Dance competition tips

Do you want to know how to stand out at dance competition? Even seasoned competition dancers can forget a shoe every now and then, but that’s only one small mistake that can happen before or during a dance competition! Here are the top 10 dance competition mistakes that can occur, and how to fix them!

  1. Not rehearsing away from the mirror before competition!

One of the best things dancers in Port Orange can do before competition is rehearse facing away from the mirror. It’s surprising how beneficial it can be to do a few runs of your dance facing multiple directions.

Dancers often ask in the studio, “Which way will the stage face?” before competition, and the answer is, “Wherever it faces!” It’s a difficult concept for kids to grasp, but if you can rehearse the dance facing every possible direction, they will begin to understand that the routine won’t change regardless of which direction the stage faces.


  1. Entering your routine in the wrong category!

This is a mistake that is mostly made by the dance instructor, but still relevant because category placement can affect how a dance scores! The majority of the time, this mistake happens when the lines are blurred between categories like lyrical or contemporary. Take the time to really analyze the dance routine for specific technical elements that live in one of those categories. It might even help to make a checklist of skills for each category so you can really see where a routine belongs.

  1. Arriving at the wrong time!

Your studio director for Port Orange dance classes will always give you a schedule of the competition before the event. The majority of the time, you will be asked to arrive at least 2 hours before your first scheduled routine of the day. That is because dance competitions can often run ahead of time, and they don’t wait for folks to arrive!

Double and triple-check your schedule, and keep up with the competition’s live stream if they have one to ensure you arrive at the right time and aren’t running late!


  1. Forgetting the correct tights, shoes, hair piece, or costume!

Competitive Dancers at The Legacy Studio in Port Orange should receive detailed information about each costume and its requirements before competition. But if you don’t look carefully at your list of items, you might forget something necessary!

When even one dancer forgets a costume piece, it affects the whole group. Usually, everyone will have to take off the gloves if one person is missing a glove. Or, if a dancer forgets an entire costume, they might be removed from the routine entirely. Avoid these unfortunate situations by double and triple checking your costume pieces before you leave the house!


  1. Neglecting to properly warm up before competition!

Adrenaline can be high at dance competitions, and sometimes dancers get so excited that they forget to warm up! A proper warm-up is just as important before competition as it is before class or rehearsal.

Build in time to your schedule to give yourself a nice, juicy warm-up that gets your body moving and ready for the day. If that means you need to get to the competition even earlier than your call time, make sure that’s possible! A proper warm-up will ensure success every time!


  1. Not using enough hairspray or gel!

Judges at dance competitions are looking at every aspect of a dance routine, from the technique to the presentation. One of our biggest pet peeves is messy hair! While you can’t control the size of the stage, how slippery the floor is, or how cold the theatre is, you CAN control your own presentation!

Practice your hairstyles before competition and make sure everything stays secure when dancing. When in doubt, use more hairspray or gel, and for goodness’ sakes, don’t skimp on the bobby pins!


  1. Forgetting to bring a backup of your music!

This one is often on the dance teachers, but it doesn’t hurt for dancers to have a copy of their music with them at competition as well, in case of music failure! These days, there are many ways of playing music for dance competitions, from a digital file on a zip drive to plugging in your phone directly to the sound system. By making sure there are multiple options available to play your music, you will hopefully never be left stranded with no music!


  1. Taking your time during quick costume changes!

Dance competitions are often very busy, hectic days, and the only way they can run on time is if everyone is keeping a brisk pace during the event. If you have routines that are scheduled with only a few numbers in between, you MUST do your best to change costumes quickly!

It helps for dancers in Port Orange dance classes to rehearse quick changes so they know exactly what processes they need to use during a costume change. That might mean enlisting help from another dancer or parent, pre-setting costumes so they are ready to step into, or underdressing a costume piece if possible. Don’t be the reason the competition has to pause because of a slow change!


  1. Displaying poor sportsmanship at awards!

Nothing is more disappointing than seeing dancers on stage at awards showing poor sportsmanship. Eye rolls, being sluggish to accept an award, or not saying thank you are signs of disrespect, and being disrespectful in a room of your peers is definitely a huge mistake.

There will, of course, be moments when you are disappointed in your placement, but the time to visibly or audibly be upset about that is not on stage with everyone watching. Accept your awards with grace, say thank you to the judges and staff, and applaud for your fellow competitors.


  1. Not listening to judge’s critiques before the next competition!

One of the biggest mistakes you can make at a dance competition happens after the event is over. The main reason for attending a dance competition is to hear from qualified judges what you could work on to get better. If you don’t listen to the judge’s critiques before your next event, there is no way to know what you could do to receive a better score next time! Check out this article from IDA The Most Common Corrections Judges Give at Competition.

Dance competition judges work very hard to give thorough, detailed critiques during the event. Don’t let their work be in vain – listen and absorb the information so you can work on the corrections for next time!

Hopefully, these tips will help you prepare for your next dance competition! There are always things we can’t prepare for, but with some forethought and planning, you can have a great competition experience!

Check out this article on Dance Performance Checklist and Tips!

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