In competitive dance, performing a solo is a significant investment- it requires a lot of time and financial support for choreography, costuming, and private lessons. As teachers and choreographers, it is our responsibility to provide the appropriate framework for the right routine for the right dancer.
Ask yourself the following to see if you are making sensible choices for your soloists:
(1) Are your dancers that perform solos technically, stylistically, and psychologically prepared to perform as a soloist? Will it enhance and develop their experience as a dancer for the year?
(2) Do you uniquely create a routine that will showcase the strengths and mask the weaknesses of each performer? Do you develop ideas regarding music and concept of each solo performer? In order to succeed, the solo must be the perfect match between the choreographer and the dancer.
(3) When creating a solo, do you look at the dancer’s past journey to determine how they will continue evolving as a performer and dancer? What will this routine accomplish that will set it apart from other routines?
(4) Do you know your creative breaking point? How many solos can you choreograph while maintaining a fresh, exciting perspective? Make sure you do not allow yourself to burn out.
(5) When working on solos, maximize the dancers’ time. Be efficient, tackle the choreography, and value their investment.
If you follow these suggestions, the solo will likely be a win-win for everyone involved!