Your little one has practiced and practiced, learning all of the choreography for the upcoming dance competition. As the day gets closer, nerves and anxiety grow more heightened. Just by its very nature, competition is an environment of both excitement and stress. What can you do to ensure that all of the logistics go smoothly so as not to add anything else to the stress level? We’ve put together some helpful tips for you, as a parent, in preparing for a dance competition.
Stay Informed and Keep a Calendar
Be sure to read all communication that you receive from the dance studio staff. You should be getting information months ahead of time with dates and schedules. You will need to get these dates on your calendar both at home and at work. If the competition is out of town, you may need to request time off from work and secure travel arrangements such as flights, rentals, and hotels. Being organized keeps things from falling through the cracks and last-minute stressors.
Do Your Own Research to Plan
Do your own research to answer questions you may have. Ask your dance teachers for suggestions. Check the internet for recommendations from other dance parents and guides for tips (like this article). For example, research the venue to familiarize yourself and your child so that you know the location of the entrances and exits. This cuts down on the stress of running around trying to find the way into and out of the building.
Have a Checklist to Pack Everything You Need
A dance competition is like any other sports tournament and needs advanced preparation and organization. Create a checklist that includes everything you need for the competition day. In packing, get a container with compartments that keeps it all organized. For example, all the small items like makeup and sewing kits can go into something like a sewing container or tackle box. Here are some of the supplies you need.
Bring the outfits needed for each dance as well as undergarments and the appropriate tights. It is also a good idea to bring an extra pair of tights in each color in case a pair gets torn. For costume maintenance and mishaps, these are some other items you may want to have:
- Small sewing kit
- Safety pins
- Lint brush
- Static guard
- Stain-removal pen
- Double-sided tape
Part of dance is the exterior appearance of the dancers, so beauty products and tools are must-haves. Being fully prepared includes having extras of the cosmetics your dancer will be wearing. These are the staples:
- False eyelashes and glue
- Nail polish
- Makeup brushes
- Nail clippers
- Makeup remover
- Cotton swabs
- Hair brushes
- Bobby pins and elastics
- Hair spray
- Hair nets
- Other necessary hair accessories
When you are living through a long day of competition, there are other items you want to have that make the day go easier:
- Healthy snacks
- Plenty of water
- Disinfecting wipes
- Cell phone chargers
- Magazines and books
- Comfortable chair
Build a Competition Survival Kit
You will want to have a survival kit that contains everything you need for emergency fixes from general well-being to first aid:
- Blister bandages
- Pain relievers
- Hot glue gun
- Pepto-Bismol and Tums
- Feminine hygiene items
- Hot and cold packs
- Allergy medication
- Body adhesive and rosin
The Night Before the Competition
Be sure to plan for getting a good night’s sleep the night before. It’s miserable to be exhausted on the day of the competition. Establishing a night routine a few weeks prior to the competition will help. If your dancer gets so excited or nervous about performing that getting a proper night’s sleep is in jeopardy, try things like a warm bath, a bedtime massage with nice scented lotion, read a bedtime story, listen to audio stories or podcasts. Stay away from caffeine and sugar or letting them do something that makes them more alert and awake. Your goal is to engage in things that are calming and relaxing for their mind and body.
The Day of the Competition
Arrive at the dance competition a little early. Your dance instructors will be able to give you guidance on the time and schedule based on their experience. If you aren’t one of the first sections in the competition, it is more difficult to pin down an exact time. But, arriving early allows you to see some of the other competitors and speak with your teacher prior to the performance. It also means you aren’t rushed and gives your dancer time to warm up properly.
Stay Calm and Have Fun
Remember that if anything goes “wrong,” it is fixable. As a parent, you want it all to go like clockwork but sometimes it just doesn’t. It’s OK. Being a calm influence for your child is the main priority. Your child is gaining experience that can contribute to life lessons. If they forget some dance steps, their hair falls down, or a shoe comes undone, let them know it’s not the end of the world. Coach them ahead of time about ways they can continue the dance. These can be some of the best teaching moments about handling a failure or mishap and, in the process, builds confidence. These moments are invaluable in preparing your child for life.
And, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the experience! Dance competitions can be some of the best times you can spend with your child.
Looking for Dance Lessons for Kids in Durham?
Call us today! If you want to give your child experiences that help in gaining more self-confidence by learning to dance, you should call us at (919) 489-4313 to learn more about our dance classes for kids! We can develop a program that meets your child’s dancing goals, and works around you and your child’s schedule.