How to prepare for a dance competition

How To Prepare For A Dance Competition Without Overwhelm

Congratulations on participating in a dance competition!! It’s a very big deal and it can be a bit overwhelming–whether this is your first competition or not. To make the experience go smoothly, there are a host of things you should do prior to the actual event. At Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Raleigh, our instructors have a lot of experience both in participating in competitions themselves as well as guiding our student dancers through the process so they can easily prepare for a dance competition. 

Based on our experience, we have compiled our best dance competition preparation tips for you to get through the experience as stress free as possible. Not only are we giving you tips, we have included a list of regional and national competitions with dates for you to peruse. Let’s look at our dance competition tips! 

Plan Your Calendar Accordingly

When you know the date for the competition you can plan other activities accordingly. You will need to clear a lot off your plate the week before and the week of the dance competition in order to focus on the event. There is no need to participate if you aren’t going to give it the attention it needs. 


Being ready means that you are putting in the practice and time in order to feel prepared. You will still be nervous leading up to the event. But, when you know that you have put in the time and practice, you will feel less stressed. Feeling ready can be something that you feel after the competition. You know that you danced through the pressure and you are ready for the next one!

Create a Personal Dance Competition Survival Kit

Put together a survival kit that will help you remain calm and relaxed for the competition. Think about the items that create an environment that is conducive for the reduction of stress. Maybe you will include such things as specific music to listen to, a favorite snack, a soothing eye mask, deep breathing, and meditation.  

Remain Focused on Your Goals

It’s easy to get distracted by other dancers talking about their routines as you get closer to the day of competition. Focus on your individual goals and strengths, not in comparing yourself to others. Focus is an important part of dance competition preparation. 

Stay Healthy

Preparing with lots of practice for a dance competition can be hard on your body. It’s so important to be sure you are taking care of your health during the time leading up to the event. Maintain a healthy diet with good nutrition. Eat all the things that are good for you and help you stay strong like plenty of protein and veggies. If you happen to catch a cold or flu, take a break and get plenty of rest. You may feel that you can’t afford to decrease your practice, but resetting will get you back on track sooner. A couple of weeks taken off is better than pushing yourself and feeling less than par for a month!

Drink Water

Be sure you are staying hydrated while you are preparing to compete. Of course, we know that water intake is crucial to maintaining good health overall, but this is especially so when you are leading up to a competition. However, don’t overdo it the day of the event! Drinking an excess of water immediately before the competition can make you feel faint. Just focus on getting an adequate amount of water during the prep weeks and you will be in tip-top shape!

Check Your Costume

Be sure you have your costume(s) in good condition as well as undergarments. Bring an extra pair of tights in case a pair gets torn. These are some other items you may want to have on hand just for maintenance and mishaps:

  • Small sewing kit
  • Safety pins
  • Lint brush
  • Static Guard
  • Stain-removal pen
  • Double-sided tape

Stay Calm and Have Fun

You will be nervous about the competition, but the adrenaline is actually very helpful. It’s when you are overwrought with nerves that isn’t good for your performance. Competing requires you to be able to handle the nervousness and push through. Do things prior to getting on the dance floor that will help calm you such as playing your relaxing music prior or spending time on deep breathing exercises. And, don’t forget to have fun. Enjoy the experience! Pat yourself on the back for engaging in the competition. Be nice to yourself and, regardless of the outcome, know that you have really accomplished something when it is over!

Dance Competitions 2021

Many of the regional dance competitions scheduled in 2021 have already sold out! But, here is a current list of the competitions that are still open (as of late March):


Dance Machine Reimagined

May 1-2 Rockingham, NC – 80% full

May 7-9 Henderson, NC – 60% full


March 26-28 Daphne, AL

April 9-11 Montgomery, AL

April 16-18 Columbus, GA

April 23-25 Charlotte, NC

April 30-May 2 Kannapolis, NC

May 7-9 Dublin, GA

May 14-16 Auburn, AL

Epic Dance Showcase

March 26-28 Knoxville, TN

April 9-11 Spartanburg, SC

April 23-25 Asheville, NC

April 30-May 2 Columbia, SC

May 7-9 Spartanburg, SC


Dance Machine

June 24-27 Greensboro, NC

July 15-18 Pigeon Forge, TN

July 23-25 Eden, NC


July 5-9 Savannah, GA

Epic Dance Showcase

June 28-July 3 Pigeon Forge/Sevierville, TN

Call Us for Guidance and Instruction

Are you interested in preparing for a competition? Even if you are just starting out and competition isn’t in your scope (yet), our professional instructors have expertise in guiding you toward meeting your goals–whatever they may be. Dancing opens up many opportunities to broaden and expand your life! Give us a call at (919) 872-0111. 

