. They were organized and efficient, making the event run smoothly. Additionally, the videographer was phenomenal, capturing every moment of the performances with great attention to detail.
Overall, I had a great time at the competition, and I highly recommend Headliners for anyone looking to attend a high-quality dance event.
Headliners is a class act! We have attended for several years, at many different venues, and the result is always the same: It is a very well run competition which is always either on time or ahead of schedule, it has an extremely friendly and helpful staff, a very organized back stage staff, beautiful stage, super fun merchandise, a very well run, swift awards ceremony, wonderful special judges awards, and most importantly, the judges are very knowledgeable, experienced experts who gave excellent, kind, informative comments/notes. I really appreciate that they select a title winner from the entire division, instead of having a separate "sign up" title division. Finally, I love love the free photo and video package that is included with the registration fee! Thank you, Headliners, for a well run event! See you again next year!
Don't bother wasting your time or money...this was our first experience with Headliners and it will be our last. These judges and staff are obviously overworked and underpaid. One of our dancers was left off the Headliners list. Our studio reached out to them for a week with no response. They responded after we already competed. One judge was tweeting about how awful solos are during the competition. The backstage manager yelled at me and told me she is going to scratch a dance because I told her they are already backstage and they apparently didn't check in (this was a studio block so our studio was the only one there). To top of the wonderful weekend the MC called Phoenix, AZ a bunch of Jerk Off Studios during awards other staff laughed and told her she was live. She did not apologize a the time just continued with awards. Try explaining to a bunch of children what "jerk off" means.
From the office: As posted on our social media, the woman who made that comment (a tour employee contracted for just 4 cities), had her contract terminated. Regardless of if the mic was live or not, comments like that go completely against our standards. Headliners was started 30 years ago, and what was said was in direct conflict with our values. All employees, whether they work in my office full time, part time, or just on tour a few weekends each year are expected to remember that their actions have a direct effect on Headliners and we expect them to act in a professional manner at all times. That did not happen here. We do have to clarify that the term referred to a few people being difficult, not what people are insinuating. The tweets were also brought to our attention. There was nothing said about the solos or any dancer being awful. The tweet was "No More Solos LOL" making light of the fact that there were lots of solos to watch. The talent was absolutely amazing and that was also clarified by the judge. Onsite our staff was threatened with physical harm and yelled at for asking people to adhere to the venue guidance. That still does not excuse the comment that was made and the reason that person was terminated.
I have never met a more friendly , honest, kind, and well rounded Comp staff as Headliners. We spent the weekend at their Chandler competition and even our fellow studios were kind. It was nice to be part of an organization that encourages studios to lift each other up!!
Nothing surprises me about dance competitions but this one did. During the awards, recognition was given to the teens who choreographed their own routines and fellow student routines. It was a nice gesture however, it seemed as though these students were on the judge's radar and received higher marks than they maybe should have. In the senior division, there were the usual lyrical, jazz and tap numbers which were all the standard dancing that I have seen before. I have been to enough competitions where I know tap doesn't get the same recognition as lyrical. There were a decent amount of tappers ranging from mediocre to professional grade. When it came to the overall top 15, the number 1 spot was a tapper. That was surprising since most don't place in the top 15 or if they do, it's somewhere near the bottom. The tapper was good but nowhere near #1 and no other tappers broke the other 14 spots yet some of them did receive an "Elite Gold" award. I then remembered that she got an award for student choreographer so it started to make sense. The judges have the certain dancer's numbers and they subjectively judge to that. Another special "judge's award" went to a tapper who played some "Mickey Mouse" song, wore a pasted smile and shuffle ballchanged her way to that award. People in the crowd had a confused look on their faces but not surprised. The only Male dancer received 10 recognitions but that is another story. I would love for the judges to put out their criteria for their ratings. As a person with a dance history and eyes & ears, I have a hard time understanding why certain awards are given to certain dancers. It's very subjective and doesn't promote self confidence in these kids. It makes a lot of them not want to compete in the future.
Hello Dance Mom! As a dance mom myself, former dance competition team director at my mother's dance studio and now CEO of Headliners,
I have also been to my share of dance competitions these 30+ years. I am proud to be a part of Headliners, who is known for their reputation of
honesty and integrity in the dance competition world. The following addresses the comments in your post above: 1. I agree that tap typically does
not score as well as lyrical and other dance forms at most competitions. As I was primarily a tap teacher, I love to see tap honored. So it is curious
that when a tap routine does receive the accolades it deserves, it is met with adversity and skepticism. 2. The judges do not know what dancers
have entered self-choreographed routines. The program does not separate these routines, and being a student choreographer has no bearing on
any other awards. We, as a company, look to encourage the next generation of choreographers and offer certificates of recognition at every regional.
This also notifies the dancer's eligibility to compete for Student Choreographer of the Year at Nationals. This is all explained in our program.
3. Title winners are selected by a consensus of the judging panel. As each soloist performs, the judges laptops give the option to check off that
they want that dancer to be considered for the regional title. At the end of the session, the tabulator provides the panel with a list of all dancers
listed for consideration. It is from this list that the title winners are selected to represent the region at Nationals. This is also explained in our program.
4. The judges have no access to the others scores, they do not know the outcome of overalls, and overalls do not have any bearing on any other
special awards. At the awards ceremony you would have noticed that the judges presented their special awards and titles before the overalls were
even announced. Judging criteria is also explained in our program.
I encourage anyone reading this to go to our Facebook page - Headliners Dance Championships - to see recent reviews and commentary from dance
teachers and studio owners. Should you, or anyone, wish to learn more about how our events are run, please feel free to contact us. My staff and I are at your
disposal and would be happy to do so. You can call us at 973-927-8007 or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sending positive vibes to our FAVORITE competition!! Shari, and Headliners are a class act all the way!
Thank you so much. We appreciate you and all the teachers and studios supporting us each year!!
Best competition pictures in the industry, there’s really no competition. Clear, free and they actually capture the tricks!
The competition is a very professional environment and we always have a very good time! We have been to this competition in many different locations and venues such as Worcester, Derry for three years and this year
Woonsocket Rhode Island And we have always had a great experience. This competition holds its events in spaces with ample dressing room space and stages appropriate for this type of event! One of few competitions that still hands out trophies with adjudication which is great especially for younger dancers. In addition the opportunity to donate trophies is an amazing program.
This competition also offers a title program for the lower competitive levels which does an amazing job recognizing studios and dancers of all abilities.
We love Headliners and can’t wait to be back next weekend!
We are grateful for your review and thank you for taking the time to support us!
I also attended the Headliners convention in Hanover, NJ in 2016. The event was amazing! The venue was spectacular (Hanover Marriott). The staff there were helpful and awesome to be around. The staff were amazing like always, the awards were fast and ran amazingly, the overall convention was amazing and probably one of the best ones you'll find out there.
