AI MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

What is the AI Program?

The All-Star – Intermediate mentorship program matches Intermediate Dancers with All-Star Mentors over the weekend of The Chicago Classic!

Why Intermediate?

This is when dancing becomes a whole new world (*cue music). But more seriously, competition can be serious business, and it’s very tempting to get caught up in the pitfalls of competition and forget the positive tangibles.

Upon entering Intermediate most recent novice dancers know whether or not they enjoy competition and if they can hold their own in their division. However, they may find that the strategies they used in Novice no longer apply as they compete in this new playing field. The culture they find themselves in might be one that requires a completely new head game and strategy to survive both emotionally and physically. As competition becomes more valued and the social dynamics shift it can become difficult to find direction and purpose.  It may also be the case that this is the level that feels easier and the time to start new goals such as a routine, DJing or starting a club or dance locally.

But whatever the challenge,  it’s a level that many people have varying experiences with, and this program is dedicated to taking dancing and community to the next level!

How Do Our All-stars Fit In?

Our all-stars have been asked by the program administrator Tracy Wang to be on this mentorship team.  These all-stars range from being seasoned and already mentoring and teaching TO new all-stars that are looking for mentorship experience and looking to start teaching and coaching.  They are hand-picked and already leaders in their own community – and have a lot to share. They are from a range of communities all around the country and they are comprised of DJs, event directors, MCs and community leaders. All Stars have signed up for this program to mentor their assigned intermediate level mentee throughout the weekend. The All-Star group of mentors will also act as guides to the whole Intermediate cohort through critique sessions and social opportunities.

They have donated their time and energy to give back to our community and we appreciate their participation and their leadership!

The AI Program:  Matching

The AI program will match ONE intermediate to ONE all-star. The general idea is to create a personalized match so that the All-Star mentor and Intermediate mentee have common goals, interests and parallel journeys.

So general guidelines –

  • Intermediates will be matched with someone FROM ANOTHER CITY.
  • We will base our intermediate selection from matching characteristics, dance and community goals and background. e.g. do you want to DJ? we´ll match you up with someone who already DJs, do you want to event organize? we have someone who does a killer job!
  • Schedule will also be a consideration.

The goal is to start the conversation – and help continue the conversation through the weekend.  Foster friendships and see what happens. The mentorship relationship may last the weekend, it may last a year or a lifetime – it is up to the all-star and intermediates to make this happen!  This program is as you make it!

We Will Meet 4 Times Throughout the Weekend

The first meeting will be on Thursday night (social) – to meet and greet program mentors and mentees.

Friday:  7 PM:  Critique and official meeting.  Taletha will be running a competition critique and coaching meeting Friday evening.

Saturday:  5:30-7:30 PM:  Dinner sponsored by Wild Wild Westie.  Social and Our Responsibility workshop by Glenn Ball.

Sunday:  Post-JnJ Decompress – We will meet as a group with Taletha right after Champions JNJ before awards.  We will mingle, decompress, vent, compliment and do everything post-JnJ dancing.  Past mentors and mentees will also be invited to join our group!  Also:  Picture and Goodbyes! Time to commemorate the event and we´ll have a very special something for our participants.

In addition to these meetings, you and your mentor will be expected to do one solo activity with each other.  Whether it be a short sit down to answer questions, or maybe a post competition wind down – this is up to you.  Intermediate dancers will be expected to do one nice thing for your all-star (e.g. coffee/drink pre-competition, cheer for your allstar during prelims, finals, wine, lots of wine. Videotape your all-star!)

Who Leads This Rag-tag Band of Merry Men and Women?

Taletha Jouzdani of course!  Taletha is not just known to be the champion dancer that she is — but also to be an amazing coach and teacher of teachers.  She´s thought very deeply about the mentoring process and has much wisdom to impart.

Other leaders and facilitators:  Tracy Wang and Glenn Ball

How Come We Haven’t Heard About AI Before?

We´ve only run AI in Texas before.  This is the first time we´re opening this up this program to the Mid-west!

The goal is to start the conversation – and help continue the conversation through the weekend.  Foster friendships and see what happens.  The mentorship relationship may last the weekend, it may last a year or a lifetime – it is up to the all-star and intermediates to make this happen!  This program is as you make it!

Are You an Intermediate Dancer?

You may apply for the program here.  You may also contact:  twang.work@gmail.com.

Big Thanks to Our AI Sponsors Wild Wild Westie and Austin Rocks!