Going into your first dance competition can be nerve-wracking, regardless of whether you’ve been at the dance studio a few weeks or several months. Naturally, you want to do your best. However, what if you mess up your routine, something goes wrong with your costume or you forget to bring a crucial item? While most of the time these issues don’t occur, they can still be major worries until your routine is over. Luckily, there are some easy ways to prepare yourself so these issues don’t happen. Consider these five dance tips on how to prepare for your first competition.
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice makes perfect, right? While continually practicing your routine allows you to really nail down your steps and completely understand the timing, it also improves your stamina. The more you practice, the better your breathing gets, the stronger your legs get and the easier the routine becomes. Every time you practice, only give yourself 30 seconds in between ending and beginning the dance again. That way, you can prepare your muscles for exactly what will happen once the competition comes.
“Believe that you are showing others how to dance instead of being judged on your dancing.”
2. Consider Yourself A Teacher
Every time you dance, you should consider it to be a demonstration instead of a performance. Believe that you are showing others how to dance instead of being judged on your style of dancing. With this mindset, you will want every move you make to be graceful, fluid and perfectly done so that others can learn from you.
If you believe that you are leading the way, instead of attempting to demonstrate moves that will be judged by others, you’re much more likely to practice – and perform – better. Don’t follow, teach!
3. Don’t Make Last-Minute Routine Changes
Many dancers will stress over their routine for so long that they worry it’s not perfect and needs to be changed. So, they might begin by changing one simple move, and slowly chip away at their entire routines. This isn’t the right move to make. Once you have your routine down pat, don’t obsess over it.
Instead, let it be – don’t think about it if you can make it look better. The only time you should be wondering if you should have changed your routine is after you get your score back. Also, small changes can alter what you pack.
4. Eat Right
Eating the right meal before your dance competition is critical to your performance. You can eat the right meal and you can definitely eat the wrong one. After a few performances, you may learn what foods work best for you. However, at the first one that can be hard to determine.
Instead of eating one big meal before heading to your competition, eat several snacks to keep you light and energized without feeling heavy or bloated. Consider eating healthy foods like vegetables, as well as protein-based ones. Think about snack options such as peanut butter and apples, trail mix, carrots and hummus, and cheese and crackers.
5. Let Loose
During your routine, it’s important to look as comfortable as possible. Many judges will look to see if you look natural in your dance. Judges don’t want to see that you look stiff or awkward in the routine, which can make or break your complete score. At the end of the day, practice the routine enough so you can do it in your sleep, but have confidence that you can do it too!