Are you getting ready for your first ballroom dance competition? As we approach the annual Cleveland Dancesport Challenge at the end of June, many students at Starz will be competing for the first time. Here are some key points for the newbies:
1. Presentation is extremely important in competition. Treat the 1.5 minute round as a show and give it your all. Dress up, do your make up, stand up tall and smile. You are judged as soon as you step on the floor, so make your entrance just as exciting and grand as the dance.
2. Confidence is crucial on the competition floor. As they say, fake it till you make it. Even if you’ve made a mistake in your routine or tripped, make it part of your dance. Judges love to see a confident competitor! Also, remember there are many couples on the floor with you, not all eyes are on you. Chances are, no one will notice your misstep.
3. Timing is one of the first aspects you will be judged on. Stay on beat, don’t rush on the slow dances, do your best to listen to, and feel, the music.
4. Have fun! When you are having fun, everyone watching you is having fun too! Practice a natural smile where appropriate (more of it in swing and less in tango, of course, but you get the idea). Assuming that by the time you are ready to compete, you know your routines fairly well, so now it’s time to have fun with the moves.
Finally, know that you are lucky to be competing! Not many people get the chance to dance and much less to compete!