By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.
Four years ago, former professional dancer and dance studio owner, Drew Vamosi, was looking for a way to remain active in the scene. With the belief that dance competitions were a beneficial venue for dance students to gain experience to help them in their professional dance career, Vamosi created Leap! National Dance Competition. Today, Leap! is one of the country’s leading dance competitions, with events in 13 select cities each year. Here is a closer look at Leap! and what makes the competition so special and worthwhile.
Vamosi, who started dancing at age nine and went on to attend Oklahoma City University as a dance major, brings a wealth of personal experience to Leap! and to all the dance students each competition serves. His professional credits include the national tours of A Christmas Carol, Funny Girl, My One and Only and Meet Me in St. Louis, as well as the Broadway European tour of 42nd Street. He is also a former dance studio owner and former judge and emcee for various dance competitions. Prior to forming Leap!, Vamosi was the director of CAM Talent Agency in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Leap!, based in Omaha, Nebraska, allowed Vamosi to use his well-rounded knowledge to bring the valuable experience of dance competitions to aspiring dancers nationwide.
“Each dancer receives insight from the judges as to what areas they show strength as well as weakness,” Vamosi explains. “It gives them a chance to hear from a professional’s point of view. Our judges know what the dance industry is looking for. They help to prepare these young dancers who are considering entering the professional world of dance.”
Leap! also has some unique characteristics that set it apart from other dance competition organizations. Leap! is the only competition with an all-male panel of judges. Tony Coppola, tap dance virtuoso and master teacher, for instance, is one of the organization’s main judges.
“This is very popular with the teachers,” Vamosi adds. “It just happened by circumstance. Our very first event had three guys, and the teachers loved it!”
In addition, Leap! uses a stage video and flash animation that is very popular with the audience, who can, therefore, stay entertained during breaks in the competition.
Finally, Leap! is the first and only competition in the industry to offer a leaping competition, which is offered at each regional competition event.
“This is a special portion of the competition weekend that gives dancers, who choose to sign up, an opportunity to show off their leaping abilities to our incredible panel of top-notch judges,” Vamosi says. “The leaping competition is sponsored by Dream Duffel, and the winning junior leaper actually wins a free duffel bag, along with other prizes!”
Leap! allows dancers of all ages and styles, in solos, duets or groups of any number, to participate in its competitions. More and more dance students have been competing in Leap! events, causing these competitions to sell out in many cities.
This coming year, Leap! competitions will be held in Sacramento, San Diego, Boston, Tampa, Baltimore, Kansas City and Chicago, among other cities. Vamosi says that Leap! plans to add new cities on each coast in 2016 in order to become available to even more dancers.
“We would love to see you all compete at Leap! in a city near you!” Vamosi says.
To learn more about Leap!, its leaping competition, or to register for a competition, visit Leapcompetition.com/index_2.cfm.