I attended Headliners in Lawrenceville, NJ in April 2018. The venue (Notre Dame High School) was beautiful and the stage was nice, dressing room space was average for a boys dressing room. The judges there were spectacular they gave both constructive criticism and positive feedback, lots of judges I listen to only talk when there is something that needs work, but these judges comment on not only things I needed to work on, but they also focused on some positive moments of my routine. The staff there were AMAZING! The merch stand was amazing, and the backstage crew was nice. Awards were awesome and they always go smoothly, the competition was running on time, and the communication in general was great! I loved the TV's backstage that showed what routines were checked in, which one was next, and which routines just went. It really helped out a lot! I 100% recommend this competition to you, it is one of the best run competitions you can find!
Runs smoothly. Judging seemed fair enough, no real surprises. If you have seasoned intermediate dancers, this is not the comp I would pick. My daughter's team practices 2 nights a week, not more than 3 hours at a time. We attend 2-3 comps per year. I am not casting shade on those super talented groups, it just isn't fair to the intermediate dancer who is making progress, but not an elite performer.
The rules about turn, leap and tumbling skills force them into the highest level along with dancers who are obviously dancing every day when they are in 8-10 numbers to our 3-4.
They only did a top 5 when there were over 30 small groups. But in categories where there were only 4, they placed all. I would rather see a top 10 in larger fields and only a first or second in the smaller. 4th out of 4 numbers isn't an accomplishment.
The special awards seemed to all go to traditional jazz, tap and musical theater.
It was an okay experience, but I would not return with the rules about the levels.
ADD: Just reviewed the judges commentary. The dancers do not pick costumes, hair styles, etc so it isn't beneficial for the male judge at this event to spend 1/3 of the time speaking to that he doesn't like their hair??? really?
And the numeric values assigned were all over the place. Think 10 points different between judges for the same numbers. Makes one wonder if they were even watching the same pieces. How does one judge award a 19/20 for choreography and another 10? That's a 50% difference.
The included media package is nice, but it isn't user friendly or simple, Very cumbersome and click-heavy.
We attended Headliners in Seattle this month. They had a few hiccups since it was their first time in Seattle, but they definitely did everything they could to help the event run smooth. The staff was friendly and our dancers seemed to have a good time. Love the video and picture package of each routine that is included in your entry fee. That's awesome they offer that. Loved all the judges awards at the awards ceremony. Judging seemed fair and was so pleased my daughter placed in the top 4 at the competitive level! That is the one thing about this competition that makes me nervous is they base the levels on ability (no aerials, triple pirouettes, fouette turns in the middle level). Our dancers can do all of those so we had to do broadway(competitive) level even though we take a small number of hours each week, so it was scary to go against dancers that are taking 3/4 ballet classes per week, plus tech classes, acro, stretch/strength, etc..., but we did ok! Hoping they do comne back to Seattle next year because we would definitely like to give this one another try!!
Headliners is truly awesome. The staff is amazing, and their intensive and competitions are so cool. The intensive class I went to was spectacular, I had learned so much and was happy to be a part of it!
My son and I LOVE this competition, and are excited to be going again this season! Everything is run on-time and so smoothly. We loved that they were done early and did not go until all hours of the night!
Even though he has only attended one Event to date, I felt like I was surrounded by friends and always greeted with a smile. The Judges' critiques, were encouraging and offered keen insight-Not the usual "Nice costumes" or "Great job-Keep working" that he has heard before.
The photos were amazing, and I was so grateful to have them all, as well as the videos to each of his routines. I love that they are included at no additional cost!
We appreciated the 3 Levels of competition, too! Since he has only been competing for 2 seasons, we were able to enter him in their Novice Division. This year, he can feel comfortable in the Recreational Level, and hopefully the following year, enter the Competitive Level :-)
We are excited to come back! Thank you Headliners...
My studio has attended this competition 2 years in a row. We like the competition itself and the staff was nice and the event was organized. The media package was great! We have tested this one out with just a few entries and wanted to be able to go ahead and enter all of ours with them. I wish I could rate this competition higher, but the reason we will NOT be returning is because of the judges. We had 2 of the same judges 2 years in a row and they were horrible! Seemed to be very nice people, but AWFUL judges. One of them is a nice younger man, but did not give 1 critique! He kept saying "Wow!" and laughed a lot, but we came for feedback! We did not get anything helpful from him. The other judge is an older lady, and she had no clue what was going on. She wouldn't speak until halfway through the dance, and on one of our dances she said: "Oh wait this is a tap dance, how great!" 30 seconds later the dance was over.... When she did decide to give feedback, it was all opinion based like saying she didn't like the "hairdo" or in a duo she didn't want them to ever not be touching....the minute one girl had her own part she would say "nope nope this is not a duet" If this competition hired new judges, we would go back. We gave them 2 years and it was the same, so they are not on our calendar this season!
It was my kids first time at Headliners. Pros. Well organized, ran on time mostly. Good programs, not too expensive. The judging was tough, which I like. Elite Golds were earned. Silvers were given. Not a feel good scoring system. Pics and videos come with registration. The pics I did get to preview are excellent. I just love that it's not an extra expense. But the pics were such high quality, I would have bought them. At every award ceremony, each judge gives out 2-3 judges choice awards. They were not based on scores. They give a short speech about why they chose that dance. Wow! Their words were so sincere and heartfelt. I can tell you that those awards meant so much to the dancers at our studio. Probably more than overalls. I wish you could have seen their glowing faces in the dressing room after. Our girls fell in love with one of the quirky judges. How nice to see that judges are people and have personalities. Cons. The venue was way too small. No place to sit or eat. Some studios brought in tables and set them up in the hall way. Talk about human traffic jam. Their was only one set of restrooms available. While looking for another, we walked through other studios dressing rooms, they were literally school hallways with no natural light or ventilation. Stinky. I did find the judging slightly skewed. Especially with contemporary dances. Contemporary dances that were more modern did not place as high as those that included more "traditional" elements as turn sequences, kicks and leaps. That genre, and lyrical are expanding to include really amazing, unique choreo. But choreo that was more traditional was placed higher every time. That leads me to another "con". There was not a high level of talent there. My kids dances were all in the highest level. We mostly competed against 1-2 studios. Kinda disappointing. But their could have been a little more competition if there weren't some studios that were blatantly leveling down. In the rules, the mid level states 2 hours of training a week. At awards, many dancers in the mid level told the emcee that they have danced for 5-7 years. I hope that the 12 year old duo who were in the mid level and told the emcee that they have been dancing for 7 years were super happy to place above a 7 year old duo from our studio. Sorry, that is an integrity issue. We all know that studios level down for the win. It's sad that most competitions do not enforce their rules. And this is not sour grapes. My kid was in the advanced level and her dances did very well. Would I vote to go back? Probably not. If we were a mid level studio I would.
The judging was pretty good and the staff was sweat but the competition didn't run as smoothly as I've seen other competitions.
I recently attended a Headliners event, and then I was browsing through here reading reviews and found some that perfectly explained how I felt about the competition.
And now I just read that a judge came on here to defend about how the competition hires great judges. So I think that says enough.
