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AnnaBeav

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, This wonderful community provided so much advice for our first convention that there were no surprises. I thought I would reach out to see if there was anything to know about a competition? 

My DD is only in two routines and the competition is over two days. She is not nervous at all which is great but what should I be preparing for?

Thanks!!


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momoftinydancer

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Reply with quote  #2 
-Make a checklist of everything needed for each routine: shoes, tights, accessories, headpieces, etc.
-Bring lots of snacks and drinks, in case you decide to stay and watch other routines from your studio.
-Always have an extra of everything - eyelashes, earrings (if worn), tights (if worn), etc.
-Pack an extra change of clothes to wear after she's done with her routines.
-Have fun! I get WAY more nervous than my daughter. I cannot even eat or breathe until after her solo is finished. This is her 6th year and it doesn't get easier. Just remember it's not about winning, it's about the journey. She will do great!
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rdsmom

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Reply with quote  #3 
Remember you are her cheerleader, not her teacher. Let the teachers tell her to stretch, warm up, where to be, etc. Don't forget underwear. bring a blanket to sit on in the dressing room. Find a dance mom friend from your studio to sit by and cheer with. Take before and after pics! Read the rules for the competition-placements, adjudications, overalls, special awards, etc., can be very confusing! Good luck!
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MimisMom

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Reply with quote  #4 
Bring cash for the program. And expect that you may be ordering pictures or video of her dances. Cheer for her and also for the other kids from her studio, if you get a chance to stay and watch. Yes bring snacks and water. You never know how long you have to stay until adjudication.
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tappinmom

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Reply with quote  #5 
Make sure she knows that you are proud of her no matter how she places as long as she does her best.  When DS was first starting out at every comp I would give him a goal - Smile, sing loud (for song and dance), point your feet, etc.  Little things that he had been working on in class.  He knew if he did that one thing I wouldn't care how they placed.  Make sure she knows she should be having fun.  Cheer for everyone and let her see that - especially for other studios.  Good luck.
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mom24

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Reply with quote  #6 

As a momma, your job is NOT to be the dance teacher.  You have two main roles:

- make sure everything needed gets to the comp (costumes, hairpieces, shoes, makeup, hair stuff, etc.) in plenty of time

- be the CALMING influence.  No matter how it goes, you calmly say, "looked great to me!"  Let the teacher critique and praise.  You are the rock that keeps the emotions smooth and steady!

-----------------------


As far as what to take that you may not have thought of - many venues do not offer real food.  Pack a lunch if you can't leave.  Cash for a program (many won't take cards), a pen, a highlighter, and a blanket (clean place to sit while stretching, as well as to wrap up in in the auditorium).  Wet Wipes can be used to clean anything from costumes to hands. 
 

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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #7 
All great advice so far! I can say it does get easier within the season (not by much lol) - but the first one of every season seems the same as the first time! If your dancer is calm already- then great. But be prepared for “what if I forget my dance mom” or “What if I don’t win” type questions. They may come from the calmest of dancers. I’m sure you know how to respond to those but they may come at the last minute!

Good luck!!
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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #8 
The biggest thing I wish someone had told me is that your team will not always get their own dressing room.  In our experience, more often than not (dd has never been with a mega studio), you will be jammed in a relatively small room with several other studios.  A lot of people (dancers and surprisingly moms) do not always respect personal space.  They will encroach on you and may even move, step on or set their stuff on your things.  Personally I find the dressing rooms the most stressful part of competitions.
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LilMama

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Reply with quote  #9 
I’d say practice hrair & makeup as many time as possible before the big day. Bring an extra pen and portable phone charger if you have one. Another nice gesture is to bring a little gift (look for ideas on Etsy/Pinterest) to cheer your teammates.
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AnnaBeav

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Reply with quote  #10 
This is all great advice. Thankfully DD's company is not the "win at all costs" type. They want to win but not at the expense of the emotional or physical health of the dancers. Based on your feedback, I told DD last night that I don't care if she wins or comes in last place, that all I want her to do is try her best and have fun. That said, I don't think her routines will win. I saw a run through this weekend and they could do with another month of clean up. But the dancers are having fun.

