For this week’s #WomanOfInterest, we’ll be looking into the life of American dancer, choreographer, author, educator and social activist Katherine Dunham. Known as the “matriarch and queen mother of black dance,” Dunham is one of the most successful dancers of the 20th century. Early Life Born on June 22, 1909 in Chicago, Dunham grew up in […]
Unlike All Others
StarQuest International is consistently exceeding expectations and creating new standards while competitors scramble to keep pace. Broadway caliber performances, extraordinary production values and on-time performances in a friendly atmosphere are the hallmarks of a StarQuest event. Teachers, students and parents never thought a competition could be so beautifully presented until they experienced StarQuest’s polished presentation. Every detail is addressed with warmth and care. The streamlined registration process, designated dressing areas for each studio (even for the boys) with sound from the show pumped into the dressing areas are just a few examples of the special attention that goes into the ‘StarQuest Experience’.
StarQuest founder Steve Wappel says, “We saw the need for an event that combined fun with on-time professionalism. Our commitment to detail in every phase of the competition continues to set us apart.” All the technical and logistical elements are done so well at StarQuest that the event has a seamlessness and a pace that defies belief! The accumulation of all these details creates such a happy event that parents, students and teachers return year after year for more of the ‘StarQuest Experience’! Preparation for a StarQuest competition begins months before the event. “In the past, parents and studio directors had to accept competitions that ran hours behind schedule, distractions in the audience, teachers yelling from the wings and no advanced planning for costume changes,” Steve explains. “StarQuest continually proves that a competition can be consistently presented in a calm, professional manner just like a real Broadway show-and still be tons of fun,” he concludes. Owen Goldman, formerly of Dancer Magazine, comments, “Until StarQuest came along, nobody made an issue out of running a competition event on-time…parents and teachers didn’t know it could be accomplished. StarQuest makes it look smooth, simple and effortless.” StarQuest is currently the only competition organization in which every Regional and Finals event starts and ends precisely on time!”. . . a feat still unequaled in the competition industry.
The prime force behind StarQuest’s dramatic rise is a dynamic combination of theatricality and organized efficiency. Co-founders Steve and Kathy Wappel have 50 years combined experience in show business. This extensive history in performance and production strengthens each impressive competition experience. Steve has participated in just about every facet of show business while being involved in more than 100 major musical productions. Kathy’s career as a dancer, acrobat and choreographer gives her the insight needed to showcase performers within a warm, friendly environment. Their combined perspectives as parents and former dance teachers allow them to empathize with students, parents and teachers. It is their intense commitment to consistently combine showmanship with warmth & care that sets StarQuest apart from other competitions.
StarQuest learns what students, parents and teachers appreciate by listening carefully to feedback from studio owners & teachers. StarQuest continually uses that information to set itself apart from the others. Keeping a competitive edge means constantly advancing swift and friendly customer service as well as staying abreast of industry changes. Current projects under development include standardization and uniformity of industry-wide competition rules and global corporate sponsorships. “We will continue to respond to the needs and desires of parents, students and teachers,” Steve says. This constant input from its’ core audience allows StarQuest to continually reinvent itself.
A Moment to Reflect
As Steve looks back over the past twenty-five years, he is pleased to discover that his original artistic vision and guiding principles remain on target. “Our audiences embrace every innovation and they reap the benefits of our artistic vision.” Performers always enjoy “professional courtesies” at StarQuest and a unique gift is received by every person who enters. Every detail of a StarQuest event is wrapped into the most positive overall experience of a performer’s lifetime. Children of all ages who dream of doing their best experience it every time they enter a StarQuest competition. Everyone leaves the theater feeling fantastic, no matter what they achieve. StarQuest is about creating uplifting moments in performers’ lives. Every performer leaves a StarQuest event with a proud sense of accomplishment and a heart full of happy memories. They earn pins, medals, plaques, trophies, cash awards, sometimes even a title, but the true award lies in their greater appreciation for dance, their renewed self-confidence and the determination to do even better at their next competition.