I am a teacher at a studio who did not have an overall wonderful experience with Headliners. The competition ran smoothly and the staff were very kind, but that's where the bar stopped for us. Nothing fancy going on here. I will have to agree with another recent review on here, that it is just second rate in comparison to what else is out there nowadays. I have attended "flashy" competitions where the judges are still very well educated, who also are master teachers, and they still hand out tons of overall money, scholarships to conventions and other great prizes. I was expecting more, but sometimes you have to just experience the difference for yourself.
Hello. We work very hard to be accommodating and to make our events a positive experience for everyone. Please contact us and let us know what you did not like and what you would like to see in the future. We are always appreciative of constructive feedback - email@example.com or 973-927-8007. We hope to hear from you.
We attended headliners Lawrenceville, NJ. I can honestly say everything snd i mean everything went smoothly. The staff was pretty amazing and friendly. The emcee was loud and clear. Three days of competition with lots of talent. Thank you Headliners for an amazing weekend!
I am a professional dancer, dance teacher, and most importantly to this forum, a dance competition adjudicator for multiple companies, including Headliners. Having been on all sides of the industry, I wanted to express my support and confidence in Headliners as one of the best I've encountered. Shari and the team work hard to bring professional, quality staff to each event they run. The judging panels I have been a part of for the past 6 years of working for them have always included a mix of dance educators with decades of experience, professional dancers with extensive credits and well rounded knowledge of all styles of dance. They do not hire based on the "cool" factor - you will not see the latest, trendiest "flash in the pan" convention "teacher" judging your students. Those stars may be stellar in their own right, but they have never taught a beginner dancer to do a pas de bourree or a time step. Headliners hires judges who care first and foremost about the kids, which is what it should all be about. As referenced on this forum, Headliners will also always take the time to answer your questions and address your concerns. Their events run on time or ahead of schedule, they offer a fantastic media package, and college scholarships. Is Headliners the flashiest competition out there? No. But is it an event run with integrity and support for the dancers? Absolutely.
I really enjoyed this competition. The judging was fair and accurate. There was tough competition but a very friendly and positive atmosphere. Very on time and professional.
I have attended Headliners several times in the past few years, and I have a lot of the same concerns people have expressed below. It all seems to be met with a lot of defensiveness on here from there head office obviously, which concerns me. I will just state my point of view as a dance teacher based on what I know in the industry.
Headliners is a well-run, yet very dated competition. Buying iPads and having a computer scoring systems does not make you current or high tech. Truly, the fundamentals of the competition have not evolved, and they need a lot of new high energy ideas to help keep them relevant in the competition industry today.
The main problem is the judging panel and who they hire to work at their Nationals. They have the same older lady judges at many events, who really do not give useful feedback on their tapes, but primarily are just not current. The rest of their judges are a bit younger, but honestly I have never heard a judge's tape from this competition that was intelligent or sounded like anyone was invested in the kids learning. There is a lot of opinion giving from the judges, and a lot of it is not relevant to the kids, not relevant for the dance industry in 2017 and just ego-driven. They really just hire second rate judges, which leaves them as a second rate competition. Once they realize that who they hire to represent their organization on stage makes a difference, and get some fresh blood in those judges seats, I think the competition could be back in the narrative.
They are a great competition in terms of organization and running on time. However, they need to be honest about the type of studios that they cater to. This is not the competition for your top level studios, and you won't see that type of talent there. They claim you will, but you won't. Headliners is really just missing the big picture. They don't hire people that will attract the top level, because they're not top level. I am not saying that's a bad thing, it's just good to be honest about what you offer and the types of studios you should be hosting.
A lot of parents have concerns on here about the scoring system and how their kids were scored at these events. I think scoring systems are all relative at each competition, and they're all just silly. Yes, they spread the love, like most other competitions of this nature, and who cares what they call a Gold or High Silver. The issue really is the substance behind what Headliners is doing that is lacking in integrity to make them a more attractive event for studios. They make a lot of mediocre studios feel like stars from what I have witnessed, and that's great if you think that is important. The judges they have really can't decipher a "top level" studio from a mediocre one at these events by too many points, so keep that in mind if you want to go there and "win everything!"
Most parents loving this competition on here are probably studios who went to their event and did really well, because they are not a big competition any more. One or two day events, is really nothing. So you won some overalls and title jackets at their events so you LOVED it, but really step back and look at the substance. There are no scholarships to anything at their regionals (and not at Nationals either!). They award gift certificates instead of cash prizes at regionals.
It's all just small things like this that make you sit at their awards ceremonies like, huh, really eh?
The video/photo packages are excellent for value and quality of what you get from them. I'd say their photographer and videographer are top of the line from what I've experienced.
There are a lot of things they advertise for their events, including Nationals that have likely never evolved. Their title competition at Nationals for me was a huge miss, and needs a lot of updating to attract more top level dancers to come and compete for it. Their master classes at Nationals were a big disappointment, but that comes from the teachers that they hired. There was just no real 'hype' about anything they did. Everything felt like an after thought, or "well, this is how we've don't it for 25 years and it works for us." I was waiting for the big THIS IS NATIONALS moments, and they never came.
There are some great qualities that they bring to the competition industry, but there are a lot of old school beliefs that will likely never change unless they have new staff that come in and really make drastic changes to their core. However, if you love their event, it is because you love those 'old-school' qualities and so to each their own. It is a second rate competition, and people should know that going in, although I'm pretty sure if you look at their website/advertising and what they offer you would know that going into it.
The people who run the competition seem nice, and eager to please, or defend themselves (however you choose to look at it!) but I really don't know how eager they appear to spend money on the things that need addressing to help bring this competition into the current century.
Worst comp. The director has a reputation for her favortism towards big studios and friends. The most pathetic think is how defensive she is. Every time comes on here to complain on here about the comp she feels the need to come on and disagree with them. It's pathetic. I wouldn't spend $1 on Headliners nor would I recommend it to anyone.
Wonderful experience! Very organized...The weekend ran so smoothly.Staff was always friendly and went above and beyond.The judges were very professional and gave great feedback. Judging was fair and consistent. Loved it!
I would not to this competition again for many reasons.
First when I found out that the competition was only one day, I asked to make sure there were sufficient entries to make it a "competition." I was assured that the competition, though only one day would last "until dinner time." We called again as we were very concerned and were told that there were "7 other schools with the same amount of entries" as us (we have 33 entries.) The total amount of entries was 77 - making us nearly half. This is not worth the money for us as mainly we are competing against ourselves. I feel that the directors were extremely deceitful about the amount of entries. We attend many competitions and hold many national titles. Never have I encountered a competition where the directors would not inform us if we were the majority of the entries - therefore not making it a true competition. This was a huge waste of money. This was within two weeks of the competition, I think at that point we should have received an option to pull out. We were told there were no refunds. Except for 5 other numbers, we were the only groups. It makes me feel as though they made us attend as it was our routines paying their bills for the day (spent over $7500).
Secondly, the media fee is mandatory. While I understand the package price is worth it - we need to have the option to choose. Sometimes we simply don't want to purchase the videos and pictures. While the option was nice, it is upsetting to be forced into charging our parents more money.
All music was set up and being run from backstage, and the MC was also checking people in, etc and announcing. Maybe this was done because it was a small competition? But I thought this was odd and left room for error.
