Monday, June 25, 2007
What is ProDance? If you’re on a pro or semi-pro sports dance team and you haven’t heard about ProDance, pull up a chair. We need to talk.
ProDance began seven years ago in San Antonio, Texas. Rosalyn Jones, then the Creater/Director of the San Antonio Spurs Silver Dancers, had an idea to bring people from all facets of pro sports dance industry together to meet, share information, network, and work together to advance the industry. Putting thought into action, Rosalyn got together with some of her fellow choreographers and a few dozen dancers for a couple days of dance and fun. It was a big hit, so they decided to do it again the next year. And the year after that. And the year after that.
ProDance has grown in success and popularity every year since that very first gathering. This year, ProDance is on Sunday, July 29th through Wednesday, August 1st in sunny Southern California. If I were you, I'd write those dates down. You might find yourself asking your boss for a few days off.
Today, ProDance is the largest annual gathering of pro sports dance teams in the country. A combination workshop/convention, ProDance is an opportunity for dancers from different teams, different leagues, and different countries to meet each other, watch their peers perform, learn from the best choreographers around, and take new fresh dances back to their teammates.
Directors, there's a lot here for you too, from networking, to new ideas for auditions, to the latest trends in costuming, as well as previewing the ProDance music and meeting the choreographers ahead of time.
Over 400 dancers attended last year’s event (click here to check out some photos from 2006), and this year, ProDance promises to be even bigger and better. Trust me, you don't want to miss this. Good grief, it sounds like they're paying me for this or something. Rest assured, I cannot be bribed (not cheaply, anyway). However, they are allowing me to cover this year's convention and I am looking forward to it.
There is so much I could say about ProDance, but I don’t think I can do any better than their own website, so I’ll give you the rundown and then leave you to explore on your own. I promise you, by the end of it, you’ll want in on this. The good news is it’s not too late to sign up for this year’s event.
ProDance – The Basics
YOU, your teammates, and dancers from all over the place. You DON'T have to be on a dance team to attend. If you want to roll solo, that's perfectly alright. If you plan to audition for a team, are a competitive dancer, or just love to dance, you are more than welcome. For those who hope to make a pro team one day, this could give you a definite edge over the competition.
Who else will be there? Some of the industry’s most talented choreographers, including Mina and Marina Ortega, Teresa Espinosa, Chuck Maldonado, and John Peters (who you may recognize from the NFL Network special "Making the Team: Charger Girls.")
Here are a few of the dance teams that have attended ProDance in the past:
I don't even think this is everyone!
I think I’ve pretty much covered the topic, yes? But if you want to know the nuts and bolts, here it goes. It all starts with a group warm-up on Sunday. You and your 400 new friends will be introduced to everyone from ProDance and all of the choreographers you’ll be working with over the next few days. You’ll get the chance to find out where all of the other dancers are from, and then it’s time to strategize. So many workshops – so little time. Which ones will you attend? You and your teammates may want to split up into smaller groups in order to attend as many different sessions as possible. Or maybe there are just a few of you and you want to stick together. It's up to you. What follows is a whole lotta dancing, culminating in a showcase on the final day.
Sunday, July 29th through Wednesday, August 1st
La Quinta Resort & Club. It’s about 30 minutes from Palm Springs, and two hours from Los Angeles. Get a load of this place:
Need I say more?
How do you learn more? How do you get in on the action? Visit the ProDance website and the ProDance blog for answers to both questions. Registration is still open, so get to it.
I hope to see you all there!