2016 New York City Dance Alliance Finals

  • June 25, 2016
  • by Laura Di Orio

The New York City Dance Alliance (NYCDA) 2016 National Season Finale is coming to the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers this June 29-July 7. The annual event will include workshops with leading faculty, competition, auditions and a plethora of training and college scholarships.

As always, NYCDA aims to keep its National event fresh and current, with classes and opportunities that are true to what’s going on in the dance world. This year, the Finale will feature an audition workshop for the Tony Award-winning musical, Hamilton, as well as other top shows such as CATS, On Your Feet and Little Dancer. Classes will also be led by dancers and choreographers from Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, among other leading companies.

“Although we function in the ‘convention/competition dance’ arena, it is always our primary goal for dancers to think beyond the awards and trophies,” says Joe Lanteri, founder and executive director of NYCDA. “Our events highlight ‘real world’ opportunities, which are not predicated on any ‘competition success’. There is a place for all talent that is hard-working and dedicated, not just those who win biggest prizes.”

The NYCDA Finale will offer its coveted prizes – the National Critics’ Choice Award for one dance studio; the best number in the Mini, Junior, Teen and Senior age divisions; the titles of National Male or Female Outstanding Dancer in each age division; four 2016 National Critics’ Choice Winners; and eight 2016 National Outstanding Dancers.

In addition to awards and honors, however, the NYCDA National event is dedicated to offering continuing education to the next generation of dancers. Each year, NYCDA presents extensive training scholarships and opportunities to audition for Broadway shows. Dancers can receive training scholarships from Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, Peridance Capezio Center, the Ailey School, Complexions, the Radio City Rockettes and more.

The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation (NYCDAF) also plays a special role at the NYCDA summer event, by awarding college scholarships. At last year’s National College Audition Day, for example, 60 dancers shared in over four million dollars in college scholarships.

This year’s National College Audition Day is July 3, when seven colleges – Marymount Manhattan College, Mercyhurst College, Montclair State University, PACE University, Point Park University, Southern Methodist University and the Hartt School – will attend. Lanteri expects to add other schools to the list as well.

“These colleges are recruiting rising high school seniors for September 2017,” Lanteri explains. “Additionally, the NYCDA Foundation awards scholarships, primarily to dancers entering college in September 2016. Foundation monies can be applied to the college of the dancer’s choice. Foundation scholarship recipients are currently represented in 30 prestigious dance programs across the United States.”

Another exciting aspect of the NYCDA Finale is the annual Capezio Model Search, open to all NYCDA Regional Outstanding Dancer scholarship winners and runners-up who will be in attendance at the Finale in NYC. On July 4, finalists will participate in a Capezio Fashion Show, and judges will select the four winners of the Capezio Model Search. Winners will go on to partake in a professional photo shoot later that week.

Capezio serves as a Gold Sponsor of the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation and also contributes a Capezio College Scholarship each summer. “Capezio is an iconic brand that has maintained the values and integrity of a family business for decades!” Lanteri says. “What a great business model. We are the perfect partnership. Together, we are always looking for new opportunities to support young talent.”

During the final days of the NYCDA Finale, dancers can also participate in a four-day workshop with over 25 teachers and more than 100 classes. Faculty include Lanteri, Suzi Taylor, Joey Dowling, Chloe Arnold, Desmond Richardson, Josh Bergasse, the Rockettes and many more.

Whether a dancer is interested in competing, attending workshop classes or auditioning for colleges, the NYCDA Finale offers something for everyone. It leads with positivity and a commitment to guide the future professional dancers.

“As a teacher/mentor, I live by this quote: ‘A teacher’s job is to shape lives, build dreams and give hope for the future’,” Lanteri shares. “At every NYCDA event, we have the opportunity to offer guidance to young talent as they embark on their own individual journey, far beyond their competition years – a life journey. Everybody truly wins when they realize that their talent is not defined by an award or trophy. It is a mindset. We teach our youngest dancers the difference between ‘winning’ and ‘earning’. Each day, if you remain focused, work hard and achieve personal goals, you are successful. No physical ‘prize’ is necessary. When you have a room full of people approaching the work in this same way, not only is the experience more fun and rewarding…everybody wins!”

For more information on the 2016 NYCDA National Season Finale!, click here.

Article produced by Dance Informa.

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