Contact Us Today

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Dance Competition Prep: How to Prepare Properly

24 May2018August 14, 2022

Dance Competition Prep: How to Prepare Properly

An Introduction to Dance Competition Prep

As dance competition season looms closer, it can be a little overwhelming to navigate! How should you properly prepare? Do you have everything you need to do your best? What things should you avoid as competitions get closer?

At KDC, our staff has been participating in a variety of competitions for a long time; from the events we’ve competed in ourselves as dancers as well as the competitions we’ve taken our dancers to throughout the years. We’ve compiled our best tips to making it through a dance competition as stress free as possible!

Let’s explore pointers for dance competition prep, below.


  1. Check in with any chaperones and teachers.

If you’re the parent of younger dancers, this may be at the top of your to-do list. Don’t hesitate to ask for more information about who the chaperones will be, how many chaperones will be attending the trip and what their expectations are of your child during the trip.


  1. Let yourself get excited!

It’s okay to feel nervous and a bit jittery! You have worked super hard for this moment, so try to enjoy it as much as possible and understand that nerves are a normal part of the dance competition prep process.

To help improve endurance leading up to the competition, try gentle jogging in supportive shoes! Also, remember that stretching properly is an absolute must.


  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

It’s okay if you want to make sure you’re crystal clear about where you or your child needs to be on the day your team is leaving for competition. This is all part of normal dance competition prep. Or if you are curious about which chaperones will be driving, or if a bus is being rented instead. Make a list of any transportation related questions you have and don’t be afraid to ask your dance studio’s team!


  1. Create your own personal dance competition survival kit.

Think about things that will help you calm down and relax before your competition. Is it a specific song you want to listen to? Or your favorite snack? Plan ahead so you’re as stress-free and relaxed as possible before your big dance! Remember, your instructors will take care of the basic things you need such as hair products, any specific clothing needs, etc.


  1. Focus on your goals

As competition gets closer, your fellow dancers will be talking about their own routines, and it can be easy to play the comparison game. Remain focused on your own goals! Focus on your strengths, and all of the amazing parts of your routine to avoid becoming distracted by what other dancers have going on around you. This is an important part of dance competition prep.

  1. Stay Hydrated – but avoid chugging water!

Drinking plenty of water is important, but don’t overdo it. Drinking an excess of water immediately before your competition can make you feel faint. Focus on getting an adequate amount of water in the weeks leading up to your performance and you’ll be in great shape.


  1. Remain positive

Dance competitions can lead to some amazing opportunities, new friends, and a refreshed love of the sport. Try to take it all in and remain positive and grateful throughout the experience, regardless of the outcome. This is an element of great dance competition prep you may not have considered. It’s up to you to make it a wonderful experience!


  1. Run through choreography one last time in full costume.

This will ensure you’re super prepared and ready to perform at your absolute best.


  1. Trust your choreographers to help bring your creative vision to life.

We know that taking constructive criticism can sometimes be tough. However, trusting your choreographer is super important to the success of your routine. They are able to help guide elements of your performance to be the absolute best that it can be, and they also know and can explain what the judges are looking for. Be as open as possible to their suggestions!


  1. Remember how important your dance health is.

To remain ready to go for your competition, it’s imperative that you take care of your body properly! The best way to avoid injuries is by staying strong, keeping an eye on your nutrition and paying attention to your mental health. Read more about dance health now >



Dance competitions are a wonderful way for your child to remain motivated throughout the dance season, meet new friends and challenge themselves. Competitions can also be a bit nerve-wracking if you’re not properly prepared and aren’t sure what to expect. Review our tips above for dance competition prep and you’ll be ready to go come competition time! You’ve got this!

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cool battles and other fun for guests and everyone else

Wedding contests must be original. You definitely need to come up with some kind of active entertainment, and dance competitions are perfect for this. They help stir up the guests, direct the energy of the most active in the right direction and stir up the most shy.

Dance competitions can be collective or individual , take place in the form of a competition or a real dance battle. It can also be just collective dances with a leader. And most importantly, to participate in such competitions, it is not at all necessary to be able to dance.


