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IHD Competitive Mantras

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March 29, 2017


With only a couple more days until our first competition of the season we wanted to give our team some advice on how to have a more successful and rewarding weekend beyond the trophies and awards.  This advice can be transferred to any performance opportunity because that’s what competition is, a chance to get on stage and do what you love.

Here are our competition mantras for 2017:

I will be confident.

Think about all of the hours you’ve put into your dance. If it is a group dance, now think about the time each member of your team has put in. Think about the technique classes, stretch and strength, choreography, time spent at home, extra practices, time spent by your choreographers and teachers and yourself just thinking about the dance. With all that hard work and dedication, why not let yourself be confident? You’ve put in the hard work so let yourself shine.

I will be brave.

Again, you’ve put a lot of time and effort into your dancing. Secondly, you have teachers, parents, friends, family, teammates who are at competition to support you, love you, encourage you, and have your back no matter what and (guess what) are already are so proud of you! So make bold choices on stage, be the biggest version of you. Embrace those nasty nerves that are so normal and healthy and step out on stage knowing that you have a whole team of support and love behind you, that will still be there no matter the result.

I will perform.

Competitive dance is all about that chance to perform, to step onstage and show your hard work to an audience. So enjoy the experience of being watched. Watched by your family, who may sometimes push your buttons but have come to see and support you. Watched by your friends, who might give you extra nerves, but are good enough friends to have shown an interest in your passions. Watched by your teachers, who have dedicated hours and love to get you to this point. Watched by the judges who could give you a new perspective and well deserved validation for your hard work. Maybe most importantly watched by strangers. Perform for the people you don’t know, connect with the whole audience and expand your performance throughout the whole theater. There is no better feeling than having a stranger walk up and tell you you’ve connected with them during a performance. We hope you all receive that gift this season. Be bold in your performance no matter the style and use your heart alongside your head.

I will do my best.

Again, you’ve put a lot of hours into training and the fine details of your choreography. It’s okay to be a “show off” on stage. Show your absolute best technique, try to have the performance of the season, try to implement your teacher's corrections and critiques, warm up properly and show up on time so you are ready to hit the stage with your best foot forward. After all this remember you are human. Mistakes will happen this season, you might come off stage and not feel like it was your best performance, you might fall, you might forget. Mistakes are inevitable and they are okay. Try to be more concerned about the way you dealt with a mistake. Did I get back up when I fell? Did I make something up when I forgot? What steps did I nail aside from the ones I still might need to work on? Can I allow one or two inevitable mistakes to not affect my mood, attitude or the rest of my experience at competition? Know that every dance professional knows that mistakes are part of life from your teachers to the judges. So try your very best and give it your all and then no matter what happens you can stay positive, open minded and continue to learn and grow.

I will enjoy my time on stage.

You are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to dance, to perform and to share the stage with other like-minded friends and teammates. Enjoy every second you get to dance on stage. Enjoy the warmth of the stage lights, that dusty feeling in the back of your throat, that rush of adrenaline. Enjoy looking into your audience and seeing your family smiling back or looking into the wings and the proud faces of your teachers. Dancing on stage is sometimes scary and it is a vulnerable experience for even the most experienced dancers but try to enjoy the moment. Give everything you have, fall in love with the stage and see what comes back to you.

I will be grateful no matter the result.

Enjoy this experience that often goes way too fast. Be present and mindful. Create memories. Onstage at adjudication, cheer loudly, dance wildly, do not be ashamed. Cheer for other teams. Make new friends from other studios. Listen to the judges. They are there to share their knowledge and have given you the respect of watching you and acknowledging you. Do not sit with you face in your cellphone. Do not shy away from activities and games. Help the younger dancers engage and have fun! Engage fully in this amazing experience and you will take so much more away. Accept whatever result you are given. If you do not agree with the result of a competition take it as an opportunity to build character, to be more easy going and open to change. Say thank you to the competition staff, your teachers, the judges if you have the chance. Definatly say thank you to your parents and family who have gotten you here and supported you in numerous ways.  Be grateful for this experience and be open minded about the results. Dance is beautiful and subjective. Respect the judges opinions and stay positive. Take time to listen to their critiques and apply their corrections and keep your mind on how you continue to grow and improve next time. Focus on the experience not the award. As we said before you have already made your teachers and families proud. No award or lack thereof could change that. Enjoy every minute and be grateful no matter what. Years from now you’ll remember the friends and memories you’ve made, not the awards you’ve won.

We are looking forward to a fun and successful competition season. We hope to build stronger bonds as a team and family. Gain new insights and learn more together. We hope to stand out as not only great dancers but a strong family and team. Hopefully, these mantras will keep us on track. TWO MORE SLEEPS! Congratulations on all your progress so far and good luck this season.

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