Friday, March 11, 2016

Dance Competition Etiquette

As we are now in the middle of our Dance Compeition and Festivals, this article is a great reminder of behaviour and expectations for all of us at these events!  If you click on the title it will take you to the original post!  Good luck everyone and have fun!

Dance Competition Etiquette

1)    Sportsmanship- One thing you have to remember is that every single dancer works very hard to perform.  Every parent wants their child to do well and be noticed.  Every dance teacher works diligently so that their students perform to the best of their ability.  Everybody at a dance competition has at least all of that in common.  Therefore, YOU, as a student, parent, or teacher should clap for every single dance and every single award given if you are present in the auditorium.  Dancers, you would want to be clapped for, so do the same for others.  Appreciate the art- not just when YOU are being recognized.  Teachers, set the example.  Tell your students in advance how important it is to wish others good luck and clap for other dancers.  Parents, try not to live vicariously through your dancer.  Instead, appreciate every child for putting effort into their hobby.

2)    Backstage-

a)    In reference to sportsmanship, wish the dances before you and after you; “good luck”.  When dancers come off stage, tell them that they did a “good job”.  These words cost you no extra effort.  In fact, you may even make a few friends.  It doesn’t matter what studio they are from.  They need encouragement just as you would.  Your efforts will most likely be noticed and very appreciated.  

b)    Do not block the wings to watch.  Dancers often have wing changes, props, and/or run off after the dance.  If you are sitting in the wings, you are in the way.  Simple as that.  Be at least 3 feet away from the wings.  I you are the next dance, you will most likely have time to enter the wings while you are being announced. 

c)     Be quiet.  I know dancers get nervous backstage.  However, that’s no reason to start laughing uncontrollably loud.  Saying “shhhhhh” is a lot louder than tapping a person and whispering to them to remind them to hold the volume down.   

d)    Know your dance and be aware of your space.  Do not decide to practice your entire dance backstage.  Movement backstage is extremely distracting to the dancer.  Not to mention, dangerous.  You could hurt yourself and others by simply doing a grande jete or a pirouette.   Stretching backstage usually means you’re in the way.  Instead, consider stretching in the dressing room.
3)    Dressing Rooms-  It’s common for studios to segregate themselves in the dressing rooms.  That’s fine.  However, be mindful of everyone’s space.  Throw your trash away.  Don’t touch anything that isn’t yours.  Don’t practice dances full out.
4)    Schedule- Most competitions will schedule to either put numbers in between yours or accommodate costume changes.  Either way, competitions prefer to stay on schedule.  If you have a decent number of dances close together, do your best to make it backstage a few numbers beforehand.  If a competition runs late, it’s usually the dancers fault.  It’s up to the dance to change quickly and report backstage.  Don’t make the backstage manager have to come find you.  If you have 5-10 dances in between your numbers, now is not the time to check your cell phone, watch dances from the audience, run your dance, or sit back and relax.  Change and wait backstage.  Most costumes changes can be done in about 5 minutes or less if a dancer is really making the effort.
5)    Awards Ceremony-

a)    Even at the awards ceremony, you are performing.  You are on stage.  Do not bring your cell phone with you.  Your texts and facebook status of your results can wait a few minutes. 

b)    Leave room for the judges (or whoever is handing out awards) to walk.  If you are asked to move over, please do so.  There is plenty of room available. 

c)     When you are on stage dancing silly before the awards ceremony, there is no need to dance 2 inches behind the edge of the stage.  You can be seen just the same 5 feet from the edge…plus you won’t break any bones from falling off. 

d)    We know you’re tired by this point, but you can be energetic for a few more minutes.  This means clap for EVERYONE.  Refer back to #1. 

e)    When accepting an award, an improper response would be to grab the award and walk away.  A more acceptable response is a curtsy/bow toward the judge, handshake or hug, and ALWAYS a “Thank You”.  It doesn’t matter if you get a bronze or a platinum.  You need to show your gratitude toward the judges for taking the time to evaluate you.

6)    On Stage-

a)       Unless your top falls off, don’t stop dancing.  And, even then, fix it quickly and keep going.  You can continue dancing without a shoe or a headband.

b)       Don’t lip sync unless it’s choreographed.  In addition to this, a huge no-no is counting on stage.  You should be able to count in your head.  The only mouth movements you should be making are for facials. 

c)       It’s ok to look at the judges once in a while, but you are performing to the audience.  Don’t stare the judges down.  You need to perform to the back row of the audience. 
7)    Competition- Competitions aren’t just about the trophies.  Competitions are about bettering yourself and challenging yourself.  Therefore, you should participate in all of the available workshops and seminars at competitions.  You should also take the time to watch dancers from other studios.  Also, when you get home, ask your teacher if you can see the critiques so you can fix your mistakes for the future.
8)      Attitude-  While a certain amount of confidence is required to perform on stage, there is a thin line between confidence and arrogance.  Be gracious.  You parents and teachers have worked extremely hard to get you to where you are today.  Thank them before patting yourself on the back.  Stay grounded, humble, and aware of other dancer’s feelings….and after all that, THEN be proud of yourself because everyone else is. 
Dancingly yours,
Miss Jaime

Posted 4th May 2011 by Jaime Popard

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