With competition season kicking into high gear, most dancers are hyper-focused on all the important stuff that happens onstage, from choreography, technique, and formations to hair, makeup, and accessories.
But there’s another thing that happens onstage at competitions that’s a pretty big deal, too—and it’s not your routine.
It’s the awards ceremony!
Awards is a time to sit with your team and celebrate your accomplishments and the accomplishments of all the other dancers, teachers, and choreographers at the event. But the ceremony is usually looked at as an afterthought, either because it’s super late at night or because it’s in the middle of the event and you still have six routines to perform later (and BTW, what are you going to eat for dinner, and when is that happening?).
- Be engaged. No phones allowed onstage! Unless you’re using it to snap quickly photos (#competitionmemories), be in the present moment. No texting, Snapchatting, or Instagramming from the stage.
- Applaud everyone and everything. Don’t just cheer for your own team. Everyone on that stage showed up and worked hard. Be a good sport, and show them some love.
- Don’t fight for space. Everyone wants to sit right up front so you can smile and wave at your parents and teachers in the audience. Totally get it. But make room for everyone. The stages are usually super packed during awards, especially after the large group portion of the competition, so let everyone on and just enjoy being really close for a while. (Tip: Have your studio’s younger dancers sit on your lap! Cute and a space saver!)
- Always always always smile and say thank you when receiving your award. Whether you got a platinum or a high bronze, be grateful and appreciative. It’s normal to feel disappointed if you don’t get the score you were hoping for but save the bummed out look for later.
- Show up! Don’t skip out on the awards ceremony. The judges are taking the time to watch you, evaluate you, and honor you. Make sure you stick around for that.
Now get back to the choreography and technique stuff. Happy comp season!