I have not heard judges critiques yet or seen pictures so I cannot comment on that. The backstage men, Todd was very friendly and nice to work with.
Hello Aggie. I am the National Director and want to address your post. First, I do know that everyone explained to you and your staff that this was our first ever event in that area and it was a small event. There were 7 total studios and while you did have a little less than half the entries it certainly was enough to hold the event. While all of our other events are at least 2 full days, many times when we add a city it takes time for people to realize we are there and for it to grow. Being from NJ we were excited to add the STAC to our event list and received positive comments from all the other studios in attendance - one right to my personal Facebook page. Headliners has been around 28 years and the one thing people can tell you is that we are known for our honesty and integrity. Our Emcee is always stationed backstage to have better access to the teachers and dancers and to eliminate any distractions from the audience. I see that your families have made numerous positive comments on our Facebook page regarding the media and photos and I believe you were tagged in one such comment. I can tell you that 100% of the parents when they find out what they are getting for $25 are thrilled. We encourage studios to present this to their parents because once they know that they receive every photo and video from every routine for that price they can't believe it. One parent told us they paid $170 for photos last year. Please go to our Facebook page (Headliners Dance Championships) to see the photo collage posted and the event in review video just posted. We wish you well and hope that you will reconsider your position.
My daughter attended Headliners for the first time last year and can't wait to go back this year! The competition was well run, the photographer was fantastic. The judges were fair and gave some great feedback.
Thank you so much for your review. Please let us know what we can do to earn a 5th star!
Headliners is an incredible organization. I grew up competing for
Headliners and learned so much from them year after year that I now take
with me as a professional dancer here in LA and as a teacher/choreographer
for competitve students of my own! Super organized and runs so smooth. Yes
the judging is tough- but fair! Half of your score is technique which is
the basis for all of dance! 3 great levels for kids of all skill levels....
everybody should feel welcome!! I have never had a bad thing to say about
this competition in 18 years!!
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
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.
What a wonderful and positive experience for my son and students!
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?
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.
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
the judge decided I shouldn\'t put that move in my
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
any higher than a gold. That is where I just felt like giving up.
I looked at my own dances, I would see that one would look
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
time....recreational teams need to be judged at a level that is
recreational. They are beginner dancers who need these tips and
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
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!
LOVE Headliners Nationals! ... very grateful for their commitment
equipping dancers with quality training and taking it to the next
offering college scholarships and professional auditions for
representation! ... The finale banquet was fabulous with cash
great meal and fun dance party!
We attended Nationals for the first time at Headliners and it was a
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
Dancers had a blast, especially dancing on stage. The
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
appropriate performances at all Headliners venues we\'ve
which as a parent I greatly appreciate. The competition always
time and the staff was wonderful. I never felt there was favoritism
any one studio as the overall winners came from a variety of
They awarded individual dancers with extra scholarships and
they were never
given to the same dancer so they showed no favoritism or
specific studio. They really do care about the dancers and
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
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
Although I have to admit that I love when my child earns a
award it is refreshing to see that my child has to earn her
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
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)
This is our first time attending Headliners Nationals and we will
definitely be back. The staff is so friendly and professional and
everything runs so smoothly and on time!!! I absolutely love that they
provide an amazing opportunity to audition for a dance agency!!! That
experience was incredible and my kids absolutely enjoyed that and learned
so much about the business!!! The master classes were so fun and we loved
the teachers... I think the judges do a great job and were fair with their
picks!!! Headliners truly tries to provide a friendly atmosphere for all
the dancers... Look forward to the banquet ☺️
This competition is soooo riged! The judges don\'t score fairly at ALL
and favorite studios so much! Never coming back
I am sorry you are disappointed in how your routines are placing. However
to say that our event is rigged is not only hurtful but completely untrue.
Headliners is known in the industry for NOT playing favorites and for being
honest. Our judges do not know what routines belong to each studio and we
never tell them how to judge. For you and others who may read this our
National Jr Miss represents a studio that came with just a small amount of
entries. This is a similar case with several other studios. Headliners will
always be a competition where dancers receive an honest evaluation.
Hopefully you can look past your personal disappoint and recognize all the
great opportunities provided this week.
WE WILL NEVER EVER BE ATTENDING HEADLINERS AGAIN!
Headliners\' philosophy is one that parallels our philosophy as a studio.
They strive to make sure that every dancer is supportive of one another
regardless of the studio they come from. The judges are professional,
tough, and fair. This is by far our favorite competition of the season!
Your staff behind the merchandise table and back stage were wonderful.
Thanks for accommodating for quick changes and for students who were at
You did not accommodate for how may students our
studio had attending. You did not even have space for all the studios
attending- We had students from other studios asking us where there were
more dressing rooms and we could not help them, as we had to ask the
janitors to open more rooms for us to use as well. Then your staff tried to
tell us we couldn\'t be in these extra rooms because you hadn\'t had
them approved. It is your responsibility to have the space available for
students to change.
Your judges claimed to be \"musical theater
fanatics\" and the overalls were mostly lyrical/contemporary numbers.
Multiple people from all studios were confused at what was awarded- the
audience saw amazing dances that were not recognized on multiple occasions
throughout the weekend.
Your \"recreational\" category is a
joke. You need to create more categories beside Hollywood and Broadway.
Studios were openly admitting they placed competitive team dancers in
\"recreational\" because they couldn\'t have them in the same
division as their seniors. That\'s very fair to the 7 year old children
who have one year of competition experience and dance 1 hour a week. Thanks
Also, how is it that you have solo awards for ages 16 &
18 and have them competing against one another, and then have a separate
category for 17 year olds? On what planet does that make sense?
have been a part of the competitive dance world since 2001. We had some
numbers place this past weekend in overalls and given decently scored
awards, so I\'m not making these comments as a completely disgruntled
observer whose dancer received nothing this weekend. What we did learn is
that we will NEVER be a part of this competition again. Get it together.
I thought this competition was very well run. They ran on time the entire
weekend. Judging was tough but fair. Although special awards seemed to
mostly go to contemporary and lyrical dances all types of dances made the
top 10. The photos taken were amazing, I wish I hadn\'t purchased them
at the last competition we went to because these were so much better. They
were also willing to double check the videos to make sure that the tap
sounds came through before people bought the video.
I just love the way this competition treats the dancers - yes, the speeches
can go on for a bit, but you KNOW they really watched the performances,
they want to see dancers develop and grow. I particularly appreciate their
commitment to starting and ending at reasonable hours. The judges\'
comments are amongst the most detailed and constructive that we have
received all season, but they did have an issue with audio synch to video
on the critiques which was frustrating.
I enjoyed Headliners quite a bit. The competition ran very smoothly and
was never late. It was always on time or early. The judging was fair.
The videos were probably the highest quality I have ever seen at a
competition. Only negative would be the judges\' critiques. They were
not very helpful or understandable. I did not feel as many constructive
critiques were given. Also. the audio was very off from the video for
critiques, so it was hard to decipher which part of the number was being
My studio has competed for over ten years. We recently entered a
Headliners competition, and the experience from start to finish exceeded my
expectations. From the initial phone conversation with Shari to the follow
up post competition, I was amazed at the degree of professionalism,
compassion, understanding, and overall kindness. The event was on time, no
long late night awards, very professionally run . We are hooked on
Headliners! Can\'t wait until next year.
