It’s competition season! This time of year can be exciting, stressful, fun, and scary all at once, and we want to make this time of year a little easier. Below you’ll find our top tips for preparing for competition to get your organized, help ease the nerves, and enjoy the time you have on stage.
Tip #1 - Plan Ahead
Planning ahead is a crucial part of making sure that you are prepared for your competition season. Making sure that you have your costumes prepped and ready, with the matching shoes, tights, makeup, hair, and jewelry can help you be confident that you’ll never be caught without something you need. Our biggest tip for planning ahead is to have backups! We all know that tights can rip so having a second pair of tights for each number can help in case of costume emergencies! Make sure you think about every small detail that could get lost in a busy comp day. Do the undergarments that you need for under your costume have clear straps? Get a backup backstrap! Find you can never find your false eyelashes? Grab a backup!
We always encourage dancers to plan your day in advance. Make sure you arrive with enough time to get settled, find your teammates, and get ready. We always suggest taking some time before your routine to find a quiet space, have some water and a snack, and get in some good stretching and breathing to get mentally prepared to go on stage!
Tip #2 - Stay Organized
We know that dancers are often in multiple competition numbers, and keeping what you need for each dance separate and organized will help relieve so much stress. We recommend keeping each number’s costume, tights, jewelry, shoes, and makeup together, in labeled baggies for small items or even garment bags. This way, you know that everything you need for each number is in one place, and all together. No matter how large or small your costume is, you can get the perfect sized garment bag to keep your costume and accessories organized. Our top tip? Write the name/style of your performance and everything included in the garment bag on masking tape that you tape right onto the plastic garment bag. That way your packing list is always handy, and you’ll never forget or lose anything!
Photo by Masterworks Dance Studio
Tip #3 - Perform
You only get one chance to dance at competitions. Make sure you are performing full out, and giving each performance your all. Smile, make eye contact with the judges and audience, and use your facial expressions. It’s so much more fun to watch someone who is enjoying their time on stage, even if it can feel silly to smile in the direction of bright lights while on stage, it makes a huge difference for the judges and those watching you. You can only do your best on stage, but if you go out there and give it 110%, you’ll never regret a fun performance!
Tip #4 - Focus on the Positive
It can be natural to be nervous when it comes to competitions. Many dancers are returning to competition for the first time since the pandemic. Remember that you can only do your best, and that you’re there to have fun and dance. Feeling stressed? Talk to your friends! You’d be surprised at how many of your friends are feeling the same way as you, and it can help to know you’re not alone.
Don’t forget, no matter what, always be a good sport and competitor. In the competition world, it’s so important to stay positive and be kind regardless of what happens on stage. Say good luck to your competition, congratulate them if they win, and complement their dancing and/or costume if you love it. Spreading positivity is always a good thing, and is a better state of mind for you to be in during the day.
Photo by YAGP Finalists Gallery
Tip #5 - Have Fun
As we said above, the most important part of competition is having fun! Enjoy the time on stage, dancing with friends from your studio and classes, and having the opportunity to be on stage. You’ve trained and prepared for this, so enjoy it, smile, and have a great time.
We hope you find some of these tips helpful. What is your biggest piece of advice for dancers? Share with us in the comments below.