Sometimes it’s hard not to feel lost in a sea of competitors. Whether you’re competing on a team, as a soloist or with your studio ensemble, you want do what it takes to be memorable and stand out. These are some foundational ways to impress the judges this competition season.
Demonstrate a solid foundation
Judges like to see correct technique from dancers. They are looking for dance foundations such as alignment, extension and control. Alignment refers to the position and carriage of your body. Are your hips and knees aligned with your toes? Does your turn out rotate from your hip? Are your elbows lifted and chest open in por de bras? Extension can refer to seemingly simple movements like pointing and stretching through feet, backs and knees, ankles, wrists and of course, your spine. And control is the strength and understanding of which you execute your movement. Does the movement come from a strengthened core? Are you breathing throughout your routine and allowing the breath to guide the moment? These are all dance fundamentals that will serve you well your entire dance career.
Doing something new or different in your routine helps to make your performance more interesting and memorable. You want to include movements or moments in your dance piece that a judge can recall as exciting and creative. Innovating isn’t always about recreating the wheel; You don’t have to come up with brand new moves. Instead, think about how you can put a twist on existing movement: for example, a creative way to come out of your pirouette, or accenting a strong musical inflection where it really matters and packs a punch. The more you as a dancer and your choreographer tap into a creative mindset, the more memorable your performance will be.
Highlight your strengths
As a competitive dancer, you want to put your best foot forward. That means crafting a routine that highlights your special skill set. Show the judges elements and tricks that you have mastered and leave the ones you are still trying for back at the studio. While there is always room for growth and a challenge, you want to show the judges your very best. Choreographers should consider the strengths of their team, soloist or ensemble while creating routines for competition season.
Want to really wow a judge? Make them feel with your performance. It’s not so much about setting a mood or trying to elicit a certain emotion, but about pouring your emotion and love of dance into your performance. It’s about vulnerability in showing and shining your heart. The mark you leave on the floor with your energy, expression, eye contact and exuberance or emotion, will be more long lasting than anything else you can do out there. Live through your performance and the judges will be sure to remember you.