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Preparing for Dance Competitions – Competing for Scholarships

 First time dance competitions can be a very nerve-wracking experience if you don’t prepare yourself mentally, physically and practically.

Here in Philadelphia the New York City Dance Alliance (NYCDA) training and competition weekend will be at the Philadelphia Convention Center March 17-18.  If you’re competing in this for the first time, or if you’re planning to compete in the NYCDA Season Finale in New York City in June/July, here is some practical advice for preparing yourself:

  1. Just like Broadway shows have dress rehearsals, you will want to practice in your dance costume for a dance competition.  From you hair to your dance shoes, have several rehearsals in your costume.  Remember, this includes your makeup, if you’re planning on wearing it.  If you aren’t sure about how to put on your makeup you don’t want to wait until dance competition day to try it out.  Get comfortable with all aspects of your costuming so the only thing you have to concentrate on is your dancing.
  2. Fully review all the rules of the competition.  They do vary, and there is a general etiquette.  Ask your dance teacher to assist, and/or go onto the website of the organization holding the competition.
  3. Keep your academic grades up.  If you’re going for a scholarship, talent on the dance floor alone is not going to get you in.  Remember, if you want to win scholarships to great collages you must have a high GPA.
  4. Your dance instructor is your coach.  Listen carefully.  He or She knows what they’re doing and they want you to win.  If you are rebellious and want to “do your own thing,” you may be sabotaging yourself.  Be coachable, humble and trainable.
  5. Consult with and talk with other dancers who have a lot of experience at competitions.
  6. Confirm all reservations and fees if your instructor or school doesn’t do this on your behalf.
  7. Be packed by at least several days in advance.  Create a packing list and check off items as you go.  Bring back-up items and make sure you have covered everything you can think of, and your instructor has recommended.

Travel tips:limo service to Philadelphia Airport

If you’re flying into either the Philadelphia or New York City event, remember allow plenty of time before and after the event for transportation.  Travel can take it out of you and you don’t want glitches and hassles to affect your ability to give the best performance you can.   Remember that both of these cities are major ones, and if you’re from a more rural, small town place prepare yourself well for the bustle and intensity of the City and the major airports.  Safeguard valuables and keep your identification information, cash and credit cards close to your body in zipper compartments.  Don’t lose track of items going through security.  Dress comfortably but minimize your carry-ons, and if at all possible go through security with your money and credit cards held in your hand so they don’t leave your grasp.

Most important of all in dance competitions is to remember – you love dancing!  Have fun.  Take the urgency and fear out of the event.  Have a great time!  Guaranteed that the more joy you bring to the event and the attitude you hold throughout the event will have a much bigger impact on your performance and energy than any else.  For more information to help you have a successful competition check this out: 72 last minute tips to prepare for  dance competitions.


Preparing for Dance Competitions – Competing for Scholarships

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