How to Prepare for a Dance Competition
Congratulations on wanting to participate in a dance competition! It’s a very big deal and it can be a bit overwhelming–whether this is your first competition or not. To make the experience go smoothly, there are a host of things you should do prior to the actual event. At The Studance LAB, our instructors and some students have a lot of experience in participating in competitions themselves. Some of our faculty have a lot of experience guiding our student dancers through the process so they can easily prepare for a dance competition.
Based on our experience, we have compiled our best dance competition preparation tips for you to get through the experience as stress-free as possible.
Plan Your Calendar Accordingly
We know that you have personal life events but when you know the date for the competition you can plan other activities accordingly. You will need to clear a lot off your plate the week before and the week of the dance competition in order to focus on the event.
Being ready means that you are putting in the practice and time in order to feel prepared. You might still be a little nervous leading up to the event but that is pretty normal for most dancers. Practicing your dances can you make you feel more prepared for the big day and the big stage.
Create a Personal Dance Competition Survival Kit
A survival kit is a wonderful thing to have around you on such a big and long weekend. You will want to pack a few things that might come in handy throughout the weekend, items such as; Hair Ties, Hair Brush, Hair Spray, Water, Snacks, extra Lip Stick and Eye Lashes. These are the main things that a dancer could have extras of either for yourself or teammates. You can also pack a Flaming Survival Kit, these are the items that will help you remain calm and relaxed before and during the competition. You’ll want to think about the items that can create an environment where you’ll want to reduce stress. Maybe you can include that specific playlist of music to listen to, a favorite snack(s), maybe a soothing eye mask or aroma spray like lavender, or something of the sort. Remember to always practice your deep breathing and meditation.
It’s easy to get distracted by other dancers talking about their routines as you get closer to the day of the competition. Focus on your individual goals and strengths, rather than what everyone else is doing or comparing yourself to others. Focus is an important part of dance competition preparation. While at the competition you will want to also focus on your group dance or specialty dances, getting connected and in the same mindset as your group or partner.
Preparing with lots of practice for a dance competition can be hard on your body. It’s so important to be sure you are taking care of your health during the time leading up to the event. Maintain a healthy diet with good nutrition. Eat all the things that are good for you and help you stay strong like plenty of protein and veggies. If you happen to catch a cold or flu, take a break and get plenty of rest. You may feel that you can’t afford to decrease your practice, but resetting will get you back on track sooner. A couple of weeks taken off is better than pushing yourself and feeling less than par for a month!
Be sure you are staying hydrated while you are preparing to compete. Of course, we know that water intake is crucial to maintaining good health overall, but this is especially so when you are leading up to a competition. However, don’t overdo it the day of the event! Drinking an excess of water immediately before the competition can make you feel faint. Just focus on getting an adequate amount of water during the prep weeks and you will be in tip-top shape!
Check Your Costume
Be sure you have your costume(s) in good condition as well as undergarments. Bring an extra pair of tights in case a pair gets torn. These are some other items you may want to have on hand just for maintenance and mishaps:
- Small sewing kit
- Safety pins
- Lint brush
- Static Guard
- Stain-removal pen
- Double-sided tape
Stay Calm and Have Fun
You will be nervous about the competition, but the adrenaline is actually very helpful. Competing requires you to be able to handle the nervousness and push through. Do things prior to getting on the dance floor that will help calm you such as playing your relaxing music prior or spending time on deep breathing exercises. And, don’t forget to have fun. Enjoy the experience! Pat yourself on the back for engaging in the competition. Be nice to yourself and, regardless of the outcome, know that you have really accomplished something when it is over!