Many dance competitions are all-day events. Your team might start getting ready at the crack of dawn and not receive their awards until the evening. However, your students won’t be dancing the whole time – there will likely be long breaks in between performances. Your team members might be content to lounge around during their downtime, but you can take advantage of the breaks and make them productive. Here are a few ways you can keep dancers busy during an all day dance comp.
Try Team-Building Activities
One way to pass the time is to get your dancers engaged in a team-building activity. Whether they’ve been dancing as a team for 10 years or are competing for the first time, there’s always more your students can learn about working together and supporting each other. The American Dance and Drill Team recommended using a “Circle of Friends” activity to help dancers bond. Have your team sit in a circle and give one of your leaders a bean bag or stuffed animal. Ask her to say what she loves most about dancing, then toss the object to another team member. Go around the circle and see how many unique answers your team comes up with. Make sure everyone gets a turn and don’t forget to join in yourself!
Watch Other Performances
There’s also a lot students can gain by watching other performances. It’s best not to linger when direct competitors are on stage, as that can get dancers nervous, but you can definitely watch other performance levels and categories. After each routine, ask your dancers how they think the group did, what the strengths and weaknesses were and how the group could improve. Athletes can often benefit from evaluating their peers and then applying the critiques to their own performances.
Allocate Ample Warm-Up Time
Even if your team has hours before their next performance, make sure they’re staying warm and limber. Pointe magazine explained that dancers should do regular light exercises, like ab work or yoga poses, throughout the day. This will help keep their muscles active and ready to jump on stage. An hour or so before your group performs, get them started with stretching and other pre-performance routines. Remember, it’s OK for dancers to push themselves during warm-up, but make sure they’re not overexerting. Otherwise, they could end up tired on stage or with a last-minute injury.