Since its inaugural season in 2012, Leap! National Dance Competition has been all about the little things.
"I wanted to have a 'boutique' competition. One where we went out to only one city every weekend, so I could be there myself, and we could really get to know the teachers and watch their kids progress from year to year," says Leap! executive director Drew Vamosi. According to Vamosi, thoughtful details make all the difference, especially during a global pandemic that's thrown many dancers' typical comp-season schedules for a loop. That's why Leap! prides itself on features like its professional-quality set design, as well as its one-of-a-kind leaping competition, where dancers can show off their best tricks for special cash and merchandise prizes.
Dancers at Leap!'s new Ambassador Series convention (Courtesy Leap!)<p>"I spent most of our downtime working on our relationships with venues, as well as <a href="https://c4dc3734-7b17-44b1-b43d-bda3b7efd80d.filesusr.com/ugd/eb04aa_e09e8aac32924f33b6b7a842ac895f07.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">safety protocol,</a>" Vamosi explains. That protocol includes limiting audience members, requiring both dancers and audience members to undergo temperature checks and wear masks at all times (except when performing), adding more awards ceremonies throughout the weekend, and taking a whole new approach to scheduling. </p>
In recent months, hundreds of college dance departments have grappled with online learning and livestreaming. But the LEAP Program (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) through Saint Mary's College of California has been using this style of learning for nearly a decade.