All year, I did really well with my solo at competitions. I almost always got high score awards and went for titles a few times. But at the very last competition of the regional season, even though I performed the same as I always do (I didn’t make any big mistakes or fall out of any turns or anything like that), I didn’t score as well as I had hoped. Now, Nationals is just a few weeks away and I feel really psyched out from that last performance. Any advice?
First, congratulations on a super successful comp season! It can be really hard to stay motivated and on your A-game throughout months of performing the same routines over and over. So kudos to you. (Seriously, be proud of what you’ve accomplished.)
But we totally get where you’re coming from. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you gear up for Nationals:
The past is the past. You can’t change what happened at that last competition, so try not to dwell on it any longer. You went out there and gave it your all, and it’s over and done. Time to move on, or your brain will go crazy.
Dancing is a subjective art. As you’ve learned, you can perform your routine the exact same way weekend after weekend but can come out with a different outcome or results from the judges. That’s because the judges are different every weekend, and they’ll see something different in you. While one set of judges may be obsessed with your dreamy feet, another set the following weekend may be hyper-focused on your upper body, and may think it needs a little work. That’s all part of the experience. No two judges—and certainly no 20 judges—think alike. Really.
Focus on what went well throughout the season. Instead of putting all your energy on that one competition that didn’t go as well as you had hoped, think about the previous seven during which you totally rocked it! What qualities really radiated from your performance? Maybe your technique was spot-on or you felt a true connection with your audience. Write down all the things you’ve done that you’re proud of and that went really really well, and dwell on those things.
Take a little break. We know, Nationals is super soon and you don’t think you can take a single day away from the studio. But you can, and it might actually do your mind and body some good. Hit up the beach with your friends, go see a movie (because aca-scuse us, if you haven’t seen Pitch Perfect 2 yet, we have no idea what you’re waiting for), or just sleep in, lounge in bed, and then spend the day reading. Spend some time not thinking about dance for a change.
Do your best. When you get to Nationals (and in life, you know), that’s all you can ask of yourself. Think of the entire competition season thus far as your Game Day, and Nationals is your victory lap. Enjoy it!