Pre-Competition Advice You Wish You Knew

Advice after the fact never seems like advice. It can come across as just words to make us feel better. Whenever we have a dance event or competition, I like to go over the typical things that can happen pre-event with our staff. This advice is the kind you wish you knew ahead of time.

Preparing for the event is crazy-fun and is busy for all, students and teachers alike. The studio has a contagious energy with everyone practicing, trying out their costumes, and running their entries to music. It is really important to keep this fun and chaos in check for what the purpose was in the first place, and that is to learn and have fun, and maybe even stretch ourselves. Here are some tips to help keep you productive and successful, Pre-Event and during Competition.

– Be Patient
When we are busy and feeling stressed, emotions tend to run high. We want to do it right and not forget anything and the anticipation of the unknown can make us react rather than respond. Remember to be patient and polite with each other. Be patient with your teacher, be patient with the other students around you. They, just like you, want to do well too and remember, the journey is not to be missed. The destination is the perk so remain positive and don’t let petty things get to you.

– Prepare Your Costumes
Most importantly, in regard to costumes, make sure you understand what the proper attire is for the event. You want to have your outfits for your entries, but don’t forget a lot of the competitions have cocktail parties, dances, and pre-event gatherings. Some are formal, semi-formal or have a theme. Nobody likes to show up under-dressed or in the wrong outfit.
Now is the time to have all of your costumes together so think as if you’re packing for a long trip. You want to pull out all of the things you need, so if there is something missing you can find time to get it. Not just your costumes, but remembering the little things as well. Here’s a quick list (check out my full list below) of the forgotten – fishnets (with out holes), dance pants, bobby pins, hairspray, pins and dance shoes.

-Take a Moment to Thank Your Instructor
Before the competition is a great time to give thanks for all the great things that have happened so far in your dancing. The instructors’ work tirelessly to make you happy, so let them know they’re appreciated and in what ways. It could be their patience, how they push you, or how they listen. Be specific so they will continue to do it. They love to talk about the progress you’ve made and the funny stories that have happened along the way.

– Keep Yourself Healthy
You are the most important person you know. Anytime before a competition there are more things to do aside from rehearsal and costuming. You also have all the appointments before – haircuts, tans, nails, shopping, etc. Remember to take time to eat well, drink water, and get plenty of rest. You don’t want to start the competition tired and run down. Instead, we want you feeling prepared, happy, and well rested. That way you can start the competition on the right foot (Or left if you’re a guy:).

To be better prepared:

Take a look at my list of 60 things every dancer should own. You can use it as a reference or checklist. It might even remind you of something you’ve forgotten to get.

I hope your competition is a huge success!

Live, Love, Dance and Enjoy!


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