Preparing for a dance competition is no easy feat, especially if your team is a newcomer to the circuit. There are lots of things you have to take care of before the big day, like last-minute costume tweaks and makeup tutorials, as well as burning backup music and gathering emergency supplies. Use this guide on how to prepare for a dance competition to make sure your studio, dancers and parents are ready.
The Week Before
You’ll want to give yourself ample time to check every minute task off your to-do list, so it’s best to start preparing at least a week in advance. Procrastinators beware! You will only give yourself a headache trying to get everything together the night before, and chances are that you’ll end up forgetting something important.
There are a few essential tasks that studio owners and dance teachers should complete in the weeks heading up to a competition. These include:
- Finalize any necessary paperwork.
- Ensure that your team is in the right category.
- Check in with any chaperones and teachers.
- Triple-check transportation arrangements.
- Look into parking at the venue.
- Make extra copies of your music.
- Create or restock your dance competition survival kit.
- Help your students perfect any tricky hair or makeup styles.
- Run through choreography one last time in full costume.
- Talk about behavioral expectations with your dancers – and parents, if necessary.
You may also want to talk with your team about best packing practices. While you’ll likely have emergency supplies, like bandages, hair spray and a sewing kit, it will be up to your dancers to ensure that they have everything they need for the competition. Dance Advantage recommended showing dancers how to roll costumes to reduce wrinkles and stash each outfit in a separate bag with coordinating accessories, extra tights and undergarments. Many studios choose to hand out competition packing checklists to help dancers cover all the necessary bases.
The Night Before
Both you and your team will likely be nervous the night before, so it’s important to take steps to relax and prepare yourselves for the big day. On Stage Dance recommended that everyone pack up their bags the night before and double-check that they have everything crossed off the checklist.
It’s best to eat a healthy meal the day before a competition. Advise your dancers to stay away from fast food, sugary treats and caffeine, and refrain from overloading on carbs. Instead, opt for a well-balanced meal that will help them feel satiated and get to bed on time.
Finally, it’s important for you and your dancers to get a full night’s sleep before a competition. Take steps to relax before bed, like soaking in a warm bath or reading a book. Try not to watch too much TV or stare at your phone, as these can make it harder to get to sleep. Instead, head to bed early, but don’t forget to set your alarm!
The Day Of
If you’ve taken care of all the prep work in advance, you can simply wake up on the morning of your competition, grab your bags and head to the bus. Hopefully your dancers have equally prepared and can do the same. However, there may be one or two students running late, so be sure to give your team plenty of time to get to the venue, change and warm up.
It’s best to get your dancers into costume and makeup at least one hour before their performance time. You never know how many other teams will be crowding the changing rooms, so give yourself ample time to score the best mirrors and perfect each dancer’s look. Once everyone is warmed up and ready to go, give your team a pep talk then watch them dance their hearts out!