Essex County Dancers Incorporated is a non-profit organization whose primary purpose/objective is to provide its group of competitive amateur dancers with the opportunity to participate in various dance competitions and workshops so that they may develop and grow knowledgeably, emotionally and professionally in the field of dance.
The current E.C.D.I. dancers train and perform throughout the August to July dance season in a number of dance disciplines including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and hip hop. Their hard work and dedication has resulted in many of the team’s members receiving scholarships to attend training workshops. As part of its civic activities, the team provides benefit performances for various organizations throughout Essex County.
Following is some general information concerning the ECDI Competition Team. Please do not hesitate to contact our Artistic Directors, Nancy Pattison or Cindy Pattison-Rivard or our ECDI’s President if you have any questions.
WHAT IS DANCE COMPETITION?
Dance Competitions, as the name implies, are competitions that judge dance routines for technique, choreography, costumes, use of music, and showmanship. Dancers taking part in competitive dance are evaluated by professional dancers and instructors and compete against teams from all over North America. The competition dance experience is one of the best avenues available for amateur dancers wishing to perfect their talent and gain exposure to the art of professional dance and receive professional instruction from top dance professionals.
WHAT IS EXPECTED FROM TEAM MEMBERS?
Dancers who are selected to the ECDI Competition team are expected to make a commitment for the entire dance season. The dance season begins in August and continues through and including a National Finals that is normally held in July. Competition Team dancers must take regular ballet, tap and jazz classes in order to become team members.
The team competes in approximately 3-4 Regional Competitions: ordinarily, these take place over weekends and include a day or two of dance workshops and a formal competition. Regional competitions are usually held within 1-6 hours driving distance from Windsor while National Finals could be held anywhere in North America and can last from 4 to 7 days.
Team members are expected to attend all practices, workshops and competitions throughout the entire dance season. They will be expected to learn a number of routines in preparation for the various dance competitions that they will attend. During the season the team may be asked to perform locally for charitable organizations, rest homes, dinner shows etc., and will participate in an end of the year recital.
WHAT COSTS ARE COVERED BY ECDI?
ECDI is a non-profit organization that undertakes the task of raising funds to pay for many expenses associated with the operation of a competitive dance team. Depending on the success of its fundraising activities, ECDI strives to cover the following expenses:
- Teacher Fees
- Competition Fees (for all competitions)
- Studio Costs (for practices)
- Fundraising Expenses
- Administrative Expenses associated with operating ECDI (i.e. insurance, accounting, legal fees, etc.)
WHAT COSTS ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS/GUARDIANS?
Currently, parents/ guardians can be expected to incur the following costs associated with their child’s participation:
- Workshop Fees
- Travel Expenses (hotel, meals, travel)
- Dance Shoes
- Start-up Fee – a one-time fee paid by all new members
- Tuition Fee at the beginning of each season
- Costume Deposit (this is returned once costumes are given back to the team)
- Cover-up – (Team Jacket and Pants)
- Make-up – everyone MUST have their own kit
ONE PARENT’S PERSPECTIVE ON BEING A MEMBER OF ECDI
I wish someone had told me how much my children would be enjoying this team and how physically demanding it would be for them. I wish someone had told me how much time it would take away from their school homework therefore, learning valuable time management skills. Or, how fulfilling it has been to compete and how much they love performing on stage. I wish someone had told me how much pride and love I would have for my daughters to see them on stage and truly enjoying something I was able to give them. I wish someone had told me how many new friends I would be making and that I would be entering into a family called ECDI.
I wish someone had told me that for every year they remain on this team it is a privilege; something that my daughters have to work hard for and dedicate themselves to truly giving 100% all the time. I wish someone had told me about the teachers – the dedication and hard work they put into our dancers and the love they have for the art. I wish someone had told me that this would be the greatest thing to happen to my daughters – sharing this common bond they have to dance and to support each other with respect and love; to be friends for a lifetime. I wish someone had would have said:
“Dance, love. Dedication, hard work, time, fun, friends, family…can you handle it?”
Written by Cathy Betschel (mother of 4 past ECDI members)