I want to do a solo next year. We have to get a certain score at competition team auditions in the fall in order to be given a solo, and I’m not worried about the audition, but I’m worried about actually doing the solo even though it’s something I really want. Any advice?
Your first solo is huge and very exciting—life-changing, even. So let’s go ahead and assume you get the score you need in the fall—because you totally will—and look ahead from there. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you enter “solo mode.”
- Make sure you have a super open relationship with your teacher/choreographer. It’s really important to maintain an open dialogue throughout the choreography and rehearsal process. While the song selection and choreography will likely be up to your teacher, feedback is important, and if the solo isn’t really working for you, you won’t ultimately perform at your best. So speak up and be honest! Tell the teacher what you love and what you feel your strengths are, but be sure to trust her judgment along the way. She’s the pro and knows what will look good onstage, so roll with it, and don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone a bit!
- Don’t forget about your group dances. It’s normal to want to put extra effort and energy into your solo performance, but don’t neglect your group routines. They still need your TLC!
- Know that the competition will be stiff. Solos boom in popularity more each year, so know that you’ll be up against some tough competition. But remember, performing a solo (and any routine, really) isn’t about the rest of your category: It’s about performing your best and getting a little better, a little more confident, and a little stronger each time.
- If you make a mistake onstage, no one will know! Seriously. As long as you keep rolling with the routine, no one knows if that pique turn series was actually supposed to be 16 counts of floor work. Don’t panic and keep dancing, and no one—except you and your choreographer—will know the difference.
The biggest trick to making a solo successful? Confidence. Work hard in the studio so you can stick it onstage, but most importantly, have fun with it and use it as a chance to grow and improve your dancing.
Enjoy the spotlight!