Here at District Dance, we strive to empower girls of all ages and build confidence in our students. We may be a little biased, but we believe that dance (and the arts in general!) is so valuable for a child’s self-worth! Our students build up their confidence all year in the studio, but the place where they really start to shine is on stage.
Performing on-stage has so many benefits (check out our past blog about it!), but today we wanted to get a little more specific! On top of our recreational classes that perform in the annual recital, our Spotlight Program is home to 6 of the best competitive dance teams in Germantown! Our competitive dancers have SO much fun performing and showcasing their talents, but they don’t realize how many valuable life skills they gain from competing on a team.
Step into a day in the life of a competition dancer to experience a little bit of the spotlight yourself:
Stage 1: Hair and Make-Up
Competition day usually begins at the crack of dawn for our District Dance Company members. There is so much to do! They first start by carefully putting their hair up in a sleek bun and making sure their special team makeup looks perfect for stage. Every detail must look exactly the same as other dancers, teaching them team commitment and responsibility.
Stage 2: Packing Up
After hair and make-up comes the careful task of packing their competition bags. A competition dancer’s costumes must be handled with care, as they are covered in rhinestones and must look clean and well-kept on stage. More importantly, they come with TONS of tiny accessories that are easy to lose. We tell our competition dancers to make check-lists and triple check their bags for all the items. This teaches our dancers to take responsibility for their belongings and pull their weight on a team. If a judge takes off points for a dancer missing a hairpiece, that dancer will never forget again!
Above all else, we teach our dancers that they MUST include food, water, and first-aid materials in their bags for competition day. The days are long and fast-paced. Young competition dancers learn how to fuel their body and make sure they are well-equipped for the big day.
Stage 3: Warm-Up
After arriving at the theater, the team members immediately start gearing up for stage. We teach our students injury prevention skills at competitions. It is NEVER a good idea to step on stage without an adequate warm-up.
Each dance is given an entry number on competition days, and the dances perform in number order throughout the day. Our team members must keep track of the numbers and give themselves enough time to warm-up before heading backstage. Usually including some cardio, stretching, and run-throughs of the dance, warm-ups are an essential part of any dancer’s pre-performance routine. This process teaches our kids time-management and self-care skills that they will use later in life.
Stage 4: Steppin’ Out
Once the dancers are all ready to go, it’s time for the SHINE! The teams spend countless hours in the studio rehearsing these routines… and it all comes down to those 3 minutes on stage. As the nerves hit and jitters begin, our dancers learn to overcome fears and anxiety when they walk out there. They learn that hard work and consistent effort leads to a phenomenal final product on stage. The judges are watching as they fill out their score sheets, but nothing beats the feeling of nailing a routine with your team members.
Stage 5: Awards & Team Time
After all the routines are complete, the teams gather on-stage and listen for the results. Each dance is given a score placement (silver, gold, platinum, etc.) and then dances are placed in order of overall score. The judges also give out special awards for creative choreography and stellar performance quality.
Our kids love hearing their names called at awards and we love to watch their faces when they win big. After all, it makes them feel good and builds up their confidence! But we teach them that competition is more than just the trophies. Each competition day ends with a team huddle with words of love and encouragement, win OR lose. Losing teaches them good sportsmanship and team comradery, which is more important than any trophy.
Did reading about competition day get YOUR adrenaline pumping? Do YOU want to step into the spotlight? Auditions are coming right up on June 22nd! Be sure to check out our website for times and details! We would love to see you there!