Does springtime for you mean endless dance practices, headaches from retaining all of the choreography you've been given, and no sleep from late night dance practices? Do you spend your weekends road-tripping to some college colosseum only to be holed up in a room that smells intensely of hairspray and feet? Then congratulations, you my friend are in the midst of competition season. This season can honestly be the best and the worst time of a dancer's year and honestly we have to prepare ourselves for what is to come. But how do we prepare ourselves for this season? Is there a way to be prepared? Well have no fear, I'm here to tell you exactly what you need for the season of dance contests.
1. Clear your Social schedule
Any semblance of a social life you had...let it go! You will most likely spend you nights (and some weekends) running, cleaning, and re-working dances. And by the time you are done doing all of this you will either need to tackle the countless amounts of homework your professors have given you, or you are going to be so tired that when you try to hang out with your friends, you fall asleep in their bed (true story).
And yeah you can hang out with your friends if you really want to. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's pretty dang hard. So it's easier if you just clear your social calendar for a month, buckle down, and let you dance friends be your only friends for a moment.
2. Have heating packs on retainer
Your body is going to LITERALLY hate you. You will be sore, there will be bruises, and you may not be able to move your body. In preparation for this, just go to the nearest CVS or Walgreens, stock up on heating packs and epsom salt and really treat your body well during this time.
3. Have you emotions in check
DO NOT BLOW UP ON PEOPLE, I REPEAT DO NOT. Trust me guys I understand the need to rip some heads off, because honestly competition season is hard, your body is aching, your'e stressed to high hell, emotions are running high, and it doesn't make it better when people on your team are acting the absolute worst! But I implore you to not let all your anger out and tell of your dance company. First of all, it's bad for team morale and second of all you think you'll feel better, but you won't. Yu'll just be more stressed.
4. Have some humor and destress
Don't be too serious. Seriousness leads to anger and anger is not good. Find the humor in the mess that is competition season, and find a way to destress. I know for, after Thursday practices, me and a small group of dance friends would just get food, hang out, and just laugh about the ridiculous ish that happened at practice.
5. Pick your car wisely
The drive to competition is almost as important as the competition itself. You want to be in a car with people who will keep with the good vibes and who will keep you positive and uplifted before you enter the humdrum of competition.
I cannot stress this enough, BRING SNACKS! Yeah you can buy stuff at the venue, but it;s just a bunch of junk food that's gonna sit in your stomach and weigh you down (also you'll just feel hella gross). SO bring some food to munch on and pack and drink lots and lots and lots of water.
7. Bobby pins and hairspray and gel...oh my!
You are going to need about a thousand hair products in order to manipulate your hair into whatever style your director told you to do this season. So brush up on your braiding skills and teasing techniques (Youtube is great for this) and be prepared to make sure that your hair doesn't move a muscle. Because thrust me, the last thing that you want to happens is for your hair to come out of it's dutch braid in the middle of a hip hop routine.
8. let the good times roll
Finally, just have fun. Yeah comp can be stressful and daunting and like "oh my gosh there is so much glitter EVERYWHERE" but it's still a good time. So hang out with your dance friends, take some selfies in your costumes, count how many times people use the song Panda in their hip hop routines, and maybe buy and overpriced t-shirt or two. Inevitably, as much as we can sometimes dread comp season, we will truly miss it whenever it's gone. So enjoy it while you can.
SO don't fret, we can get through the craziness of dance competition. also enjoy it while it lasts, because honestly you are going to miss it whenever you are gone and out of the dance seen. just know that no matter what craziness the season bring, it will always kind of have a special place in your heart...And if that doesn't give you a good enough reason to grin and bear it...just know that show season is just around the corner.
Shout out to Baylor Dance Company for giving me three years of dance competitions and mayhem!