7 Ways to Prepare Your Team for Competition

7 Ways to Prepare Your Team for Competition

This article reveals some tips and tricks to preparing for the upcoming competition season!

This article reveals some tips and tricks to preparing for the upcoming competition season!
With competition season beginning soon, you’re most likely diving head first into learning all your dances and cleaning the choreography. Here are some tips and ways to prepare yourself, your studio and your team for competition season.

#1. Team bonding
A close and connected team is just as important as the dances you perform together at competition. Being a closer group will help you become more connected while on stage. Try having a team night, or lock-in, and participate in team-bonding exercises. For example; big-little sister activities, a dance circle and positive discussions about your team goals for the year.

#2. Fundraise
The costs of competitions and conventions can add up quickly. Dance teachers, help your dance families out by creating a fundraising board, or organize fundraising activities yourself to help alleviate some of the monetary stress.

#3. Drill your technique
How you take and perform in the classroom directly correlates to how you perform once on the stage. Make sure (especially at the very beginning of the year) to drill technique. Of course, no one is perfect, but there is no excuse for laziness or tiredness when you’ve got all summer to rest up and recharge.

#4. Clean your dances
Teachers, directors, and dancers: I cannot say it enough…clean dances will impress the judges. I’ve judged dances at competition that were not the most advanced technically, but were so clean with so much energy that they received a huge score.

#5. Mentally prepare
Being physically ready for competition is just half the battle. You want to be mentally prepared as well. Take time out to clear your mind and get mentally ready to take on a crazy day of dancing, because we all know competition can be full of long, sometimes stressful, days. Teachers: encourage your dancers to take quiet time and to not spend their time backstage fussing or being too silly. There’s always time for some fun banter or quiet games, but your dancers need to learn to focus when it counts. A prayer or encouragement circle can help your dancers to focus before taking to the wings.

#6. Begin a journal
One thing I always wish I would’ve done throughout my dancing days was keep a journal about my experiences, goals, successes and areas of improvement. In these days of social media, we all have plenty of photos to capture our fun times, but I wish I could go back and read my thoughts on those experiences and see what I learned. Teachers: encourage students to journal and take notes. This also gives them a quiet and positive activity to keep them busy backstage when not in the midst of a quick change or last minute run-through.

#7. Make a list and check it twice
Print out (even laminate) a list of everything you need in your dance bag and Dream Duffle for traveling to competitions. The worst feeling is leaving tights or shoes at home, or, God forbid, a COSTUME! Pack extra, pack smart, and pack ahead of time.

By Allison Gupton of Dance Informa