dancers go the route of
competition in their dance careers. This is a great way to
gain status and recognition in the dance world. Competition
newcomers need to keep a few things in mind to optimize their
Pre-competition and Rehearsal Basics
When you get feedback from teachers, make sure you take it
serious and make the changes. Teachers only have your best
interest in mind and want to see you succeed. They have
experienced this all before so take their knowledge and use
Make sure your pre-competition activities arenít injury
inducing. This means no snow, contact or water sports!
Visualize your routine as many times as you can
pre-competition. This is great form of practice and polish.
A well-rehearsed piece should fuse together like glue. There
should be no steps, only an appearance of natural movement
reaction to music.
A dancer needs to bring a good attitude to rehearsals; this
isnít about winning or losing but about doing the best this
team can possibly do. Work on a positive mind frame and a
feeling of camaraderie.
Everyone involved in the competition should be aware of rules
and regulations before the trip is made. Everyone also needs
to be aware his or her schedule needs to be flexible at this
Sometimes itís important to take a break for a day or two
and step away from the choreography and preparation. Let it
all sink in and come with a rested and fresh perspective.
A good exercise is to practice opposite emotions than what is
set to the choreography. This brings out such a contrast that
it sometimes highlights the polar emotions.
Choose music that you wonít ever get tired of hearing. A
choreographer should let their group hear and take home this
music before the choreography is even presented. This
develops a personal connection to the music that is oneís
Visualize the audience and their reaction to the piece. This
needs to be interesting to people of all backgrounds and
Donít forget Dynamics! Sometimes dancers get carried away
with dancing Ďfull outí throughout the entire piece.
Remember to highlight the peaks and valleys so the climax
will appear as so.
Try setting a particular style of dance, to an opposing piece
of music. Why not try ballet movement to hip hop music or vice versa?
Remember your true passion for dance, youíre there for you,
not others. Dance out of your heart and you will be a truly
How a dancer carries him/herself in the presence of the
judges is important from start to finish. Walk on the stage
with confidence, hold your chin up and have an honest smile
of appreciation on your face. Make eye contact with the
audience and judges.
Props, hairpieces and costumes should be neat and groomed as
well as secured tightly. Donít let a loose bobby pin steal
the show! When it comes to competition, teams are so polished
that the smallest things can make a dancer stand out
negativelyÖ make sure your hair is secured and your costume
pieces are on tight!
A complete package is essential to competition. This means
good costumes, music, choreography, technical skills, dancers
Make sure you speak to the dance group as well as those who
will be in the audience for your group. This needs to stay
professional without inappropriate outbursts from the
audience. This rates poorly with the judges.
Competition is usually the highlight of the season; morale
needs to stay high. Winning isnít everything, make sure
this mindset is highlighted but not to the point of
relaxation. All students should reach for the gold but if
they donít win, they need to take it as a learning
experience. Not everyone will place as a finalist. When the
competition is over, make sure to review judgesí notes.
Also watch the performance and critique as well. Practice,
polish and persevere!