Results at dance competitions are what every dancer is interested in. After all, it's a competition so who doesn't want to win?
However, do you think you put enough work in to have a well-deserved win? In this post I will give you 4 points you need to remember when you're preparing for dance competitions to increase your chances of being successful.
I have been working with lots of dancers wanting to achieve great results at competitions. Frankly, everyone says they want to be the best they can be. But there is cost involved as nothing comes free, and I'm not only talking about the money but your mental attitude and willingness to sacrifice some things.
Dancing is about creating connections between your brain and muscles to make them move in any way you want. The more information and ideas you get from a teacher, the clearer the picture is going to be. Also you get to practice more, under supervision of your dance instructor.
If you are thinking to develop long-lasting effects and changes in the body, you need consistency. I see dancers taking a single lesson per week and hoping for quick fixes. If you were to learn a language, do you think 1 hr per week would make you fluent? It's not about having lessons everyday, but the more frequently you see your dance teacher, the more sustainable your results will be.
Own practice time
We are all grown ups and we understand that practicing is a must when you want to reach some results. For each hour of private dance lesson, you should spend at least 3 hours of your own time practicing it. What happens if you don't? The information will not have a chance to settle in and you will end up doing what you had been doing before your lessons. If you're serious about dance competitions, take responsibility for dancing solo!
What a dancer wears plays a big role in your competition results. Why? Because it creates immediate impression of you. If a dress doesn't fit or gives no movement, your dancing may not look as good as it would, in a different outfit. Of course, dance costumes are a big expense, but again what you put into it, is what you get out.
I always say: have 1 dress or shirt per year but make it look like a million dollar! Rather than have 5 dresses and all of them looking average (the word average is one of my pet-hates btw). As a dancer, make sure you have the best designer out there, who will make you look unique! This is exactly how every professional dancer thinks, so you should do too! If that means, no expensive holidays this year, let it be. Again, it depends on what you want to get out of your dancing!
Every pro who goes to a competition remembers their first one with another pro partner. You just want to get it out of the way. I can't stress it more how important it is to just get out there and perform, whether you're polished or not.
At the beginning, forget the results, forget other competitors! If you have no experience or you just did few competitions in the past, don't get upset when you're out in the first round! When you start to compete (or you're in a new partnership) think to get as many competitions behind your belt as possible. Once again, if you're serious about it and you have a good plan with your teacher, you should be going to every competition out there- small or big!
I hope you can see the major trend in the points I made, that is your level of commitment!
If you want to become a better dancer, you need to create a full package to showcase it on a dance floor. That's exactly the same whether you're a pro or a pro-am dancer! So be realistic about your competition results based on how much work you choose to put into it.
The more you invest in yourself and your dancing, the better you will become- that's common sense. Of course, be wise with the finances as any sport on a high level is expensive. At the same time, you do it for yourself and noone will ever take away your experience. If you want to be a champion, you need to think like one!
You definitely don't want to wake up in 5 years time thinking, oh I wish I had danced more before. If not now, then when?
Author: Marcin Raczynski
Photo credits: Elena Anashina Photography