You feel that little thing inside your stomach, the anxiety, the nervous, the fear… At the same time you can’t wait to be on the dance floor and perform under the lights, judges and people clapping. A great mix of feelings arises in your body and you don’t quite know what to do… Yes, this is the way you know the competition day is arriving.
I am sure you had practised a lot and improved your dance to a new level. Maybe you have new steps in your routine or you had lessons with a different teacher and you have a lot to assimilate after that. Now the competition day is just one week ahead and you quite don’t know what to do, how to practice, on what to focus.
Don’t worry, one week may seem a short time but you can still do a lot to improve your dance and performance.
Here are some steps to take control of the situation and prepare the right way to the competition.
Avoid New Information
Now it is not the time to have big private lessons where you change the routine or to attend dance lectures where you learn new techniques. I always say on my Performance Coaching Sessions and Dance Lessons to try to avoid any kind of new information that will take a lot of time to assimilate one or even two weeks before the dance competition. Our brain and body needs time to perform a new movement or to process new information. So, instead of being focus on the performance, during the competition day, you will be focus on trying to perform well that specific new step of the routine or that new technique. This will let you nervous and not relaxed. This way you will not be able to perform at your best.
I don’t mean to avoid all the lessons and contact with coaches and dance teachers. Sometimes a private lessons before a competition can be very inspiring and motivating. When we see our teachers performing that difficult movement so easily, we get a new energy and inspiration to dance even better.
Plan Your Practice Sessions with Your Partner
This is something that you should do all the time and not only now. However, one (or even two weeks) before the competition you should sit with your partner and plan your practice sessions. Realize that the work now should be different.
Primarily you should start to focus in dancing (stamina) and not so much in technique. Mostly of dancesport couples spend 90% of their practice sessions doing technique and working on only one to three different steps. Then, when they realize, time is gone, and they don’t have more time to practice other dances and also to… dance. So, when they arrive to the dance competition they are trained to perform a lot of times the same step… but they are not trained to perform the full routine at ounce. And this is why mistakes happen.
So one week before the comp start dancing a lot. Focus 70% or even more of your practice in performing the 5 or 10 dances in a row. The rest of the time should be to do little “cleanings” on your routines and small technique aspects. If there is a major problem that you can’t solve, write it down, and forget about it until after the competition.
Perform Your Competition Before the Competition Start
Plan all the steps that you and your partner will take since you wake up on the day of the competition until the end of it.
When are you going to the competition place, when will you change closes, make up, warm up and how…? Prepare all these details before with your partner, so when you arrive you both know what to do. This way you will not get confused and nervous with each other trying to find out what to do at the last moment. Don’t forget that the most important is to be calm and relax during all the time so your mind will help your body perform at full potential.
Great athletes know that the real competition is not on the dance floor but it is done on the practice floor. So try to perform your competition on your dance studio as many times as possible. How will you go into the dance floor on the first round, where will start dancing your first dance… until all the positions and settings of the final. The more times you do the best. The secret is to teach your brain what will happens on the competition day, so when this day arrives, your brain is already used to all the things that are happening, and performs at the best level.
The Day Before is Inspiring Day…
… not practice day.
Mostly of the times you will be travelling on the day before of a competition. But if you have opportunity to practice… don’t. The day before is the time to feed your brain with positive feelings. So anything that will make you feel good, happy, inspired and eager to dance, is the right thing. I know that many of dancer take this day to watch videos of great dancers and great performances, or to listen to music. Yulia Zagoryuchenko, Professional Latin World Champion, likes to listen to big singers on great shows to get inspired before the competition. Just find what else inspires you and do it. At the same time you can start visualizing how great and amazing will be the competition that is arriving.
Get into your “zone” and
The week before the competition is a mind training time. While you are training your body, dancing a lot and improving your stamina, you will be also feeling more confident, your self-esteem and believe in yourself will increase and you will feel more and more in control of the situation. This way your brain is getting prepare to the competition the same way as your body.
Question: What do you do on the week and day before the competition that inspires you to a great performance? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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