Whether you’re gearing up for your first regional competition or you’ve hit the stage at Nationals 16 times, pretty much every dancer feels at least a touch of nerves while waiting in the wings.
Christina Ricucci has been competing her whole life. She competed at Youth America Grand Prix for six years in a row—and made it to the finals each time. She was named Teen Best Dancer at The Dance Awards in 2013, and was named first runner-up National Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance that same year. Here’s what this über-talented California girl has to say about staying on your A-game before, during and after every competition.
1. Never stop rehearsing. It’s important to be as comfortable as you can in your group piece or solo, whatever kind of dance you’re performing. If you practice a lot, you’re more likely to be successful onstage.
2. Don’t get caught up in your inner thoughts. If you get inside your own head too much, you start to question yourself and become insecure with your abilities. Don’t let this happen!
3. Wear something you feel comfortable in. If you’re constantly worrying about your costume slipping or riding up, you’re not fully invested in the piece you’re performing. So wear something you like!
4. Stay focused as you’re warming up. Don’t let anything distract you. Keeping yourself in the zone can lead to a beautiful performance.
5. Most importantly, be humble and kind to your competitors. Cheer them on and have fun. This takes the stress off the fact that you’re competing.