What should I expect from Ballroom Dance competitions? Is it going to be like ‘Dance Moms’? Or will a retired Tina Sparkle to be selling programs at the door? Well, it’s not too far from the truth but it probably won’t be anything like that.
Here are a few things that you need to know about Ballroom Dance Competitions…
*Dance competitions are for ALL ages and levels. From absolute beginner to advanced, there is an event for everyone!
*It’s a long day… Usually the doors will open at 8am and there will be dancing until 10-11pm.
*It’s like the Eagles song: Hotel California – you can check out, but you never leave. Most of the people in the room have know each other for years and years… and years!
Support your mates:
The best way to know if competing at a dance event is something you’d like do to, then go along and check one out. In Melbourne there is at least one competition a month (sometimes 4, sometimes 8). If you are competing, having a support system there is such an important part of the day. Getting through those last few bars of Jive is a lot easier if you have someone cheering your name!
Stay for the finals:
Usually the best events are scheduled at the end of the night. I know it’s a long day, especially if your event is one of the first. That means you’ve probably had your eyelashes on since 6am! But, staying to watch the top level dancers is not only inspiring but also educational. Watch to see how they dance, groom themselves and prepare for the day. You’ll get far more out of that experience than reading a blog online…
So after your event has finished. Have something to eat, wash off your make up, put on some comfy clothes and watch.
There is a lot of things you need to pack for the day. Dance shoes, outfits, make up, hair supplies, thank you gift for your teacher… I even know a lady who used to pack a sling, just in case. After a while you learn what’s on your essentials list, but here are a few things that I recommend.
Safety pins: To pin on your number and for any kind of life emergencies that can be fixed with a safety pin.
Packed lunch: Healthy snacks, water, energy drinks, water, breath mints, WATER (you don’t want to pay venue food prices all day).
Pens and a Highlighter: It is your responsibility to know when your event is. Not your teachers, not your dance partner or the event organiser. YOU! Take a pen and a highlighter and go through the program and find your events. Circle and highlight so you don’t miss anything.
Trackies: For when you warm up and stretch, but also for staying warm between events. Put on over your costume so you don’t spend all day changing clothes.
Spare shoes: You never know when your shoes might break (… or something else unfortunate) so if you have a spare pair, pack them as well.
You’ll also need to be a registered competitor, even if you are a beginner. You can find out all the details from Dancesport Australia’s website: http://www.dancesport.org.au
The most important thing to remember is that you can’t buy experience and the more competitions you do, the better at them you’ll be. And I’m not just talking about results. Every time you go to a competition you’ll get better at: packing, doing your make up, warming up, finding your event in the program. Practice makes perfect… Isn’t that what they say?
Click HERE for Australian Dancesport competition calendar