Participating in dance competitions can be an incredibly rewarding experience for dancers of all ages and experience levels. We’re often asked what our best advice is to help our dancers make the most of their competitions and achieve the success they’re looking for. Although there are several things we suggest for a stellar performance, we’ve compiled our top 8 tips. Explore how to make the most of your upcoming competitions by reviewing our dance competition prep tips below.
- Don’t Forget Great Eye Contact
Although it may seem obvious to maintain eye contact with the judges and the audience throughout your dance routine, when you’re about to hit the stage sometimes your nerves get the best of you. Remember that although you want to perform to the judges as you dance, they also want to see that you can captivate the rest of the room, too. Solos are great opportunity to focus on the judges because you get really up close and personal with them. On the other hand, during group routines it’s important to make a plan for where to look in the room as a unit. Consider coming up with a plan for where you’re going to look as a group, and when.
It’s normal for dancers to forget this vital tip! Consider writing these three things on a Post-it note for yourself and reviewing them right before you take the stage:
- Keep eye contact with the judges.
- Most importantly: have fun.
- Perform What You’re Great At + Practice Makes Perfect
In order to have an awesome performance, it’s important you’re totally comfortable with your routine. So, what’s the best way to become super confident in your routine? Lots of practice, of course! The best way to kick butt during your upcoming routine is through amazing dance competition prep and serious practice. Be sure to consult with your dance instructor if you’re feeling less than stellar about your upcoming performance, so you can come up with a game plan for success together!
- Consider Improving Your Dance Skills by Dancing Year-round
Summer dance programs provide the opportunity to meet new people and connect with old friends. In addition, there are several physical benefits to summer dance as well. Whether you’re interested in mastering a specific dance skill, or simply looking to keep your child active, summer dance is a great way to prevent injury, improve technique, fine-tune memory skills and remain super motivated for next year’s dance competitions.
- Quit the Comparison Game
“Don’t compare yourself to your fellow dancers. Focus on you and the goal you wish to accomplish.” – Lia Cirio, Boston Ballet principal dancer via Dance Magazine
- … But Make Sure to Watch Other Dancers, too!
Dance competitions allow you the opportunity to observe other experienced dancers throughout the day. “Take this time to pick out a dancer or two that you admire and try to figure out what it is that you love about their dancing. Is it their arm styling, musicality, the speed of their feet?” (Arthur Murray Studios). Use this information to help motivate and inspire your own dance skills and guide yourself towards improvement.
- Stay Hydrated
Water plays a huge role in maintaining a dancers’ health! Did you know that water makes up an astounding 60-70% of our bodies? Or that your skeletal muscles consist of approximately 73% water? When it comes to performing your best at your dance competitions, staying hydrated is crucial.
If adequate water consumption isn’t already a part of your daily routine, explore our blog post on the importance of staying hydrated > In the post, we discuss:
- The importance of water
- How much water do dancers really need?
- What if you don’t like the way it tastes?
- Tell yourself that you can do it
When it comes to competition time, tell yourself you’re going to have an amazing routine and you’re halfway there! Having a positive mindset is absolutely key before you perform… don’t discount the power of positive thinking. Try telling yourself “I can do this,” out loud, before you hit the stage. Over time, the simple act of declaring confidence in yourself will begin to convince your inner critic.
- Focus on the Judges Feedback
“Forget the placement, focus on the feedback… Don’t let a placement reduce the quality of your progress. Schedule time with your teacher and a coach to go over your feedback objectively so that you can look at where you excelled and where you have opportunities to improve” (Arthur Murray Studios).