Competition Tips for New Competitors

Competitions can be nerve-wracking for new dancers. Not only are they dancing in front of any number of strangers, but they are also getting judged on how they look compared to each other, how much energy they have, and how well they know their routines. Luckily, we have plenty of experience to help ease you and your dancer into the world of competitive dance.

What to Expect:

When arriving at the competition you will need to purchase your spectator pass and get your dancer checked in; this will happen as soon as you walk in, and is usually well designated with signs. When you get inside our team will already have an area for everyone to sit, so just look for studio parents/shirts to find it. Competitions always begin with a directors meeting – this is where the directors meet the judges, make any necessary changes to the dance order, and receive important information about the day. Once over, the competition will get started and will go non-stop until the end of the day. The best way to keep the competition running smoothly is to ensure your dancer is dressed, with the right shoes, and prepared to go on stage before they start calling them to line-up backstage.  There is an emcee who will help ensure the audience knows where we are in the competition order, and calls teams backstage when it is time to line up. Competitions are full of high energy and adrenaline – both onstage and offstage – so feel free to clap, cheer, and support your team, dancers, and favorite routines.


  • Come prepared – have extra bobby pins, hair ties, hairspray, safety pins, band-aids, snacks, entertainment/activities, and any pain relievers you may need. Most dancers have a tote, bag, or suitcase they use specifically for competitions so they have all their costumes and necessary supplies ready to go.
    • My tip for first timers is to set all your supplies, costumes, dance shoes, and snacks/food out a couple of days before, and just double check it the night before the competition that way you are not scrambling to leave the morning of and accidentally forget something.
  • Arrive on time – there is nothing worse than having a team called backstage and needing to change the dance order because a dancer hasn’t arrived yet. Although there may be waiting in between dances it is much easier to entertain dancers during long wait times than to rapidly prepare a dancer to get onstage last minute.
  • Relax and enjoy – competitions are an incredible time to enjoy all the hard work our dancers have put into their routines It is also a wonderful time to take in the artistry of other teams who may do things a little differently than we do. So, breathe, relax, and enjoy the show!

Other Resources:

  1. Competition Checklists: for those who forget things if they don’t write them down, or just like to keep track of what they need!
  2. Competition Tips for First Timers:
  3. Competition Tips From Other Parents: ; ;
  4. Tips for Dancers From Dancers:

Photo Credit: Kameron Delaney

Competition Blog