As we approach JUMP and RADIX dance competitions, it’s important to know that your actions speak louder than words. Let’s face it – we’ve all seen how ugly competitions can get on “Dance Moms!” Although that’s only a TV show that heightens negative behavior, it’s sometimes not too far from the truth. Here are my six ways you can create a positive vibe around you that will surely be contagious with your teammates.
- FUN! Competition can be stressful and overwhelming for both parents and performers alike. Try to remember to enjoy the entire experience and know that no matter the outcome, you can and will be different from having the experience in it of itself.
- FRIENDS I am STILL friends with girls I grew up competing with! This is a part of the dance competition we don’t always think about, but your friendships will grow stronger just by the nature of being part of a team together, supporting one another and having the support for you throughout this process. And, don’t be afraid to make a new friend from another studio because you never know when you might see or even work with that person again! Pay it forward: If you loved a dancer on stage, see what happens when you congratulate her or him. Because one day that might happen to you and when another dancer compliments you, it is the BEST feeling in the world.
- TEAMWORK This is not only for team members, but team parents as well!!! Teamwork starts from the top: the teachers work together to make the team operate at its full potential, which trickles down to the team itself, and when parents can work together and support each other and other studios, the sky is the limit to team success.
- PERFORMANCE This process starts WAY before actual stage time and begins with being prepared: 1) having all performance supplies well in advance; 2) practicing makeup and hair; 3) dancing in costume so you know what needs to be pinned and held in place; 4) attending all rehearsals leading up to the competition; 5) paying attention on how to fine tune for the next performance; 6) knowing the competition schedule; 7) making sure you get a good night’s rest, eating a healthy diet; and, finally 8) arriving to the venue within plenty of time to see the stage, mentally prepare and focus before your performance time. These are all important to being your best self on stage, and, parents, dancers cannot do this without your assistance!
- EXPERIENCE Take it all in because you never know the next time you’ll be dancing with your teammates and friends. I always say dance as if you never know if you’ll dance another day. Looking at your entire competition experience this way will bring value to every moment in order to get the most out of your time there. The one thing you can never get back is time, so take advantage! This is your chance to watch other performers around the state, and by doing that, determine what might make you a better dancer, performer, teammate and friend. Competition is all about the experience and how that makes you grow as an artist, which brings us to the #6,
- GROWTH You may not get that high-scoring award you had so hoped for this time, but that should only fuel the fire to do better at the next one. I think one of the greatest elements about being a dancer is we never stop growing. Having fun, making and developing friendships, being part of a team, performance both on and off stage, and taking in the entire experience will contribute to your growth not only as a competitor, but as a person.