In competitive ballroom dance, there are nuances to navigate at events, as there are in other sports and activities. Here are some of the unsung “rules” surrounding dance competitions that you may never have been told outright.
General Competition Tips
Check in ASAP
Remember the phrase, “go ask your Mom”? At a dance competition, the registration desk is where you'll go for any question regarding the competition. The registration desk is where you will get your tickets for the weekend, collect the number that the leader of the partnership will wear, and pay for your entry fees (if you haven’t already done so). In general, if you’re feeling lost, go here!
Use the Practice Room
Most competitive venues have a set-aside area for practice throughout the weekend. If you don't have a ticket to the current competition session, you can still use the room to dance and warm up.
Hip, Hip, Hooray!
Cheering is a GO! Not only is it acceptable, it is encouraged. Dancers really appreciate active crowds—it makes dancing more fun.
Who and What is On-Deck?
The on-deck area is where dancers line up and congregate before heading on the floor. The deck-captain ensures all competitors are present and prepared for their event. Check in with them anywhere from 15-45 minutes before you go on.
Cost Saving Tips!
Like any hobby, competitions can be expensive. Here are some tips for keeping costs at bay.
Most competitions are hosted at hotels, which are notorious for selling $6 bottles of water and $15 sandwiches in the gift shops. Check out our guide to packing a competition bag here for more tips on what to pack.
Register On Time
Avoid late fees by registering on time for the competition (usually more than a month before the event). You can also buy entry tickets ahead of time as well—for some competitions, there will be a discount when you purchase tickets before the day-of.
Travel with Friends
Traveling with other partnerships/friends from your dance studio will help reduce cost: sharing cars to and from the airport, splitting hotel rooms, and having someone to help with hair and makeup can make the experience more budget friendly.
If you know you love a certain brand of hairspray, or refuse to use any other eyelash glue than your tried and true, buy these items in bulk . When it comes time for your next comp, you’ll be stocked up and will save time and money on a pre-competition Target run.
There you have it, our top tips for ballroom comps—which one are you most excited to use at your next competition?