How much are programs?

Also, how do you decide whether or not to stay at the hotel vs. getting ready at home and then driving there?
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LilMama

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Reply with quote  #11 
We don’t spend the night for anything less than 1.5-2 hours drive. It also depends on when your call time is. If you don’t have the schedule yet, it’s safer to book a room just in case and if you don’t need it after you can cancel it once you get the schedule.
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nyklane

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Reply with quote  #12 
If it’s close, I would choose at home. Close to me is 1-1.5 hours. But typically we only have 1 solo and 1 group. We are a small studio. If it’s a really early start time - maybe that would change my mind, but rarely do they start before 7 am. (It seems). To me - getting ready at home I have everything I need - when I am at a hotel inevetibly there is something I want or need that I don’t have. [wink]

what I really don’t like is getting ready in the dressing rooms. Too much going on - too much distraction for applying eyelashes lol.
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Lorax

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Reply with quote  #13 
AnnaBeav, program costs vary widely. Have a $20.00 bill set aside just for that, then enough cash that if snacks or water are cash only you'll be OK. Always better to have extra cash on hand.

If it's the first competition you have to consider the pros of hotel stay v. the cons of hotel stay. For us the pros include waking up a little later, no stress about traffic, knowing that we are already at the venue, and convenience of just taking a room key and we could return if we forgot anything. The cons are that we both don't sleep well in a hotel compared to at home, the stress of worrying about forgetting something crucial that is now all the way at home the night before, and the cost. A lot of how we make our decisions was based on what time she needed to be ready. If there was a 7 AM report time staying in the hotel was a must if we could swing it financially. 
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threedancingdaughters

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Reply with quote  #14 
For me, if it's more than 1/2 hour away, we stay at the hotel, especially if we're in the am session. I book for everything then cancel what I don't need after we get the schedule. Both DD and I are NOT morning people. At home she'd be too distracted by her sisters/etc. getting ready goes best for us in the hotel when she is still too sleepy to fight the eyelashes much! Plus the hotel is our "bonding time", we get some food, maybe order room service hot chocolates, get to bed early.

The only times we didn't get a hotel were a comp about 30 minutes away and she was afternoon session, and an optional comp 1&1/2 hrs away for her small group that was in afternoon session and her only routine.

Also, I would not survive without my OCD dance mom list! I have it typed, update it as needed, and print a new copy before each comp!
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aek1969

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Reply with quote  #15 
Lots of great advice already but wanted to add that while I agree with above posters who stressed that you are the mom and not the dance teacher, you know your studio and its situation.  My DD danced at a small studio - the SO was the owner, director, teacher, choreographer, costumer, etc.  Unless it was a year that saw a very small competition company, she was often busy elsewhere, so it absolutely was up to me to tell my daughter to stretch and warm up.  (when she was younger, and even sometimes during the exasperating young teenage years).  

I am the ridiculously over--prepared one who had probably way too much stuff packed, but would add that Static Guard is a great thing to have on hand, as well as needles pre-threaded with thread that matches costumes, a small glue gun and a few glue sticks for quick repairs of props (or even a costume in a pinch), and a screwdriver isn't out of the question (taps mysteriously come loose sometimes!!)

Have a great time and enjoy it - while I am glad to be on the other side of it, twelve years really did fly by.
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MimisMom

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnaBeav


How much are programs?

Also, how do you decide whether or not to stay at the hotel vs. getting ready at home and then driving there?


