Competition Countdown by Joel Marasigan & Clara Shih –

For a lot of people, competition is a very nerve-racking and anxiety-producing event. In order to prepare yourself for competition, you want to create an environment that is as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Here are some general guidelines as to how you can prepare yourself for the big event. In our experience, these things will help you create the greatest possible chance for success.

2-3 days prior to the competition: · Study the event schedule. · Note the time of your first event, and the amount of time you have in between rounds. · Plan out your schedule for the competition day, including meals, travel time and arrival time to the competition. · Make sure you know how to get to the venue.


1-2 days prior to the competition:· Check that you have everything you need. (you need to have Competition Checklist)· Check your costume over carefully, to see if anything needs cleaning or repairing.

Evening before the competition:· Pack your garment bag or suitcase for the competition. This is your last chance to check that you have everything you need.· Make sure your costume is clean, pressed and ready to go.· Lady: make sure your nails are done, if you’re not wearing fake nails for the event.· Go over your planned schedule for the competition day. Make sure you’re familiar with what you will be doing at all times of the day.

Morning of the competition:· Bleach or shave whatever hair you need to conceal.· Go over your schedule again, taking note of the time of your first event, and the amount of time you have in between rounds.

2 or 3 hours prior to your event:· Eat your meal to allow for enough digestion before you dance.· Unless you are planning to arrive at the venue super-early, make sure your hair and makeup is done.

1 or 2 hours prior to your event:· Arrive at the venue. First of all, go and register. · It is important to get to the venue early to allow ample time to register, warm-up, change, and become comfortable with your competition environment · After registering, go to the changing room and find a space for yourself. You will be spending half your time in the changing room, so you want to be comfortable with your surroundings.

1 hour prior to your event:· Step into the ballroom at least an hour before your first event. Absorb the ambience of the room through each of your senses: sight, smell, sound and touch. Take note of the following: size of the floor, consistency of the floor (slippery or sticky), where the lighting is (dark and light patches), where the judges stand, how loud the music is, the voice of the MC, the feel of the audience, where to enter and exit the floor.

30 minutes to 1 hour prior to your event:· Warm up on your own. You can warm up with your partner, but make sure you warm up your own body first.· If possible, get out onto the floor during general dancing. Test out the floor with your partner. · Get changed at least 30 minutes before your event. Secure your number on the man’s tailsuit or vest properly. Make sure that it’s straight, lies flat on the man’s back, and is not too high or low.· Do a few basic actions with your partner, both in costume, to get used to the look and feel of things.

Throughout the day and during the event:· Be sure to keep yourself hydrated, especially throughout the event. Try sport drinks or power bars to help quench your thirst and give you an extra boost in between rounds. Remember though, try to test out new foods prior to the competition day to make sure they work for you. If there are many heats or many rounds that you have to wait through, make sure that you are comfortable and are able to be relaxed yet focused on your task for the day.· Maybe you need to find a quiet spot away from the hustle and bustle of the competition such as a quiet hallway or changing room.

The 6 Most Common Rookie Mistakes in Competition: 1) Messy, fly-away hair – Ballroom hair is not the same as an everyday hairstyle or even an evening updo. It requires a heck of a lot more hairspray, gel and pins! Hair should be pulled back, usually in some sort of a bun, with no soft, fly-away tendrils hanging around the face. 2) Eating an inappropriate pre-competition meal – Often people have their meal way too close to the time of their competition. Remember that DanceSport is a very active endeavour. If you wouldn’t have a huge, greasy meal 1 hour before going swimming, then you probably shouldn’t do it before a Ballroom Dance competition either. Allow about 2-4 hours to digest your meal, and for heaven sakes, don’t eat anything too heavy, especially not McDonald’s! 3) Putting your number on incorrectly 4) Wearing inappropriate clothing 5) Being totally unrehearsed for your bow 6) Standing in the wrong order in the line-up

(Note: It is illegal to reproduce this article without the expressed written consent from Joel Marasigan & Clara Shih)