2024 Solo Dance Camp by Bella Danic

Solo Dance Camp Arrival Day – February 16, 2024
I am so excited that Solo Dance Camp 2024 is finally here! My name is Bella Danic and I will be competing in Novice Combined, Silver Patterns and Silver Shadow this year. This is my first year competing Shadow. I am very excited and have had some much fun working with my partner and learning our shadow program. My Shadow Partner is Maggie Letcher. She represents the Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association. I recently changed my home club to All Year Figure Skating Club. Our Head Coach is Dean Copely of The Solo Dance Advantage.
I had so much fun at Solo Dance Finals in Chicago last year. It motivated me to work so hard since September to get ready for the 2024 Season. I had so much fun at my first Camp last year and I really didn’t know anyone. I’ve met so many Solo Dancers this year! I’m excited to actually sit and have lunch with people I know this year.
One of the sessions I really loved last year was having a one on one free dance off ice lesson with Randy Strong. She is not here this year, but Kyle Stevenson is this year’s Camp Dance Instructor. He will be coaching us in off ice dance and also offering one on one lessons. I had one today with him and wow! He’s absolutely amazing!!!! He helped my free dance in so many ways! He was so much fun to work with and so incredibly knowledgeable and made such a difference! I’m so glad I got the opportunity to work with him!
I’m very excited for tomorrow and so happy our travel from Detroit to Dallas went so smoothly! Excited to start the Season! We are just a few weeks away from our first competitions!

~ Bella

Solo Dance Camp Day 1 – February 17, 2024
It’s the first day of camp I’m so excited! Today was a very early morning. We had to get up super early and get on the ice by seven for spins. It was very informative. We learned a lot of new information about what we have to do for this year to get our levels called.
After spins, we headed upstairs for a dance class with Kyle Stevenson. I was excited having had a super fun one on one with him yesterday and was looking forward to having a group class today. The class was awesome! We did a contemporary dance routine and got to express ourselves in a new way. We all loved it! We all could have kept going a lot longer.
We had a 20 minute break after our dance class so a group of us decided to watch the Intermediate spins lesson. Soon after it was time for off ice stroking with Igor. Off ice stroking is really hard because you have to balance just on 1 foot and hold your leg up. Off Ice stroking is very tiring!
After stroking we had a very exciting meeting about the new opportunities competing Internationally in Solo Dance. We got to learn about international solo dance and how it will be open to anyone that wants to compete in other countries. It will open to anyone, there isn’t a small group of people who are selected, anyone can do it. I am very excited about this new opportunity. I love to travel!
Then it was time for lunch. We had a very nice variety of food choices for all.  Thank you to all of the people that made it possible. We had a long break before our next event so I went shopping with my friend Maggie to Target and T.J. Maxx. We found some dresses we had my mom text to Coach Dean as possible shadow dresses. Lol! Disney Princesses…. The rink and hotel location is so nice with so many stores and restaurants right here. After we went back to the hotel room to relax.
After our chill break we headed to an another class about Competition Officials with Carol. This was super helpful for me. We went over information about what officials do. Then we had another quick break and I just chilled with my parents in the hotel room. 
Then we had our final event of the day and went to the community rink to skate with Joel Dear. The class was called Ice Groves! We skated to the new Beyoncé song and we did a choreographed hoe down on the ice!!! It was so much fun! That was an awesome end to the day! We all loved it! After that, I got ready for dinner and went with my friend Lila from Florida to dinner. She is competing in Juvenile this year. We got some ice cream after which was amazing and then headed back to the hotel for bed. I had the best time at Solo Dance Camp today. Grateful for this opportunity to attend!
~ Bella

Solo Dance Camp Day 2 – February 18, 2024
Today was the second day of camp. We only had little breaks today unlike yesterday and it was jam packed with lots of fun classes. To start we had an on ice class on our Combined event pattern dance for this year. The pattern dance this year for novice is the Starlight Waltz. In the class, we learned more ways to do our key points and how to get them called.
At Camp, you are divided in groups by your combined event level. So you go to all of your classes and clinics with your same group. Mine is Novice. After a short break we went to our next class which was a dance class with Kyle. We learned a new routine which was contemporary and lyrical. We got to express ourselves in a new way from what we did yesterday.
Next we headed downstairs to the meeting room to talk about edge elements. Then after that we went to a rules update meeting. There were some changes in the rules this year so it was good to get a refresher. After that we headed to lunch and it was very good. While eating lunch we watched the intermediate group skate their Choreo elements. That was fun! We headed downstairs to get back on the ice to show our novice Choreo elements. I got a thumbs up and some nice comments by the judges. I am really excited about my free dance this year.
Afterwards we had a little break and then had group pictures with the whole camp. The pictures turned out group! I love the red shirt this year. Right after we had conditioning with Igor. It was a tough work out, but really fun! I was invited to dinner by Nika Peterson. She skates out of Virginia. She has also been spending some time at my rink in Canton Michigan. I was happy to spend some time with her and get to know some more dancers from the East Coast. I had so much fun getting to know all of the new people at dinner. Then I went back to my hotel, chilled and then went to bed. Today went by so fast!

~ Bella

Solo Dance Camp Day 3 – February 19, 2024
Today was the last day of camp! I had my one on one this morning. Your one on one is with your coach and also with a judge or technical specialist. I got up very early and got ready. I arrived to the rink 25 minutes early to warm up. I listened to my favorite songs to warm up. I always do this. It get my brain in the zone. After my warm up I got on my skates and got on the ice for my one on one.
After some warming up with my Coach Dean, it’s kinda like a competition 5 minute warm up before you start. Each skater gets their music played and people are supposed to give them the right of way and stay out of their way. I performed my free dance and after I got a lot of good tips and learned some new ways to do things. I also showed the judge my patterns and got some great feedback on those too. This is one of the most important parts of coming to camp in my opinion. It is such good feedback on what I am doing well and what needs work. It is a great way to start the Solo Dance Season.
After my one on one I quickly got my skates off to run to the airport to go home to Michigan. We had an early flight at 11. Next year we will stay later on Monday! We made our flight but Chick-Fil-A didn’t have lunch yet so I was upset. The flight was very smooth and I watched Barbie on the plane and chilled. Once I got home I worked on some homework and prepared for another week of school and skating.
I’m very excited for the new Solo Dance Season! I can’t wait to compete at the 2024 Howard E. Van Camp Invitational in March to start my Season. I am so grateful for attending the camp this year. My parents said the parents meetings were very informative and helpful. I learned so much and had so much fun! I made some new friends as well! Thank you to everyone who made this camp possible. I had a blast!
Thank you Ice-Dance.com for having me blog about my experience at Solo Dance Camp 2024 and the Dallas Figure Skating Club for hosting!
~ Bella