Ballet dancers seem to spend a great deal of time in the preparation stage. Young students begin taking classes in soft ballet slippers in preparation of wearing pointe shoes.
Repetitious warm-up exercises are done in preparation of the rigors of class. Everything in ballet has to be pre-prepared. The costumes, music, choreography and all the little details that have to be attended to before a dance competition.
A young dancer preparing for a dance competition has many things to attend to. She has to practice, practice, practice her routine. Then she has to practice more. There is, indeed, a lot of physical preparation necessary if she is going to have a chance at winning.
Young Dance Competition Contestants Can Face Many Challenges
Getting up on a strange stage in front of thousands of people isn’t something that most of us will ever get a chance to do. The majority of those involved in the ballet world are simply people who enjoy watching the dancers perform. Many of us don’t realize the obstacles and challenges that may await a young dancer preparing for a dance competition.
Dancing On Unknown Theater Stages
Ballet students at the local and national levels typically never get a chance to practice their routine on the competition stage in advance. The student is going on stage “blind”. The stage floor is often slippery and designed in a raked or sloped fashion that can be smaller than the practice studio the dancer is used to. Dancers can feel like they are going to fall off the stage during turns.
Hard To Find Venues And Cramped Facilities
Sometimes, simply finding the competition venue can be difficult. Students, teachers and moms can experience high levels of stress and nervousness. Then everyone has to sign in and rush to change in facilities that are often cramped and confusing. Nervousness can lead to many last-minute trips to the restroom which makes everyone rush around even more. That sounds like quite a time for these young competitors, moms and teachers!
Preparing In Advance Makes Competition Day Run Smoother
A lot of the pre-competition jitters can be alleviated by planning things in advance:
- Find out the exact location of the venue and any parking or transport requirements well ahead of the competition day
- Allow plenty of time for booking in, this process can take a long time
- Allow extra time for toileting and changing
- If possible, make-up and hair should be done in advance
- Schedule food and drink at the proper time so each student doesn’t eat too close to her performance time
Are Dance Competitions Worth It?
The art of starting young in the ballet world makes sense when you realize what these preparations teach ballet students. They learn to plan ahead. They learn about auditioning and professional performing. They learn to adapt to their dancing environment. They learn confidence, organization and best of all, grace under pressure.