Chasta Hamilton

Trash the Trophies: How to Win Without Losing Your Soul

In the world of competitive dance—biased scoring, skimpy costumes, and toxic rivalries are the additional line items of a bill that exceeds thousands of dollars. Time and money are at stake for parents, but reputation is also at risk for students and studios. With no regulation, this third-party industry leaves you asking yourself the same question after every competition: Is it worth it?

For Chasta Hamilton, six years of sending dancers to competition was six years too many. She swore off competitive dance and rewrote her curriculum to focus on the whole person within each dancer. In Trash the Trophies, Chasta shows you how she challenged preconceived notions of success in the dance industry and embraced camaraderie, effective leadership, and philanthropic initiative to transform her studio. With the four pillars of her intensive training program—technique, performance, community, and character—you’ll learn how to increase ROI for everyone involved.

Dance is a commitment to principles; an art form beyond rankings and judgment. This book will show you how to put meaning back into movement, and joy back into the dance studio.

As the owner and artistic director of Stage Door Dance Productions, Chasta Hamilton is reinventing the dance education model by focusing on character development and community involvement in addition to technique and performance attributes. She is the founder and president of the nonprofit, Girls Geared For Greatness, and the founder and former editor of The Dance Exec.

Chasta was recognized by Triangle Business Journal as a 2014 40 Under 40, and in 2016, a Women in Business, Future Star. Proud to call North Carolina home, Chasta lives in Raleigh with her husband, John, and their Scottish terrier, Elvis.

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