The Best Ways to Prepare for Dance Competitions Beyond Hard Work and Practice

Competition season for dancers conjures up a spectrum of emotions from excitement to anxiety.  The months of exhausting practices, hard work and preparation comes down to 3 minutes on stage.  By competition day, you have run out of time to practice and perfect your winning combinations.  While we agree practice is a key contributor to a dancer’s success at a competition, we want to provide you with a few other tips that can help you accomplish your goals.



Be Prepared:  Create a schedule.  Know when breaks will occur, when and where you will warm-up, and what food will be available.  Very importantly, know what time you need to be in costume (usually 1 hour before your scheduled performance time).

  • Pack and check for every bit of your costume, including headpieces, tights, accessories and shoes.  Do you need to make a list to help you remember each item?  Be sure and put your name on all of your costume pieces!
  • Prepare an “Ooops” Bag.  It should contain bobby pins, safety pins, hairspray, extra elastics, a sewing kit, ibuprofen, clear nail polish, a sharpie the color of your tights, glue, an extra pair of tights, clear invisible elastic and anything you personally would not want to be without.
  • Pack a bottle of water and some healthy snacks such as trail mix, protein bars, nuts and durable fruit will help you sustain energy during the long periods of the day.

Also new for 2015 is DanceComp Genie Events App! Download via iTunes or Google Play for up to the minute timing with alerts for when your routines are scheduled to perform.  Activate locations to find venues, nearby restaurants, get special announcements and view results.

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Get plenty of rest and eat nutritiously in the days leading up to the competition:  As tempting as it may be, the night before the competition is not the night to stay up late or overindulge at your friend’s birthday party.  Start hydrating 2-3 days before the competition by drinking plenty of water.

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(Photo credit:

Warm up properly:  Warming up does more than prevent injuries.  It also calms nerves and helps you to establish a “routine” for leading into your performance.  Many find that if they warm up the same way that they do in the studio, it provides a sense of familiarity.  The warm up area can be really cramped but if you can, find your own space and don’t be tempted to watch other dancers.  Focus on your own breathing, and body.

Be a good sport:  Not everything will go the way you want and you may encounter some rude or angry dancers or parents.  Don’t let their negativity rub off on you.  Keep smiling and focus on the positives you can control.  Be kind and encouraging to other dancers and especially to your instructors.  They have worked hard getting you here.

Attitude:  Know that you dance differently every single day and some days you will dance better than others.  You are the only component in this equation that you can control.

At Platinum National Dance Competitions, everyone is adjudicated and each dancer is provided with judges’ feedback.  Look at competitions as opportunities for dancer’s to grow (write your judges critiques in your dance journal and learn from them).

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(Photo credit:


Dance Spirit magazine explained that medal or no medal, competitions create better dancers and performers. They teach students how to handle pressure and work together to achieve a goal.  “People focused only on winning don’t have fun,” Adrienne Canterna, an experienced dancer who co-founded “ROCK the Ballet” and appeared in the movie “Step Up,” told Dance Spirit magazine.   Even if they don’t walk away with trophies, they’ll be happy to leave with new friends and a heightened feeling of camaraderie. 

 Whether you come in first or last, its a day you get to do something you love to do–DANCE!  Every experience has valuable takeaways.  The most important thing to keep in mind is how you will use those takeaways to be successful next time.

Platinum National Dance Competitions are excited to have Regional Competitions in 31 cities and 2 Nationals Competitions this year.   Click here to see which competition will be closest for you.  You can also stay up to date on our news and events by following us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.   We look forward to seeing you this year!

Get info about your regional event, vote for your favorite performances and more with the Platinum Dance Competition DanceComp Genie Events App!  Download via iTunes or Google Play.


 *Visit our website @ for competitions near you.


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