Tips & Advice

8 Best Ways to get back into Competition Mode

CK DanceWorks dancers in 'CK Airways', choreographed by Christina Wiginton and Brian Mason. Photo by Dance Studio LIfe.
CK DanceWorks dancers in 'CK Airways', choreographed by Christina Wiginton and Brian Mason. Photo by Dance Studio LIfe.

It’s time to go back to dance after the holidays, and you know what that means…time to get back into the competition mindset! Here’s some tips to help you succeed this season:

#1. Train, train, train.

Take dance class seriously right from the jump. The sooner you become serious about improving your technique at the beginning of the dance year, the better your technique will be by the time you attend your first competition.

#2. Really focus on learning the choreography.

When you’re learning choreography, it can seem like those February and March competitions are so far away. But if you really focus on learning and soaking in the specifics, the dance will only get better by the time competition rolls around.

#3. Get in the right mindset to clean dances.

Cleaning dances can be very tedious, and tensions between dancers can run high. Mentally start preparing for cleaning rehearsals. Find your quiet place. Take deep breaths. Also, dance teachers: assigning a group captain during the learning process might ease tensions when cleaning begins.

#4. Master the technical elements in your dances.

Try not to write off technical elements that you are unable to perform perfectly as soon as you learn the choreography. Practice, practice, practice! Break down your dance’s technical elements and work on those in class, or in private lessons.

#5. Nail down your solo song, theme and choreographer.

As you know, competition season is not just about group dances. If you’re opting to do a solo, you have to start thinking about everything — the music, the story, the style and the choreographer — now. Try not to wait until the last possible second. You need to give yourself time to ingest the solo, and practice and clean the routine.

#6. Get inspired by other dancers on YouTube.

Try not to get sucked down the rabbit hole that is watching dances on YouTube, but being inspired (not intimidated) by others is always healthy. Watch dancers your age but also professional dancers to soak in all the wonderful technique and performance quality.

#7. Get to know your new group.

After an audition process this past summer, your dance groups are most likely completely different. Get to know your group’s new members…maybe do some team bonding. That way, when competition comes around, you’re as close as possible and dance more as a unit, instead of a bunch of soloists in a group number.

#8. Order new gear and dancewear.

Sorry, Mom! Maybe it’s time for some new leotards and everyday class dancewear for the new year? Or a new dance bag, or maybe your studio has some new studio spirit gear you need to purchase. Get some new gear to feel great about how you look and to get back into competition mode.

By Allison Gupton of Dance Informa.

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