In a dance business the place occasions come and go on the competitors and conference circuit, Hollywood Connection stands out as a result of dancers preserve coming again. Based on common supervisor and college member Jacquelyn Sutkowi, the key to the corporate’s success lies within the familial ambiance that makes the college and employees approachable. “We acknowledge faces and folks; you actually are greater than a quantity,” explains Sutkowi. “A variety of our college and employees have been round for a very long time, and, consequently, it looks like everybody may be very snug, welcoming and right here for a similar cause: to study and develop collectively.” Because the workforce prepares to kick off its Twentieth-anniversary season, Hollywood Connection is unveiling thrilling new plans to proceed constructing connections.
Ignite a Ardour
Each conference weekend, Hollywood Connection hosts Broadway Infants—a stepping-stone program for 5- and 6-year-olds that introduces them to the conference expertise. “We placed on a mini musical centered round a Broadway present,” says Sutkowi. Dancers study three routines, dress up in costumes, and carry out their musical in the beginning of the competitors on Saturday. “That manner, they've a full reside viewers and video and photographs of their efficiency,” she says. “This yr, we’re bringing Broadway Infants to Nationals for the primary time, so these younger dancers could have the possibility to expertise the larger stage and lights, and see some particular visitors.”
No Ego, Simply Dance
Based on Sutkowi, Hollywood Connection is all in regards to the love of dance, not the celebs and fame. In consequence, it’s kicking off its Twentieth season by including Hollywood Connection Bootcamp to its listing of occasions. “Bootcamp can be much like a conference weekend occasion, however with out the competitors,” says Sutkowi. “It is going to be a transformative weekend for dancers to immerse themselves and deal with coaching.” At Bootcamp, Hollywood Connection hopes to assist dancers construct endurance, enhance creativity and dive slightly deeper than a conference weekend usually permits. The primary-ever HC Bootcamp will happen in Anaheim, California, September 22–24, 2023. And, waiting for 2024, the workforce can be including a second occasion in Las Vegas, giving studios extra flexibility in scheduling and dancers one other alternative to develop and carry out.
This yr, Hollywood Connection is including a brand new award to its arsenal: a perfect-score medal. “We had a soloist hit that mark final yr,” says Sutkowi. “That doesn't occur typically, so we determined we wanted one thing particular to mark the event.” The brand new award can be referred to as the Black Onyx, and Hollywood Connection will reserve it for competitors numbers that obtain an ideal rating from the judges.
An Eye Towards the Future
A novel side of Hollywood Connection is that its government director, Invoice Bohl, can also be the co-owner of two expertise companies: DDO Artists Company and The Motion Expertise Company. Each weekend, Bohl runs the conference auditions. For the oldest group of dancers, he offers age-appropriate content material and context and difficult love to assist them perceive the ins and outs of dance auditions. “College students at Regionals are chosen for a pre-qualifying award that enables them to audition for company representatives at Nationals,” Sutkowi says. “At Nationals, a choose few are chosen for illustration.”
Whereas signing with an company is a large leap for pre-professional dancers and their guardians, Sutkowi emphasizes that the college and employees at Hollywood Connection can reply questions on what it actually means to have illustration. “Everybody at our occasion is an educator,” she states, including that every little thing they do is about giving dancers instruments to assist them on their journey.
A few of Sutkowi’s favourite moments from her 18 seasons with Hollywood Connection come from watching dancers make recollections and create a dance household past their particular person studios. “I've seen children meet on the dance flooring when they're little and, years later, go off to school to bop collectively and change into roommates,” she says. “We additionally see commercials choreographed by a Hollywood Connection college member with three dancers who met that choreographer by years of attending the conference—it's all about constructing these connections.”
In the end, Sutkowi says that everybody at Hollywood Connection is in it to construct constructive futures for the dancers in attendance. “Dance brings a lot pleasure,” she says. “We would like children to come back, fill their hearts with dance and keep in mind why they find it irresistible.” For extra data on upcoming places and dates of Hollywood Connection occasions, click on right here.