Seeking a little motivation, inspiration, and affirmation? Look no further than our awesome JJGirls! Our crew of JJGirls proudly represent Jo+Jax in their studios, at competitions and conventions, and in the professional dance world. Get used to seeing their faces — these girls are all talented, humble, and in pursuit of greatness.
We asked the JJGirls for their best bits of advice for first-time competition-goers — and here’s what they had to say.
“Just have fun and do your best. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.” —Kaeli Ware, Studio Bleu
“Take deep breaths and listen to music on your headphones before you go onstage. And of course, have fun and remember to always dance for yourself.” —Brooklin Cooley, Club Dance
“Practice, practice, practice! The more confident you feel, the better you’ll perform. Be sure to do a good warm-up before you go onstage and do whatever you need to do to help you feel prepared to dance your best. Once you get onstage, just do your best in the moment — and don’t forget to smile!” —Makenna Noelle Miller, Loudon School of Ballet
“Be confident. That’s my biggest struggle when competing, and it’s what makes me nervous. Just go out on that stage and don’t overthink it. Learning to just get out and have fun can be super hard, but once you have it down, performing is way more fun.” —Cianna Aguglia
Cianna Aguglia, showing her flexibility and fun side on the streets of NYC in her Bandit Shorts
“Don’t hold anything back. Don’t be afraid to take risks and go for big things. My best, most memorable performances have been when I left everything out on the stage. And don’t forget to have fun. Sometimes nerves can get the better of you, so don’t give in to them and enjoy each and every performance.” —Tatiana Melendez, Houston Ballet Academy
“Take in the experience. Don’t focus on the results; instead, focus on personal growth. There’s so much to learn from teachers and other dancers.” —Rosie Elliott, Stars Dance Studio
Rosie Elliott, flexibility, focus and grace in the Savvy Unitard
“Don’t make it about winning the ‘big prize’ or awards. Go to competitions and conventions to make friends, learn from the teachers and students around you, grow as a dancer and a person, and to be inspired. I promise that’s all so much more rewarding than getting any first place trophy.” —Jacalyn Tatro, Inspire School of Dance
“Don’t let your nerves overtake you. Remind yourself why you’re dancing — not for a trophy that will gather dust, but rather for the experience and the fun of being onstage. It’s easy to get wrapped up in competition, but the fact is that it’s subjective. Any other day could have a different outcome, so instead of worrying about the placement, take it as an opportunity to improve and express yourself. Most importantly, have fun. There’s no other feeling that compares to that of being onstage. Good luck!” —Hailee Payne, So You Think You Can Dance Season 12