As a mother of a teen dancer who has attended Headliners for 8 straight
years all I can say is that I LOVE THIS COMPETITION! As much as I love to
watch all dances, not all are near perfect and deserving of the highest
awards (in Headliners case ELITE GOLD). I find so refreshing to find a
competition that evaluates routines fairly and thus utilizes more than just
two award levels. Multiple levels gives dancers something to continually
strive for. Do I always agree with the judges critiques? Perhaps not
always but USUALLY! We find that there is a wonderful mix of positivity
and compliments among those corrections. Thank you Headliners for a
wonderful dance experience. It has helped shape Gianna into the dancer she
is today. We hope to be attending your Regionals (and perhaps Nationals!)
for her remaining dance years.
I\'ve never written a review about a competition (good or bad) but I
compelled to do so this time....so very impressed! Most
competition we have been to in a long time. Ran
smoothly and on time all
weekend, great staff!
I have had the honor of judging for Headliners for the past three years. I
have the an incredible amount of respect for this organization. I have been
able to give honest and accurate critiques and scores because the
Headliners staff has NEVER once interfered with my judging. No one has ever
asked me to change a score or to give filtered critiques.
judging very seriously and take the responsibility very seriously. Having
grown up as a competitive dancer and have performed professionally in both
commerical and concert dance, I feel I can give informed and via ale
feedback to dancers about what is relevant in our industry today.
Headliners only hires the most qualified judges. I have worked with some of
the most distinguished teachers and adjudicators at
Thank you for supporting this respectful, honest and
We just got back from Headliner\'s Indianapolis. This was my
daughter\'s second time going to Headliners. I am giving it a
\"great\" because everything about the competition was very
professional. They ran on time (even a little early). I felt they scored
appropriately. The venue was very nice. The staff was helpful when our
studio couldn\'t find our dressing room. The only reason I gave them 4
stars and not 5 is because I felt the competition was a little dated.
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. We are glad you
enjoyed the competition. In order to make our event even more appealing we
would appreciate it if you could let us know why you felt our competition
was dated?? Just so you are aware, all our judging is on laptops with video
screens and we provide the critiques on site to the studios. We also travel
with a professional sound system, lights, photo backdrop, iPad viewing in
the lobby for photos and videos. Anything you can offer is appreciated!!
Shari Tomasiello, Headliners
I debated about reviewing this because I didn\'t want to sound
because we did very poorly. But I decided to review it. First
professional atmosphere at I competition I have ever
experienced. I thought
the idea of donating trophies was so thoughtful
(we donated ours to breast
cancer) my only complaint was the Hollywood
level seemed so frowned upon
like it was for the bad people partially
because it audience and partially because the mcs sounded bored when they
announced them and they had more to say for the Broadway level. (we were
broadway) Also I felt larger
returning studios got preferential
treatment . But the pictures are amazing
and great job with handling the
snow in Worcester!
Hello Cait. Thank you for your kind words. We work very hard to try to make
everyone feel special so I would be interested in knowing exactly why you
felt the Hollywood level was frowned upon especially since we start every
awards ceremony with that level and expressly discussing the fact that we
want to support and encourage the newer dancers. There aren\'t as many
studios/routines that choose that level so there just weren\'t that many
routines to recognize. The big concern is why you would think anyone got
preferential treatment? Headliners has always had the reputation that
everyone gets treated in the same manner. We do not tell our who the
studios are - they judge every routine as they see it. I encourage you to
read the previous review from one of our judges who explains that the
reason they only judge for us is we do not tell them how to judge. Feel
free to email me at email@example.com to discuss. We don\'t
want anyone feeling this way and your constructive criticism will only make
our events better. Shari Tomasiello, National Director
As I have written before about Headliners as a studio owner/teacher, I
would like to state a few things about being on the \"other side\" of
the event: a judge\'s viewpoint. Since I have an International License
to judge and have also judged in the figure skating program of the USFSA, I
feel qualified to give my viewpoint on events and competitions. For one
thing, Headliners is the most fair of all the events I have judged! My
scores have never been changed or challenged in any way, and the
competition is run on the most professional basis of anywhere I have
judged. My colleagues are more than competent, have both professional and
teaching experience, and are the best educated in their fields of dance.
Many have grown up in the competition field, and they are now
professionally engaged in some form of the educational process or career
oriented. I will not work for any organization but only the most
professional, friendly, family type event that will be good for all
dancers, not merely my own. Yes, my students do attend Headliners. That to
me is a definite PLUS! I know how they (the dancers) feel in all matters
of competitions; and I listen. My Seniors wanted to attend the Nationals
again because they felt they were treated fairly, warmly, and with
professionalism. To them, that was extremely important! Many are
continuing their dance at the university level, and they have fond memories
of Headliners already from the past few years. I could not ask for
anything more from an organization than that: my students are very happy
with Headliners! My \"Newbies\" are so excited already, and they
don\'t compete until May! Word has spread:the older girls love, love,
love Headliners! That is why I continue these many years with this
organization that is truly on the mark for a beautiful dance experience.
Thank you, Headliners, for making a difference in all our lives! I am a
better person for knowing you all and the quality you bring to my dancers!
we will not be attending headliners again.
Thank you for taking the time to write. As the National Director I want to
address your concerns: Firstly, I wish you had taken the time to call me at
the office as I would have been able to explain why things were done. For
instance, the titles. There were 80 Junior, Teen and Senior solos. Because
there were so many, and because of the talent, the judge\'s asked if they
could give an extra dancer a regional title. I\'m not sure why you would
object to us giving more than what we say we will. I am sure all 3 dancers
were thrilled to be recognized. The judges may select 2 boys in addition to
the girls in each of the 4 overall age division. However, it is not a
guarantee that a dancer will receive a title. There are many criteria that
go into the selection. Just because a boy performs does not guarantee he
will receive a regional title. It is judge\'s choice. I would be happy
to speak to you about it in more detail so feel free to call the office and
ask for me. As far as the video critiques, I have never heard of this issue
before. Please, once again, contact me so we can resolve. 973-927-8007 -
Shari Tomasiello, National Director
I have been taking my dancers to compete with Headliners for 19 years. I
love the professional atmosphere, judges critiques and friendly
participating studios. The competition always runs on time or even a bit
early. The Judging is fair and accurate and the critiques are useful.
Headliners is the only competition that has earned my respect year after
year for 19 straight years. I couldn\'t recommend it more as a studio
owner! The competitions I choose for my students are a reflection on
myself, staff and families and that is why Headliners will always be on our
yearly competition schedule! Hope to see you there one day as well!
Last weekend we attending Headliners in MA. I have never been to a
competition that is friendlier and more accommodating. The theater is at a
college and there was a snow storm on Saturday. The college closed the
campus and would not let Headliners hold the event. But that didn\'t stop
the staff - they went above and beyond and gave us several options for our
dancers to compete. They added so many entries Friday night and Sunday that
I felt for sure we would be way behind. But that was not the case.