Programs are usually $10-$20 and I believe cash only at most places.
We only stay at hotels that are more than 1 hour away for us to drive.   Or like Toronto, I hate driving in that big city....(I'd rather have my nails pulled out).  We stay there if we can afford it.   Also depends on how early DD is dancing.  If she has to be on stage at 8am then we stay the night before.  I hate waking her up at 4am and doing hair and make up and then driving for 1 hour +. 
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Bubu815

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Reply with quote  #17 
Leave yourself enough time to get ready in the morning so you aren't rushing out the door. My child moves at a snails pace at all times so it has made for a stressed mom who doesn't like being late. Tell your DD to have a good attitude whether she wins or loses. Critiques of other team members are car ride discussions only. Cover up her costume if she eats in between dances. It's amazing how a small dot of chocolate can spread😁. Read the rules so you understand what the heck is happening at awards. Hopefully you will avoid all of the mistakes I have made. Most importantly HAVE FUN!
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #18 
Good advice here! My add is to try and understand scoring before you go. There are probably multiple levels which are usually some version of competitive, less comptitive, and beginner. Then there are adjudication levels - like a grade, but named things like double platinum and high gold. These ranking names change from comp to comp, so it’s good to know if a gold is a very good or very bad grade before you start hearing scores. Usually lower competive levels have lower scores required to qualify for better grade. Then they may or may not have a bunch of special awards or category winners, then they do a top 10 or so. These top 10 (number in this countdown changes with how many dancers are in a given age and level so don’t get hung up on 10) but these are actually indicative of ranked scores with the highest scoring routine getting first place. So if levels are working properly at your comp the first place novice winner should not be able to place in the top 10 in the competitive level for her age for the exact same performance. So if your studio competes in multiple levels, your group might be out ranked by less skilled dancers from your own studio competing in a lower level. I was so confused the first time I heard an awards ceremony. The program should help you understand this for the specific comp you are attending. It’s pretty confusing at the beginning, but if you know the names of the competitive levels and the names of the various “grades”= adjudications, you should be less confused!
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Beccasmom

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Reply with quote  #19 
To add to prancer's advice, I would say to look at each competition's website. Most have all the info regarding scoring and awards, as well as if photos and/or videos are allowed (m"no" but there are a few exceptions). I am a rule reader, lol. 
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judie

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Reply with quote  #20 
Buy the photos. You won’t regret it when they are older.
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AnnaBeav

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prancer
Good advice here! My add is to try and understand scoring before you go. There are probably multiple levels which are usually some version of competitive, less comptitive, and beginner. Then there are adjudication levels - like a grade, but named things like double platinum and high gold. These ranking names change from comp to comp, so it’s good to know if a gold is a very good or very bad grade before you start hearing scores...It’s pretty confusing at the beginning, but if you know the names of the competitive levels and the names of the various “grades”= adjudications, you should be less confused!


Wow - I had no idea the scoring was so confusing. I checked the website and because DD's group has a span of ages I am not sure where the studio will put their group. Also, they straddle the beginner and advanced level. I wonder if they will be put in the older more advanced grouping because a few of the dancers are at that level?
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #22 
The age groups are usually by the average age of the dancers and drop the decimal. So a group that was the average age of 12,9 would be 12. You can see if 12 is a junior mr a teen in the rules. But for big age ranges, usually the oldest dancer can only drop down one age group. So let’s say 12 was a junior age at your comp, but you had even one senior, then the whole group would compete teen.

As for level that’s somewhat at your SOs discretion, but usually if half of the dancers are at the higher level, it has to go advanced.
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Lorax

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Reply with quote  #23 
Straws were always in my bag. If you've got good lip stick and it's on straight and they just really need to drink right before they have to report back stage it keeps everything nice and tidy.
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dancingymnast

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Reply with quote  #24 
Hi! First time comp mom here too! Thanks so much for all the great advice here!
Our first competition is in a little over a month. My question is, can you predict the competition schedule based on the schedule in other cities? Or they could be completely different? Now that they have some schedules up, I’m trying to guess at least the day when we’ll be competing (DD is only doing one group dance).
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #25 
dancinggymnast - sometimes. If the cities are similar in number of routines going to the comp then a similar schedule might be typical, but even then the venue could have different availability forcing the company to change from a standard format. You could look for an idea, but I definitely would not schedule other important plans based on time slots in other cities.
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