Ballroom Dance > What I Learned At My Last Comp

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by latingal, May 3, 2009.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    欢迎 :dancingbanana:

    You pose some interesting questions. If the price of the competition is high, and you could take (for example) 20 private lessons instead of going to the competition, I think you make a pretty good case for taking more private lessons, and even trying to score an amateur partner where you can share the cost.

    One question I might ask you... do you think that if your dancing improves that you might have a better chance of getting an amateur partner?

    Also, have you considered taking an amateur partner that is not as good as you? Even if you don't keep this partner, it might be a good experience for you in working with someone else, and when you do find a good partner, you will better know what to do.
  2. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    In terms of how one does at a competition, that is not the case, though it is true that pro/am costs more.

    If your goal includes competing am/am, experience on the competition floor is valuable. Most of us are not good at practicing competing by pretending we're at a competition when we are not to duplicate the stresses, the showmanship aspects, etc.
    Sania and scullystwin42 like this.
  3. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    You spend more in pro am, but dance skills matter just as much. Pro am students spend a lot of time and energy working on their dancing and many in the younger open divisions continue on to become successful pros. If your goal is to find an amateur partner though, that might be a good road for you to explore, if you find pro am is not your thing.
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  4. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    I have considered a partner that is not as good as I am. Haven't got much further though. :D But I definitely might have a better chance (at least mathematically) if my dancing improves, as it would add to the ratio amateurs not considering a less skilled partner.
  5. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    One more thing I learned at my last comp: alcohol is not a solution.
    Knowing how extremely nervous I become on a dance floor, I thought a drink could be perfect cure for that. It did help, indeed. I was not nervous at all. Unfortunately, relaxed state of mind did not do much good to my dancing ability. I'm pretty sure my frame, and shape, and footwork would be better off if I cared a bit more.
  6. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Competition is a learning process. It took me quite a few before I figured out the exact mix of prep, warm-up, food, attitude, people, hydration, etc. that worked for me.

    I highly recommend making notes after each comp: What went well (and there has to be at least one thing in this category), what didn't, and what you want to change or try for next time. This becomes particularly important when you have months between competitions, because memories fade.
    SwayWithMe and scullystwin42 like this.
  7. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    Apparently, all I want now is a really good argument why I should do next pro/am competition. Any ideas? Anyone?

    I love my Pro, and if money was no issue, I would be happy to dance at comps every month. But apparently it is out of my price range if I cannot enjoy that. The only possible benefit I see now is an option to meet new people, and maybe even make new friends. MAYBE, if I'm lucky. But on the other hand - am I trying to get into the club I will never be accepted? Like wanting all the cool kids to play with me, ha!
  8. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I think you love dancing. That is the most important idea. When it is time to compete, hopefully you will know. If you want more friends, there are other ways to find them. :)
    Lai Lai, scullystwin42 and Loki like this.
  9. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    You could set up a dance budget and stick to it. My budget makes me prioritize things - privates, groups, coachings, comps, even dance shoes and clothes.
  10. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    ^ Yep. My dance budget tells me how many comps I can do a year. Then I pick the ones that best match with my goals/will give me the most value.

    Edited to add: I don't go to comps to meet people, or "have fun", or to "enjoy the experience" in some posh setting. I like performing, but it's more the discipline that it brings to my day-to-day that I love.

    I suggest thinking about why you compete. That will help you figure out how often, and when, etc.
  11. Sania

    Sania Well-Known Member

    Yes – the discipline, the focus, the having a goal towards which you are working, The testing your dance skills under a condition of heightened intensity – those are some of the primary value-adds which Pro-Am competition brings to me

    The fact that I have learned to enjoy performing is a huge added bonus, but it is also the result of competition experience
    3wishes likes this.
  12. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Plus it's pretty hard to go all out at a social IME.

    Sania and SwayWithMe like this.
  13. Lai Lai

    Lai Lai Member

    I do love to dance. Although, my interest has narrowed down to only one style and only competition level. I thought the main reason for dancing is that it makes me happy, like natural antidepressants. However, lately sometimes opposite is true - a few times I've burst into tears after a lesson (and after the competitions). Is that normal? But there is no way back anymore, as dancing has become an addiction and big part of my life.
  14. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Can't say I've burst into tears, but I've said a few choice words and tossed down a couple of bourbons. ;)

    Sounds to me like your heart is in competition. Follow it. If it's the wrong path, you'll know eventually.
    Lai Lai and j_alexandra like this.
  15. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Yep. I have definitely been there.
  16. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. Both tears and Loki's response: a few choice words and some alcohol.
  17. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    I thus far have managed to not have a melt down in public at a competition, though I did have to go hide in a bathroom stall for a while to pull myself back together. Actual crying was not possible because I had more heats and you know, the makeup and all had to survive. Me:"How many heats until we're on again." Pro tells me. Me:"I'll be back." I cut it a tad closer than I had meant to, but I did make it back in time. It was a fairly awful experience, but every competition since then has looked good in comparison. ;)
    scullystwin42 likes this.
  18. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I think it just shows you have a passion for dancing. That is great. Sometimes the satisfaction of knowing you danced well is what you live for. But you have to go through many days of frustrating and hard work in order to experience those wonderful times when it seems like you were floating. 加油⛽
  19. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    I learned various hair things at my last comp (first humid weather comp since the short haircut). Short hair isn't necessarily quicker or easier than long hair (which I knew, but which was reinforced). Going against natural curl direction on a humid day requires a curling iron, not just a straightening iron. Gel is counterproductive if used more than minimally; stick with just hairspray as much as possible. Just because it easily went well once or twice previously doesn't mean you didn't need to practice to make it go well this time. The camera is more revealing than the mirror, somehow; next time do 360 degree selfies as a check before leaving the room. It wasn't awful (one side of the head was good!), but it wasn't good enough. (Better to be happier with the dancing than with the hair than vice versa, I guess ...)
    Sania and raindance like this.
  20. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    1) that a daytime nightmare of things going wrong for a week previous actually helped for things to go very right.
    2) wearing new shoes on the floor, should have brushed the soles, slipping would have been less. It got better as the rounds went on.
    3) staying relaxed with a good attitude, no matter how many times in open scholarship we got slammed into, hit or shoved by other couples who clearly did not see us stationary in their line of dance, (really it was all 4dances in smooth, good GOD!), and continuing on proved beneficial. At one point pro almost fell on top of me when slammed into from behind but my ski instructor self kicked in and I held my weight centered so I wasn't going to fall and neither was he.
    4) the unbeknownst to me cheering section eruption when I won open gold scholarship was amazing, DebMc being part of it, the heart overflows with joy.
    5) warming up on the bike in the fitness room was a key for me.
    6) not coming unglued when pro suddenly had to change choreography due to crowd conditions, "just follow" runs through my head like a train at that point.
    7) have got to stop walking between the tables/chairs when sitting. My dress chiffons and skirt kept getting caught up in some sort of hooks that the chairs had.
    8) doing my own hair and make-up, is more peaceful and predictable than having an appointment. Ahhhhhhh.

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