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Why Showcase Nationals is still my favourite week of the year... even at (cough cough) over 30

30 Jan 2019 10:23 PM
Why Showcase Nationals is still my favourite week of the year... even at (cough cough) over 30

Being a Gold Coast locals has its perks.  In this order... 

1) The Beach 

2) Pacific Fair Shopping Centre 

3) The Weather 

4) Showcase National Finals 


Every year since I can remember I have spent the best part of January getting excited for, preparing for and living for my week at Showcase National Finals.  

I don't think i'm alone there is a love for this competition that goes well beneath that bloody catchy one liner 'Everyone's a Star at Showcase'. 

With the rumours that this will be the last year of Nationals on the Gold Coast** I wanted to share with you why I love this competition and what it did for me throughout my entire life! 



I'll start with the most obvious one and the biggest one first.  

I can't imagine my life without the firendships I have made at Showcase.  But, it's probably not the reason that you think.  The way that normal competitions are structured you generally stick with your tribe.  You have a dressing room, a corner, a hotel and a schedule that you have to work with and around to make the 100 routine commitmements over the weekend. 

Showcase for me was always a full week long commitment you are just there... it doesn't matter what's on, who's on you just go and enjoy the vibe.  With so much on and so many ballrooms going at once there is always someone you can show your support to be it in solos, duos/trios or groups.  

The resturants in Broadbeach are full and so are the halls of the Casino and now Convention centre.  And if there is REALLY nothing on then you're at the pool, likely with people from another studio flipping and hanging in the pool dancing around so other 'non-dancers' in the pool area feel awkwardly or annoyingly put off by your showcase of talent.  

Where else can you do this withouth school, holidays or family getting in the way. 

I can so vividly remember my younger years at Showcase on a particular year we didn't do groups.  I had solos (lots of them) and I had an tribe who all had the same.  We would IM Message or My Space each other the night before and arrange to meet up at Showcase to hang out.  We were all from different studios, different stats and different countires.  It didn't/doesn't matter and it was the BEST! 

Dance friends are the best friends and nothing is more true. 


Awards, Everyone Loves Those Awards

Ok so maybe we don't love those ones that happen at Midnight (or after) where you've come down in your pajamas to collect a high gold.  BUT it's all memories right.  Good, bad or indifferent.  What I DO love about the awards is that although the american style of awards are a growing trend in Australian dance comps there is just something special about Peter Oxford at the helm.  Maybe it's the way he mumbles over names he can't prenounce or the way he calls Olivia Oliver but more likely it's his corny but oh so loveable attitude that honestly makes you walk away feeling like a winner even though you may or may not have placed (or had even come close).  

I particularly loved this years awards style in the seperate ballroom.  Nobody was rushed off the stage and the celebrations extended as Mums got a better opportunity to bask in the on stage photo glory and the have longer to watch those stage lights make that tiara shine! 

Even if you walked away without a giant trophy you walked away with a photo on stage in your costume that Mum paid hundreds of dollars for under lights that really show it off... Mums happy, the dancers Instagram account is happy and so is your costume designer.  

Win Win! 


Awards 2019 


Judges - A+ 

This year I was there for 3 days.  And on those 3 days in the ballrooms I was in there wasn't a judge that I didn't think should be up there.  Now, I don't think that every judge from a local comp isn't worthy.  I absolutely DO NOT.  HOWEVER... I don't think that studio owners/directors make appropriate judges.  In any capactiy.  Sure that can give corrections, tell you to stretch your feet and tell you that they like your costume but in the age of social media the way it is don't you think everyone almost knows who everyone is and where they have come from?  Do you think that it's appropriate for a studio director from another studio to tell you that your song choice isn't appropriate or that your technique needs improvement.  

I know that there are likely lots of you that might disagree but it's just my opinion.  I'm not saying that I think all studio directors make terrible judges but I just don't think it's appropriate in this close close knit community we live in... that's all.  Showcase didn't showcase any of this to me.  Chris Wood is always an old favourite, Mark Hill is a seasoned professional with multiple shows under his belt and a broad area of expertiese and Bonnie Lythgoe what a win that is.  Not only is she a famous judge in her own right but she also is an International Producer with countless opportunities for young talent world wide... of course you want your dancer to be seen by her right?  

Hence why i'm giving this years judges an A+. 


There Is A Bar

Something I didn't quite grasp until I was of a certain age obviously but now... Wow doesn't it make a difference.  While I was writing this blog post I was speaking with my parents about Showcase in general and my Dad pipes up and says.  'Yes Showcase was always my favourite BY FAR.  I could have a drink and a bet and a mean bowl of wings and still make it in time to see you without having to sit though 14 other numbers in the section'.  Besides it's not just about the Dancers, teachers and their Mums is it.  We have to think about those non-dancers who have to endure a holiday to the Gold Coast every year too... you poor things ;) 


The Prizes

Peter changed the game a few years ago and it was a RISKY move.  There were a few dodgy years in there which I feel sorry for those DOTY (Dancer Of THe Year) winners and their families but the new Dance World Cup seems to be a wonderfully eclectic event from what I can see on social that is givig great world wide exposure to dancers from Australia.  

We all go to America it's nice to have something new, fresh and exciting to watch Australian's shine.  

Dancer Of The Year is still the most wanted award of the year.  No other National Competition program has such a highly coveted grand prize than DOTY.  And it's not event the overseas trip you're after.  It's the bragging rights for you and for your teacher for the next 12 months that show Australia that you are the BEST dancer in your age group.  Luckily it's also awarded to what appears to be extremely deserving and incredibly talented young dancers who must work soooo hard to become as exceptional as they are.  What an amazing few hours of dance those heats are.... WOW! 


Dancer Of The Year Finalists (Top 5) 2019 


Whatever it is that you love or loath about Showcase National Finals nobody wants to see it move from its home... do we? 


Maybe i'm just spoilt because I haven't had to pay each year to take an expensive trip to Broadbeach but it wouldn't really have the same effect anywhere else (again I might be bias sorry). 


If you want Showcase to stay, let me hear you in the comments below.  Lets be honest, it likely won't do anything but make us feel like we have had our say.




I'm a star, you're a star, everyone's a star at Showcase.  

'Peter Oxford'



** At the time of publishing this blog post I couldn't find any written confirmation from Peter Oxford that Showcase will be moving from the Gold Coast. I also couldn't find confirmation of National dates for 2020 on either the social accounts of Showcase Nationals or the website.