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April 13, 2021

Product launch! World, meet elev8

elev8 dancer

Today the team at Levis Tech launched one of its most ambitious projects to date, elev8. elev8 is a cloud platform used to run and organize dance competitions. After 2 years of development the first dance competition on the platform, Spring Stars (https://springstars.ca/) begins today. Spring Stars is no ordinary dance competition either. It’s the largest dance competition in the province and Saskatchewan has more dancers per capita than any other location in North America. Here’s some info to give you an idea of how big the competition is.

 

5 day competition

13 different disciplines of dance

35 studios

1308 entries with video submissions stored on Microsoft Azure

2495 dancers

 

elev8 would have been difficult in it’s own right for any tech company, but for a project we took on in the first year of Levis it pushed us to our limits and caused us to grow rapidly. What started off as a simple tool to be used by our client quickly evolved into a full cloud platform with a desktop interface for organizers to set up competitions as well as a mobile app for the spectators.

 

The platform would be useless if the dance studios didn’t buy in as they are the ones filling the competition with dancers. From a UX and design standpoint we needed a seamless way for the studio managers to login to the platform and easily submit potentially hundreds of entries for the competition while seamlessly creating user accounts for the participants. This is no easy task as dance competitions are notoriously complicated with their data. We needed to take into consideration dancers' ages, experience level, disciplines and match them up with criteria setup by the competition organizer.

 

Not only was it a design challenge, but it was a technical challenge as well. Levis’s web application framework PRISM hadn’t been used on a project with this sort of data structure before. One would think that supply chain logistics, inventory, compliance and asset management would be more complicated to manage than a dance competition, but this wasn’t the case.

 

All the registration information for the competition ends up getting pulled into a scheduler that automatically groups the dance entries by certain criteria and then notifies the competition organizer if there is a scheduling conflict with one of the dancers. However because all the data is so interconnected if one piece of data is incorrect it can affect the entire schedule. For example if a dancer's age was accidentally submitted incorrectly, it would have a cascading effect through the entire system. If the dancers age was incorrect it would mean she shouldn’t be in the performance group that she’s currently in, which means that group will have one less dancer, which means its no longer in the 2-4 dancer group size, which means she’s in another group that is now in a larger group size, which affects all the other groups in the schedule. While PRISM has never had to handle data this interwoven before the tech team at Levis rose to the challenge and as a result our whole core technology and technical capabilities grew.

With the competition underway the tech team at Levis is closely watching the systems to make sure everything goes smoothly. While the last 2 years have been a challenge and there’s excitement in the air over the launch of one of our most ambitious projects to date this is just the beginning of how elev8 can shape the future of the dance community.

For more details checkout elev8.dance


 
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