Everything moved so smoothly and no one felt rushed. We are back again this
weekend for Headliners make-up day. But besides the nice staff the event
itself is so easy going. Assigned dressing rooms for all the studios, the
sound was great, nice lighting, photos and videos that you can take home
AND the teachers get a flash drive with all their critiques before they
leave. Great job Headliners!!
Thank you for your review! Please let me know if I can assist you in any
way . If you have suggestions on how we can improve anything please email
me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shari Tomasiello, National Director
After attending the Headliners event in Worcester, MA, I can say without
doubt that it is one of the most well run competitions that I have ever
been too. Despite the weather and cancellations, Headliners went above and
beyond to try and accommodate everyone. I received great customer service
at the photo/video table. I look forward to returning to Headliners in the
Thank you so much for taking the time to post this review! If there is
anything we can do to make your experience with us even better please email
us at email@example.com
As the mom of a competitive dancer, I have attended MANY competitions in
the 6 plus years my daughter has competed. I must say that Headliners is
one of my all time favorites. We have attended Headliner\'s Regional
competitions and Nationals and have had very positive experiences each time
for a variety of reasons... The owners and staff are kind, down to earth
and completely invested in the dancers. They also give exceptional customer
service to parents, teachers, etc. Admittedly, I am no expert on dance but
I know what I see, hear, feel, experience...sometimes vicariously through
my daughter and her fellow dancers. As a parent I really appreciate that
Headliner\'s staff and judges demand tasteful, age appropriate, family
friendly performances. They seem to keep hold of traditional values while
accepting new and edgy styles and performances (still keeping it tasteful).
This provides a well rounded competition in my opinion. Do I always agree
with a score? No. Do I always agree with a certain judge (or judges)? No.
But sometimes I do...even if it wasn\'t the best score! Either way, what
I think is important to remember is that dance is very SUBJECTIVE. We are
not always going to hear what we want to hear but I believe Headliners is a
competition that strives to help dancers reach their full potential. For my
daughter and I...as long as our studio continues going to Headliners
competitions, we will be glad to go!
I loved attending HEADLINERS regionals AND nationals! The staff are
incredible people, who\'s best interest is truly to give the dancers a
great weekend. As a student and competitor myself, I thought the
competition did a fabulous job giving the dancers a truly unbiased,
exciting, and overall fun experience! Customer service was in fact
incredible. The backstage staff were very nice and were always able to
answer any questions we had. The judges were the most honest set of judges
I have worked with throughout my competition career, and the Directors of
the competition were so humbled and pleasant to our studio. Headliners
provides dancers with not just a trophies, but opportunities! I would
definitely recommend HEADLINERS to any competitive dancer, or any studio
looking for an exciting, honest, and reliable competition, with wonderful
staff who treat you as family!
The worst customer service I have ever experienced! Their awards ceremonies
are extremely lackluster, and the competition itself is mediocre at best.
With so many competitions around that go that extra mile with customer
service and rebranding their images you would think this competition would
treat their customers with some respect and try to keep up with making
their competition exciting for the dancers. We will never go back.
Hello. As the National Director I want to apologize for your experience. It
says you are from Texas, but we have not been to Texas in more than a
decade. Regardless, we require of all our staff to be friendly and
accommodating at all times. Please email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org so I can understand what happened and it can
be addressed. I would also appreciate any suggestions as to how you feel
our awards can be enhanced. We hear all the time that most awards are too
long so we try to keep ours within 30 minutes. We have always appreciated
suggestions from our supporters. It is advice like yours that has kept us
going for 25 years. Shari Tomasiello, Headliners
Have always had the utmost respect for the philosophy that Headliners
brings to the world of dance competition - they have a brand that you
don\'t see in dance competitions...Although dance is evolving and
changing their respect is evident for those who have came before who have
and continue to share their passion and art in educating dancers. Each
studio is different in their competition choices as some competitions are
flashy, have young \"now\" judges, while others have the
\"seasoned\" judges, and some have a combination...It\'s the choice
that matters as opinions vary.
Love this competition!!!! Great staff and very professional!!
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVEEEEEE HEADLINERS! Amazing staff and judges and always
leave with a great experience. Fun for all who attend and also always run
very organized and on time. Thank you Headliners for all you do to make it
such an amazing competition! See you next season!!!!
Hello! Just wanted to thank you for your review! I hope we will be seeing
you this season. Please let me know if there is anything I can ever do to
make the event even better. Shari Tomasiello, National Director
Judges didn\'t seem to be qualified and their comments made no sense. The
competition did not seem to be up to modern times. It did keep on time
though, and that was good, but not much else.
We just wanted to take a moment to address this as we take great pride in
the selection of our judging panel. As part of the selection process we
look for a few major things, that they have extensive training in Ballet,
Tap and Jazz. Most importantly that their career has been a mix of
professional performance experience as well as teaching. Specifically the
dance education of children.
We felt it important to include in this
response a little bit about each of the judges that worked at our
California events. This information is always printed in the programs that
are available onsite. I hope this information can clarify their
qualifications and why we chose them to sit on the judges panel. As always
in an effort to host events that are enjoyable and beneficial to everyone
who attends we appreciate the comments and hope that you will give us
another try in the future.
CAROL JEANNE CONNORS - Carol is a
co-founder of the Edge Performing Arts Center and L.A. DanceForce, Inc.
(1992-Sep 2012). She was the Tour Manager for the LADF Workshop and
Competition (1989-2010) and coordinated the U.S. and Canadian venues,
convention services and transportation as well as performing on-site
management for the events. Carol began teaching in Los Angeles in 1970 and
instructed at Dupree Dance Academy (1975-1986), L.A. Dance Academy
(1986-1992) and EDGE where she continues to teach for the Professional
Program and fill-in open turns classes. She has instructed master classes
and adjudicated in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand and has been a coach
and movement director to celebrities including Cyd Charisse, Burt
Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett and Carol Mayo Jenkins. Carol has
worked for NBC, ABC and CBS performing on Laugh In, the Don Rickles
Special, the Carroll O\'Connor Special, Tony Orlando and Dawn, The
Palace, Hollywood Diamond Jubile
After working in the industry for the past 11 years, and growing up a
competitive dancer. Headliners opened my eyes to what a dance competition
should be. A true honest, fun, positive and family oriented experience.
Headliners ultimate goal is to give everyone a positive experience from
dancers to directors to parents. After my years in the industry being
employed with FDC competitions and other well known competitions, i was
almost discouraged with competitions after seeing the lack of integrity on
so many levels. As we all know which some still close an eye to, the most
money takes home the most trophies. Being a dancer and teacher this
negativity in the dance competition industry turned me away from past
employers. I began working with Headliners after years of competing at
their events always leaving with a great experience. Now being employed
with them, they put faith for me back in the industry. From top to bottom
their mission is to create a competition for dancers by dancers. They have
kept honesty and integrity in competition which has seemed to be lost with
so many other competitions. They provide the best judges to give positive
critiques and honest scoring. The Headliners staff all has the same
mission, to provide the best competition and to always have fun! I am truly
so blessed to be part of such an amazing organization after losing faith
after so many years with other comps. I hope you can all share the same
experience with Headliners i have had and restore integrity and positivity
in this industry!!!