  • 1 When?
  • 2 How to prepare?
  • 3 Funny contests for guests
    • 3. 1 Dance of the Peoples of the World
    • 3.2 Lopny ball
    • 3.3 Three-four
    • 3.4 The most resigned
    • 3.5 Limbo
    • 3
    • 3.9 Fun show
    • 3.10 Dance battle
  • 4 What should be avoided?
  • 5 Useful video
  • 6 Conclusion

When to do it?

The right time to hold the first dance competition is some time after the start of the banquet. First you need to create a certain atmosphere, cheer up the guests and stir them up. Then it will be easier for them to overcome constraint and go to the dance floor.

Please note! Active and calm competitions must be alternated. Everything related to dancing is active entertainment, so you should not force the guests to dance if they just ran or jumped. But after the table competitions, it is quite possible to arrange dances.

Dance competitions should not be held on an empty stomach; guests should at least have a bite to eat. But pulling them out from the table immediately after tasting hot is not worth it. Competitions can be held after appetizers or some time after serving the main course when guests are waiting for dessert. Also, a dance competition, a collective dance or a flash mob can be a worthy end to the holiday.

How to prepare?

To hold dance competitions at a wedding, you will need the following:

  1. spacious room;
  2. musical equipment and audio recordings;
  3. good lighting.

The choice of songs for competitions is a separate art. It is better to prepare several dozen diverse compositions in advance in order to be able to choose music for the current mood of the guests. It is necessary to be able to very clearly catch the time period for its inclusion, so that there are no awkward pauses. Music should be handled by someone who knows how to handle equipment well . It is best to hire a professional DJ.

Guests should also be given enough space to move freely. You should not spend such entertainment near tables with food. At least 3 square meters must be allocated for dancing. This is enough for a small group of dancing guests.
Dance competitions are selected depending on the size of the room. The more spacious it is, the more opportunities for their implementation.

The dance floor should be well lit
. This creates the right atmosphere, because the dance part is always in the spotlight. During dance events, you can turn on disco lights, play with spotlights or arrange a laser show.

Cool competitions for guests

There are a lot of wedding dance competitions. They are selected depending on the following factors:

  1. the age of the invitees;
  2. contingent present;
  3. room size;
  4. preferences of guests and young people.

Usually the host takes care of the selection, but the newlyweds themselves can also make proposals. Here are some variations of the original dance competitions.

Dances of the peoples of the world

Several couples are selected from among the guests. They can consist of those who are in a relationship, as well as complete strangers. Couples are given the task to dance several dances of various peoples of the world. It doesn't matter at all that they don't know how to do it, because that's the whole point. The music of various nationalities is included: Russian, Caucasian, gypsy, Spanish, Chinese or Indian.

Feature: couples can dance simultaneously to the same music, or each of them is given a separate task.

It is even more fun when special attributes are given out for the competition: national clothes, shoes or hats. After the end of the competition, the winner is determined with the help of applause. Instead of couples, you can also invite individuals, but only when the guests have had enough fun.

Pop the balloon

This is a very active competition that will especially appeal to the youth of . It will require several pairs. Balloons are tied to the ankles of the girls. The goal is to burst the balls of all opponents with your feet, while connecting your hands with your partner. All this happens to cheerful music, laughter and cheering cries of guests. It is very funny to watch when everyone in a pair runs in their own direction. If the couple disengages their hands, they are eliminated from the competition. The winner is the one who managed to burst all the balls of the opponents.


The more people participate in such a competition, the more interesting it is. First, everyone starts dancing together until the leader calls out: “Three!” Guests should immediately break into groups of three and continue dancing. Then the leader shouts: "Four!" Accordingly, the guests should be divided into groups of four people.

It can also be fives, sixes, sevens, and so on. You should not split into pairs, otherwise the meaning of the competition will be lost . After each command of the leader, people who could not unite in a group are eliminated. At the end, 2-3 people remain, who become the winners.

The most enduring

This is a very simple competition, however, you need to choose the right time for it. It is best to hold it closer to the beginning of the event, when the guests have not had time to drink much. Couples of strong men and fragile girls are invited to the dance floor. The task of every man is to take the girl in his arms and dance with her until the end of the melody. The one who lowered the girl is out. The most enduring remains at the end.

