Posted October 15, 2019
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How To: Competition Season
As the competition season approaches, teams are diving into longer practices and more intense training. This can be stressful at times but preparing to take the floor with your team is also exciting! Here are some tips to calm the nerves and get you pumped to take on competition season.
Preparing for a Competition
To get your team squeaky clean for that first competition, practices will definitely be held more often and for longer periods of time. To ensure that you are ready for this, it is crucial to stretch thoroughly before every practice. Competition routines are jam-packed with difficult skills, so you want to make sure your body is fully prepared to execute them safely. We’ve all heard horror stories of a dancer getting injured right before a competition, and the team having to respace the entire routine, so make sure you stretch, stretch, stretch!
Fueling Your Body
Dancing for hours will have you craving unhealthy and sugary snacks for an energy boost. It might seem like a good idea to eat a huge meal all at once to sustain yourself if you are unsure of when you’ll have time to eat again. However, eating a light meal before practice and packing yourself an array of healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day will help you keep your blood sugar levels stable and you’ll have more endurance. Instead of downing a chocolate bar during a water break, try snagging a handful of nuts or a granola bar to supply your body with protein that will keep you energized and focused without crashing.
Make a list
Keep a record of everything you need to have for competition day. It’s an awful feeling to realize you forgot to bring your shoes, or in the worst case, a costume! Pack the night before and double-check your list in the morning to ensure you have everything you need. Bringing extra supplies like makeup, tights or bobby pins will help you be super prepared.
Host A Performance
Consider hosting a performance at your school just for family and friends before you compete. This allows your team to dance in front of a large audience to help prepare you for the first competition. It also creates a positive environment and gets your team excited to perform!
Always arrive at competitions early so you have time to properly warm-up and stretch your body. If you have space and the time, warm up your skills and get out any nerves backstage so you can compete with confidence. Be sure to keep your body stretched and warm throughout the day so your muscles don’t tighten up if you have more than one routine to perform.
Competition day can sometimes feel stressful and hectic, which can make it difficult to remember to drink enough water. Staying hydrated is important for you to give your best performance, so bring a large water bottle to the competition and have a goal to finish it by the end of the day.
Being physically ready to compete is just half the battle, you need to be prepared mentally as well. Give yourself time to clear your head and get ready mentally to take on a full day of dancing. Creating a competition playlist to listen to before you perform can help calm any nerves! Also, getting into a circle with your teammates before hitting the floor is a great time to encourage one another and will help you stay focused on the goal.
After the Competition
Give yourself time after the competition to rest. Your body has endured a lot of physical, mental and emotional stress from all the practices and competition day. You deserve to reward yourself with some much-needed relaxation time!
When the adrenaline of competition fades, give yourself a moment to evaluate your day. What did you do well? Where can you improve? How can you best prepare for the next competition to ensure a solid performance? Be realistic with yourself, but also be proud that you just conquered a very exhausting day. Set goals and go after them!
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