Disappointed with divisions and overall awards. We did well but you\'d
never know based on how they divided kids for overalls. We also got medals
for overalls which is just odd to me. Biggest disappointment was that the
junior title winner from last year won the teen title for this year....with
the exact same routine??? Doesn\'t seem right to be able to use the same
routine if you won a title with it and then win a title again with it.
Judges critiques were very very strange too. Did not make sense with
routines or were inappropriate for kids to listen to. The atmosphere of the
day was nice though so it was a pleasant experience for our girls just odd
on the logistical end of things.
LOVE Headliners! ... very grateful for their commitment to
dancers with quality, in depth critiques ... and taking it to
level by offering college scholarships and professional
agency representation at nationals! ... looking forward to
the finale banquet with fabulous performances, cash
awards, a great meal
and fun dance party - a much better value than just
a closing show :)
As a Studio Owner and Teacher, I had a very positive experience
a recent HEADLINERS event! My new competitive parents,
recreational students experiencing their very first event
together on a stage, were welcomed by a cheerful, attentive
Their first Gold Medal was a memorable award! Placing in the
Overalls was a bonus! All the hours of rehearsal seemed to be well worth
As a few of the parents had attended HEADLINERS themselves
when growing up, it was no surprise that they asked to always return to
this competition as it had such a positive, encouraging feel for their
Awards were simple for everyone to understand, scoring
exactly like school!
Thank you everyone for making this debut so
special! We SHALL return!
We love headliners every year, was a little disappointed how jr solos were
separated into two groups because so many but not separated by age was a
little unfair but they are a tap friendly competition, very organized,
fairly judged and we will return!
Glad this was our last competition of the season! It\'s very confusing
to have attended 7 LARGE competitions with some of the best local dance
schools and then attend Headliners and have the scoring so off in
comparison. If the judges critique tapes actually contained
information--perhaps it would shed some light onto why our scores were so
low. Sad to see this competition self destruct after so many years. Not
sure if its management or the selection of their judging panel.
I felt this was an ok comp! Not really sure I understood the scoring and
Attended this competition a few years ago… it was an okay competition.
Special judges awards were about things that did not make sense. Maybe we
can try again in a few years
Terrible experience! The judging and critiques were less than adequate.
There were girls who typically score double platinum and high score awards,
scoring golds, and the award of choice seemed to be high silver for most.
The critiques, if that\'s what they wish to refer to them as, were very
inconsistent and not constructive at all. Judge 3 had nothing but rude,
distasteful comments for the majority of performances. As a parent, I\'ve
chosen not to share these comments with my daughter due to the poor choice
of words. The award ceremony was torture. The director, Irma spoke to the
performers like 2 year olds, spoke in a monotone voice, and spoke
incessantly which caused awards to last entirely too long. Bottom line is
this competition was by far, the worst I\'ve ever been to and we will not
It was a bad experience. Very cheesy production, judging was erratic and
biased. Inexperienced judges and when I asked the director Irma about
their qualifications she was rude and defensive. Will NEVER go back!
We recently attended in East Providence, Ma. Loved the competition, the
judges were fair and gave good critiques. My only complaint is the venue
was to small for the amount of Studios that were there. The fire marshall
had to come, they were taking pictures of how crowded it was, there was not
nearly enough parking. I think a bigger venue is needed for next year.
My daughter attended this competition in Sacramento CA. and it was a total
disappoint my daughter has been involved in competition for about 5 years
and I have never experienced such hateful judges and the women who runs it
Irma well she is just down right rude and has no business working or
mentoring children. I\'m so happy to have a coach who know better and
didn\'t share the hateful comments with the children what theses people
said about them. They used hurtful word like confused children because
they had a faulty sound system one of out dancers was referred to as a
gimmick and also said the choreography was to advanced for our children
ages yet they all got high silvers and golds and placed in the top 5
it\'s crazy that theses Judges are aloud to criticize negatively they
should be taught to give constructive criticism. When the women Irma was
informed about our disappointment she plainly said to go to competitions
like showstoppers who likes gimmicks and tricks and you don\'t need
technique mind blowing that she could respond that way these girls have
been dancing for some years and have at least two hours of ballet a week
among other classes my daughter dances 6 hours a week and some of the other
girls do more. I know we will never attend this competition again and
by the looks of most of the other comments I\'m not the only one.
We recently attended the event in Sacramento, and as I see by the
comments, we were not the only ones disappointed. I emailed
about this and focused on these points:
1. Only two
judges gave usable,
constructive comments we could use a teaching tools.
One judge gave only
opinions and the comments she did make were so
harsh I could never let the
children hear them.
2. Ms. Irma was
condescending to our recreational
dancers by the way she spoke to them,
calling them \"confused\" during
3. You could not hear
anything during the awards ceremony when
you were onstage as the sound
system was poor.
I suggested Headliners
take a page from Showstopper
in terms of how a competition should be run.
Ms. Irma responded two
days later with the following comments. She said if
hear during the awards it was due to \"...not paying
attention and had
their backs to me, were talking or were on their cell
texting.\" My students were not on cell phones and they
talking because they were trying to hear but everything
sounded like a
Peanuts cartoon. Maw, maw, maw...you get the idea.
regards to my
comment about learning a thing or two from Showstopper,
Irma replied her event is based purely on technique and,
\"When I had
my studio I only entered those students in Showstoppers who
reached a high technical level and choreographed flashy numbers to
their lack of ability.\" Ouch, sorry former students, that must
As far as her favoritism of the competitive students
disrespect of the recreational students, she said she had \"never
accused of something so terrible.\"
Well, you live and learn
I\'ve learned I\'d rather see my dancers, who fundraise to go
competition, use their hard earned money at Showstopper and
competitions with positive energy, encouragement, balanced judges,
know what is current in the dance world today.
HORRIBLE COMPETITION IN SACRAMENTO! I haven\'t been to Headliners in a
few years, and now I remember why....the scoring is WAY OFF!!! Will
definitely not return. I don\'t know why I have to give one star (okay,
maybe for a decent venue, the building was beautiful). If you are going to
\"donate\" your award you will receive a Gold or an Elite Gold on your
routine, no doubt. If the director knows your studio owner, you will score
higher...it\'s a fact. If you are doing tap or hip hop you will also do
very well, it seems bonus points are given for anyone is a tap or hip hop
routine. Also, age categories are way off...they had a dancer \"slip
up\" when being given an award and she stated that she was in college!!!!
What???? My 11 year old is now in the same category as a college
student???!!! Yes, I guess they don\'t check their entries, either!
