“I do not try to dance better than anyone else, I only try to dance better than myself.”
There is a competition for all ages and all levels. Whether you are a dance student or a professional dancer in a company.
For younger dancers, for example, a competition is a good way to expose them to the fun of stage lights, costumes, make-up and prizes. But the skills and discipline learned through training and competing can be carried on to other aspects of life which makes them a more focused and mature at a young age.
For dancers of any age, however, it is key to keep expectations on a realistic level. Always remember, no matter how hard dancers train, they may still fall off balance, or get a mental block, and all those horror stories on stage. But remember that doesn’t mean failure.
So competition season is coming up, and do you think you are ready? But ready or not, here are some tips by successful dancers journeying the stage to hopefully help you in your coming competition.
Cleanliness is the Answer
Looking good on stage is always a plus point, and could be some pet peeves of some judges. But not just looking physically good and neat, but performing neatly, and as flawless as possible. From having a neat hair, tidy costumes and clean formations if competing in groups. Clean steps, showing off a dancer's beautiful lines and showing off one's forte of course.
Confidence is key!
It's not just about the technique. It's the emotion as well. Being genuine---putting meaning to each movement, each breath. Fake smiles or fake emotions are very much obvious so this time, “fake it til you make it” probably won’t work.
Just take this, for example, Jaclyn Walsh dancer from Keigwin and Company (via Dance Magazine
"Onstage, there are so many other variables aside from bodies in space: the lighting, spike marks and live music. The experience I built while competing made me more prepared to tackle these as a professional."
-Jaclyn Walsh, Keigwin + Company dancer
Use Your Eyes
Perform not just with your body, but with your eyes. Act, emote using your eyes---that is how you communicate with the audience.
The first Impression Lasts
The very first step you take on stage is already counted. Making your entrance, you should already be transforming into the character you are playing, and not only when the music starts playing.
Practice, Internalize, Perform
Practice makes perfect and we all know that.
But internalizing your character or role in a dance is another thing. That's what will make you give justice and meaning to your performance.
Speaking of performance---dancing is one thing, and performing is another. When you perform, there is meaning there is emotion, and you are trying to make all these steps come to life.
To all those competing in this competition season, don't think of competing, think of performing, and performing your best!
After each competition, dancers go to class with either inflated egos after winning or become overly concerned about their dancing. While there will also be some dancers receiving scholarships after being eliminated from competitions, which honestly is far more beneficial than a medal. And that is why, both dancers and parents, and even teachers, need to keep everything in view and never to focus on the medal.
A big merde to all competitors!