Posted by on Mar 12, 2016 in Blogs

young girl holds trophy

From class registration to regular practice, dance culture becomes a part of you and your child’s life slowly but surely. This exciting journey leads up to a major milestone: your child’s first dance competition! While the event can be overwhelming for both parent and child, there are a few easy steps you can take to ensure an enjoyable process.

1. Make a list, check it twice.

Whether you or your child is packing a bag for the day, it is easy to overlook or forget essentials in the last minute rush out the door. Avoid this hassle by making a checklist ahead of time and checking off the items at least twice (we recommend the night before and right before you leave).

2. Be prepared.

Research directions and parking the night before, leave plenty of time to arrive and make sure everyone uses the bathroom! These may sound like tips for the next family road trip, but a dance competition can be just as challenging to get through. In addition to the above, prepare back-up essentials and anything you might need for a “dance emergency” or “mini-meltdown.” Getting a step ahead on these issues can save you lots of time on competition day.

3. Keep the energy up.

Pack snacks and refreshments for the dancer… and the cheering section! While it is essential your child has the proper nutrition for an athletic activity, you and others may also require a few extra calories to make it through a long day. Orange wedges, fruit juice, grapes, cereal or protein bars, milk, veggie sticks and other easy-to-grab items are all dance competition staples.

4. Patience is a virtue.

As a parent or guardian, your best tools to prevent frustration on competition day are deep breaths and a long fuse. Patience will help you and your child get through long lines, wait times and other delays. Competitions often involve many events, competitors and other dance studios so it may be more crowded than you expect. If you bring a friendly face and a helping hand, we can all enjoy a great day!

5. Stay supportive.

Extra pressure or negativity can drastically reduce your child’s enjoyment of the competition. Dance competitions are social events that are meant to encourage healthy interaction and socialization of young dancers. While they do offer a chance to show off a dancer’s skills, this is secondary to the importance of good sportsmanship and cooperation. Support all dancers of all skill ranges to ensure a great atmosphere!

BONUS TIP: Put the phone down. We all love the pictures and videos that we can create with modern technology, but sometimes that can get in the way of enjoying the moment. Avoid using these devices, especially during performances — just sit back, enjoy the show and cheer all of the dancers on!

Looking for upcoming competitions to attend? Check out the National Dance Council of Canada and DanceSport Alberta for event listings.

If you are preparing for an upcoming dance competition contact Elite Dance Studio for professional advice. We will happily share more tips to make sure your competition day goes as smooth as possible.