Such a disappointment and an even bigger disappointment for the dancers. I
have been to several competitions throughout the years, this one is
TERRIBLE!!!!!!!! I wish to let all the dancers know that were treated
unfairly at the competition in Sacramento to not give up, especially the
newbies....this is not how a competition generally runs or how things are
I wish I could give negative stars to Headliners as they had horribly
biased judges. The organizer announced many times to the \"winners\"
how she knew the students directors and teachers and yet those were the
only studios winning! The only styles that placed were hip hop and tap.
They did not have a judge that had a background in anything but tap and the
studios that donated their trophies were the only ones that scored Elite
Gold. At the end of the evening when I asked the director for my judges
sheets she denied that I could get them because she had already turned off
the computer. I asked how am I supposed to better my dancers for tomorrow
and she said I don\'t know! At the last awards ceremony of the night the
judges completely alienated half of the stage and only spoke to one or two
dance groups that were sitting on one side of the stage. In the same award
ceremony the same girl got three different judges awards. My understanding
after 14 years of teaching dance and attending competitions is that these
awards are supposed to build dancers up, spread the wealth and point out
good things about all the dancers not just the girls that won the overall.
Extremely disappointed and I want my studios money back!!!
Horrible competition. Rude staff, harsh judges with bad choice of words.
Cold and dry award ceremonies. These people completely forget they are
dealing with kids in this business. One judge was so unethical he
couldn\'t even hide when he told a dancer that her studio owner was his
good friend and to make sure to tell her James said hi.
I hope our
studio never deals with these jerks again. Even our Elite Gold winning
from them has no meaning for me.
We have given this competition several chances over the past few years. We
always leave less than satisfied. There awards ceremonies are very
lackluster. Their office staff are less than accommodating, and their
communication skills are less than desirable. Lastly, their judges
critiques were vague and not as helpful with feedback as we had hoped and
expected. This competition is not one that we will ever attend again in the
Rude rude rude! We are giving you money how about some costumer service at
the competition and on the phone!
Scoring was fair. Schedule ran extremely early - by mid afternoon, was over
an hour ahead. Special awards were thoughtfully explained by the judges who
issued them. Good variety of studios. DVD prices were less expensive than
other competitions we\'ve attended.
Horrible competition, schedules and awards all over the place. Awards extra
boring, lady was lost announcing all the winners. They ran out of trophies
and gave girls some with not even a sticker on it that shoes what they
We have always enjoyed Headliners. We had a few \"special\" situations
arise and they were very accommodating.
Great Competition Wished It Was closer
Thank you for rating our competition! Let us know where you are located so
we can perhaps add an event closer to you.
I went to the Worcester regional last year to watch, and I was blown away
with how hard they judge! They are one of the only competitions that give
out bronze silver gold. I'm so excited to register my solos into this
years Worcester regional!
Thank you so much for your appreciation of our scoring system. We look
forward to welcoming you and your students to our Worcester event this
good and big
Headliners is a wonderfully run dance competition. They are always on time,
kindness is abundant in their staff, and the judges\' comments are spot
Thank you so much for your comments. We really appreciate it! Hope to see
you again this season!
Ran on time, staff friendly, well organized, great competition. None of our
favorites to attend each year.
Headliners is a very well run competition. The staff was friendly and
professional and the competition ran smoothly. The judges judged a little
more harder then some competitions, but the critiques we got were spot on
and very helpful.
I stopped teaching dance about 2 years ago. I attended so many competitions
and conventions in my time and have seen the \"beautiful\" as well as
the \"ugly.\" Headliners is certainly the \"beautiful.\" Every time
I attended, I was reminded why I taught dance. I have taken some of these
values with me into the educational classroom and am grateful for those
people that changed me for the better. I will continue to take the
Headliners amazing dance philosophy with me...it\'s not about the WIN,
it\'s not about the MONEY, it\'s about fulfilling a passion to the best
of our ability. THANK YOU for touching my heart, my daughter\'s heart,
and anyone else who dances for the right reasons. You are a rare find!!
We use to attend this comp but after several years of it being all about
Hip-hop we moved on. I got sooo sick of hearing about the world Hip-hop
congress crap. Awards were a mess and scoring all over the place. Maybe its
different out here on the west coast as others back east seem to have a
We are sorry you had a bad experience. As unrealistic as it may seem we try
hard to please everyone and hope you will give us a try again. We do not
focus on Hip Hop as seen on the well-rounded judges we use. You are
probably referring to the nominations for the US Hip Hop Team which is now
done through the United States Dancesport Team. Our goal has always been to
be able to offer other opportunities to the studios/dancers that attend.
Have a great summer!
Love the competition ! We go every year and attend Nationals when it is in
our area. Always a tough competition but very accurate with their judging.
Love the video critiques. They stick with the way awards should be and give
students many opportunities outside of their competition. The staff is very
welcoming and makes you feel like they have known you for years. Can\'t
wait for next year!
Love the Student Choreography category. My students felt so honored and
proud to be recognized for their own choreography at awards ceremonies.
Headliners consistently has experienced, nurturing judges who give
fantastic Special Awards - thoughtful, personal, uplifting. I have been
continually impressed with the judging of tap and pointe - these often seem
less valued in competition, but not here. I love that soloists don\'t
have to pay extra to enter the title category. I love that they give
studios the option of making a donation to a charity instead of getting a
trophy! What a great idea. And they award real college scholarships at
nationals - very cool!
Top Class competition! Organized, on time, professional. Staff is great to
work with and very accommodating! Love the video critiques! Keep up the
My daughter is fairly new to dance competitions and the Headliners staff
was very encouraging and we felt as if we had been coming for years. This
was the only competition where we understood the awards and that the awards
meant something. All the other competitions seem to give everyone high
score awards or 1st place in everything. The competition was ahead of
schedule all weekend, the people running it were approachable and actually
thanked me for coming talk with them. Our studio director said these were
the best critiques she ever got (and they were video critiques so we could
see what the judges were talking about!). Can\'t wait to try their
Enjoyed competition. Friendly staff. Ran on time and awards were a
length. Got great critiques and the judging panel was very well
and experienced. Loved how the judges gave their special awards
about each competitor who was selected.
I agree with the previous comments. Great competition but awards were too
The competition was great in Chicago! It is a tough competition but it was
judged very fairly and all of our kids had a great time. The only downside
was that awards took forever! They talked for way too long which in turn
made the competition itself run late.
As I remember it, this comp seemed a little dated.
Hello! If you haven\'t been to us in a while things have changed quite a
bit. We hope you will read some of the other reviews. If you have ANY
suggestions please email us at email@example.com
We go to this competition every year because a lot of the top studios
the Chicago area always go. It is always a big event and there
guaranteed to be tough competition (at least for Chicago). The venue
great! The staff is fine. They are friendly but don\'t do
more than what is required. The actual awards are very cheap
and break all
the time, which is a bummer. The judging is very fair,
but really tough!
The award sessions are good (they do judges awards,
adjudication) but VERY long. (too long!) It is
a good, but tough competition.
Hello! Thank you for your review. Our goal is for everyone to feel welcome
at our events. We\'d love to hear your opinion on how our staff can
better accommodate you. Please email Shari at
The competition has great competitors and the judges are fair and know
what's up. They do a good job keeping things on time! Keep on trucking