A Ballroom Dance Competition is a wonderful and exciting experience. Through year’s of experience, we have gathered some of the best information to help you be prepared.
The first thing you want to realize is that in those last few days before the competition you are as ready as you are going to be. You and your teacher have prepared prior to and they know that you are ready. They asked you to be part of the competition because they believed it would benefit you and that you were indeed ready. There is no amount of cramming that can be done the day before to make your dancing any better than you are at this moment. Now is the time to just relax and use the benefits of repetition. Being on the dance floor competing will actually give you the best advantage to becoming better than any amount of pre-studying. You will show off your best dancing when you are relaxed, so finding a way to de-stress will help you more than anything else. Find what works for you; humor, meditation, a hot bath…anything that puts you in your best state-of-mind.
Dancing in a competition itself is equivalent to taking almost 100 lessons. Imagine learning a sport, like say football. Now imagine that the team only practices but never plays a game….. How good would that team be? How well would they understand what those drills were for? How much motivation would they have to improve? If they could just play one game everything would suddenly become clear and that’s exactly what a Ballroom Dance Competition does for you! It is a Dancer’s Playoff Game. It is our chance to score the game winning touchdown. The experience, the electricity, the dresses and suits, the other dancers, and the confidence you gain all play a part in making you a better dancer in just two days!!
If you really want to enhance your competition experience further, try to pick one easy thing to improve in your dancing : focusing on a simple technique such as posture, frame, footwork, or just breathing can bring you great benefits in your dancing. It also helps to ease any nerves you are experiencing because it gives you something to center yourself on.
Here are some basics tips to help you prepare.
Be well rested– Arriving with enough time to get a good nights sleep the night before is an ideal way to start the competition off right.
Eat a well-balanced meal– Proper nutrition is important to any athlete. Dancing is great excercise and even though you want to make sure you are getting enough calories…it is equally important to make sure you are getting good nutritional calories. Avoid foods that are high in fats, sugar, and salt.
Get hydrated-Getting enough water will give you more of the energy and stamina you need. Start drinking lots of water leading up to the competition and make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day.
Get your hair and makeup done– I absolutely recommend getting your hair and makeup done by a professional ballroom stylist at the event. We all perform better when we look our best and ballroom hair and makeup is completely different than any other reason you would have to use a stylist. Ballroom hair should be tight and hold well while you are moving. You would not want your hair coming loose in the middle of the dance. It is very distracting and can hurt your performance. Make-up is much heavier then every day make-up because of the lights and the distance. Without the proper stage make-up, you could look washed out on the dance floor and in your pictures. Having a professional do it for you for, at least, the first five times will give you a better idea of what you need and what you like. It is also one less thing you have to worry or stress about.
Shoes – Believe it or not one of the most forgotten items at a Ballroom Dance competition are dance shoes. Remember to pack both your rhythm and smooth shoes, as well as, dress shoes for dinners. (Men-Extra shoelaces are always a good idea.)
Dance Costumes- You will need both a Smooth and Rhythm dress or suit. A Ballroom costume is designed to give you comfortable ease of movement, while showing off your best features and inspiring movement. There is something enchanting about the way a great dress or suit makes you look and feel.
Clothes– Casual clothes for breakfast and down time. You will also need semi-formal and formal wear for dinners. Formal wear is reserved for the last evening and should be a long gown for the ladies and a black suit or tux for the men.
Toiletries and Makeup-Toothbrush, razors, lotion, and any other must haves for getting ready will need to be packed. Ladies, you will need your normal makeup for breakfast or for any touch ups. I prefer to keep a bright red lipstick with me at all times. Also, Eyelashes: Typically your makeup stylist can provide these for you but I do like to pick up a handful if I see them on clearance. (Make sure you have eyelash glue.)
Jewelry or other accessories– It is eye-catching to add matching sparkly jewelry to Ballroom gowns and dinner dresses, or a great tie to a suit.Don’t forget to include these in your ensemble.
Extras– A few things that are helpful to include are mints, protein bars (for snacks), a mini sewing kit, and extra socks or hose….Not always necessities, but nice to have just in case.
We hope you enjoyed this post on how to be prepared for a Ballroom Dance Competition. Remember to eat healthy and drink plenty of water but most importantly relax, make new friends, and enjoy the Competition!