Note: it is especially interesting to watch such a competition when two men remain on the dance floor, trying with their last strength to snatch victory from each other.


Only the laziest have not heard about the famous limbo dance. Its essence is that an even rope is pulled in the room, under which a person must pass to the music, bending back. You can't touch the rope. There can be a large number of participants in this competition, but you should not invite more than 10 people so that the competition does not drag on.

Participants take turns walking under the rope, trying not to touch it. There is only one way to pass - bending back. When everyone has passed under the rope for the first time, it drops down by 5 centimeters. Now it is much more difficult to walk under it, and the intensity of passions intensifies. Then the rope must be lowered another 5 centimeters, and so on. Each time, the participant who touched the rope is eliminated. You should not invite people who have problems with the spine to such a competition.


Up to 15 people can enter this contest . The host invites several guests to the dance floor, who become in a circle. The first participant takes a hat and puts it on the head of a neighbor, and that one to his neighbor, and so on until the music ends. Whoever has a hat left in their hands is out of the game. Play until there is only one player left, who becomes the winner.

There is a more interesting version of this competition. The participant in whose hands the hat remains does not drop out, but approaches the leader. The leader has in his hands a list of duties that the losers must fulfill. It can be:

  • the obligation to invite the newlyweds a week after the wedding for tea;
  • come to the newlyweds with a bottle of cognac;
  • call every hour during the day and say nice words.

You need to put a tick in front of the task that you like. Accordingly, each participant in this competition receives his own assignment, the list of which is read out at the end by the moderator. Tasks can be anything, as long as they are fun, funny, enjoyable to perform and in no way offensive.

Body Parts

The contest is suitable for the most active guests. Its essence is that you need to dance with separate parts of the body. For example, the host asks you to dance with your right hand. The music turns on, and all participants begin to dance with only their right hand. Then you can dance with your left foot. After that, you can depict the dance of the head or the right ear. In this competition, the winner is the one to whom the loudest applause sounded.

I know this dance

For this competition, you need to choose melodies from popular films, to which the characters danced some kind of dance. These films must be widely known. Several guests are invited to the site. The host turns on the music from the film, and you need to repeat the dance that was danced to it as accurately as possible. The winner is the one to whom the guests applauded the loudest.

Help! It's okay if one of the guests did not watch a certain movie, because he can repeat after other guests.

Funny performance

For this competition, you need to prepare cards with scenarios. Several guests are invited to the site, and preferably couples or groups of three people. The task of each team is to dance some situation from a famous movie or cartoon . The facilitator distributes cards with tasks and gives the teams time to prepare. Everyone dances in turn, and the task of the other guests is to guess what they are trying to portray. There are usually no winners in such a competition, all participants receive prizes and gifts.

Dance battle

A very incendiary competition in which a large number of guests can participate, up to all participants of the solemn event. It is better to spend it at the very beginning of the dance block in order to prepare all those present for it . Participants are divided into two teams that compete with each other. For example, men can compete with women.

Teams take turns performing a dance to the same music. In order to warm up people, the leader can show the movements to the teams. As musical accompaniment, it is better to use cuts from short excerpts of famous dance hits. The main thing is that the melodies are incendiary. After each dance, the host announces the winner, which is determined by the applause of the guests who are not participating in the battle, or by the host himself. Of course, all this must be done with jokes so as not to offend anyone.

What should be avoided?

The same mistakes are often made at different weddings during dance competitions. The first and most common of them is to start dancing with an individual competition. If you put a person in the middle of the hall, he invariably becomes shy . This is felt by other guests, and the atmosphere becomes tense. Therefore, it is better to first hold collective dance competitions, and it is worth calling an individual to the dance floor only when the host has already sufficiently warmed up the audience.

It's not worth making old people dance either if they don't want to. Of course, many of them do not mind moving, but if you know that someone has health problems, be sure to warn the host about it.

Important! Sometimes there are too vulgar dance competitions. Both couples and people who do not know each other can participate in them. It's best to avoid spicy contests altogether if you don't want to offend any of your guests.

Useful video


Are dance competitions necessary at a wedding? Definitely yes. Put aside all doubts if you think that guests will be shy or unwilling to participate in such events. A professional toastmaster will be able to pull anyone to the dance floor, this will make the atmosphere of the holiday even brighter, more cheerful and incendiary. Even if the guests are embarrassed to dance, they will be charged with emotions from others and in the end they will also take to the dance floor and rock.

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