Convention/Competition Team Photo Credit: White Willow Studios
CSDA's Excel Team
Humble Beginnings to National Competition Success
The Excel program was started in 2010 after several dancers wanted to compete. At first I was hesitant - knowing personally how much time, energy and money it takes to be the best. However, my dancers sheer enthusiasm won me over and we jumped in and started competing.... And we stunk.
But we stuck with it and learned together. And through a blend of classes at our studio, master classes in the surrounding communities and conventions - we began to compete better and better. But it wasn't easy - the dancers had to commit to conventions if they wanted to compete and get used to failure (and horrible make-up at times). But we threw ourselves into research, watching thousands of hours of Youtube videos and learning by watching the very best teams. Soon we made it mandatory that all dancers take a technique class and choreography class for the dances they wished to compete in and the kids (and their parents) committed to attending conventions (which I have learned is the key to competition success).
By 2016 our program began to really take off. Our dancers began to consistently win scholarships at conventions. This year we won 6 diamonds that allowed us to travel to Florida for nationals in which we walked away with a Second Overall for Teen Competitive, 2 Grand National Solo Champions, 2nd Overall Duet, 4th Overall Teen solo, the sole scholarship award and an amazing team. Since then we have won over 27 special awards and scholarships and won the respect from our peers and the self respect of having built a winning tradition from the ground up.