Break The Floor Productions announced this week that they will be hosting a FREE 2 day Virtual Convention / Competition featuring faculty from Nuvo, JUMP & 24Seven Conventions. This event, April 18-19, will be hosted by Travis Wall. Travis is a dance icon known to both dancers and non-dancers alike for being a master of his craft as both a performer and creator. With most of the nation under stay at home orders this week and off from school obligations for “spring break” I thought it was a perfect time to share with dancers the life changing opportunities the Capezio ACE Awards offers to choreographers, and invite dance fans to check out some of the 2020 Finalists on Youtube.
In 2009, Travis Wall won the Capezio ACE Awards for his choreography “It’s Gonna Be A Long Walk”. Since then he; had his work featured on SYTYCD, is a 6 time nominee and won an Emmy for his choreography, founded the dance company, Shaping Sound, and has been part of countless projects on stage and screen. And Although many knew of Travis from his journey on SYTYCD, winning the ACE Awards was an important shift from performer to choreographer for him.
The Capezio ACE Awards had always been held in conjunction with the Dance Teacher Summit, an annual event that brings together dance educators and studio owners from across the globe to connect, collaborate, and grow as artists, educators, and business owners. The ACE Awards brought out the best emerging choreographers in the dance world to share their work with Summit attendees, and I was always blown away by the creativity, staging, story telling, and athleticism from both the creators and the performers. It is no surprise that this event, which was part of Break the Floor Productions, often led to faculty and residency positions for many winners. Some past winners that you may know include: Al Blackstone (2011), Talia Favia (2014), Kirsten Russell (2015), Martha Nichols (2016), and Mary Grace McNally (2018).
In 2019, The Dance Teacher Summit was held in Long Beach and was different than year’s past. For me, the most disappointing part of The Summit was the announcement that they were postponing the ACE Awards. I did not hear much about the event and thought that maybe it was no longer being held. In January of 2020, I attended NUVO Dance Convention with some of my dancers in Long Beach,CA and found flyers announcing the ACE AWARDS were being held the following week in Los Angeles, so I immediately contacted the venue and got tickets.
Since I did not hear much hype about the event, I was not sure what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised when I knew 3 of the dancers performing in the very first piece. That evening I got to see so many friends (and some of my friends’ children) perform, and I was inspired by the diverse genres, music, storytelling, and staging that each choreographer had brought to share. And although it was a packed house that night with the who’s who in the LA dance community, I felt like the audience, usually of studio directors and teachers, truly missed the opportunity to see some of the amazing choreographers that the next generation is producing.
During this time of social distancing and “online” study, check out some of these emerging artists. Not only do I think it is inspiring for both teachers and students alike, but with the financial struggles we will all face in the coming months, studios may want to consider some of these finalists for guest teachers and or choreographers for summer programs, or next year’s company work. I have created a “Dance Review of the Capezio ACE Awards” worksheet (www.BrendaBobby.com). On it includes many of the pieces that were part of this year’s show. I encourage you to share it with your dancers, and who knows, maybe inspire one of your students to submit a piece in the next show. Maybe YOUR son, daughter, student, friend, teacher could be “the next Travis Wall”!!
Break the Floor Productions is a leader in the dance convention world and is always striving to provide relevant, necessary resources to the dance community. If you would like more information about the LIVE event that Travis Wall is hosting, visit: https://live.breakthefloor.com/about
You will get to see the creative & inspiring Travis Wall, and quite possibly other Capezio ACE Award finalist, winners or performers at this virtual event!