So you’ve signed up for your first competition, or your fourth, congratulations! Competitions are a great goal to work towards, an opportunity to meet new people who share the same passion, and a chance to show off a bit of your own personal flair. Understandably though, sometimes you can feel a bit nervous. Okay maybe “a bit” feels like an understatement, but there are some things that you can do to help ease the nerves and feel more prepared.
The biggest thing to remember is that mistakes will happen, and that is okay! Even the professional dancers have been known to make mistakes. Does the audience notice? Not usually but that is because if something does go wrong, they keep going and don’t let it show on their face that anything happened. The judges or audience notice a mistake most prominently when the look on the dancers’ face betrays that a mistake was just made. So if a mistake happens, smile bigger and just keep going!
Another important tip is to practice in a way that is most beneficial for going out on the competition floor which means practicing to build stamina, use competition speed music and wear heels like you will out on the floor. Do multiple rounds of your dances with brief breaks in between, it’s the best way to get used to the actual experience of competition. In those rounds, where you dance each dance back to back with little to no break in between, use competition music played at the correct speed and without stopping, even if a mistake is made. If you are going to wear heels at the competition, practice in those heels. You want to feel familiar dancing in that height and feel comfortable in those shoes. Essentially, you want to practice like it is the competition so that you have the full effect of what it could be like.
The week leading up to competition and the day of, don’t think too much, truly. Trust everything you have practiced and know up until that point, don’t try to change things that final week. You’ve been working hard leading up to this point for weeks or months, enjoy the moment and don’t sweat the small stuff.