Top 5 Ways To Survive Dance Competition Season: Parent Edition

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Top 5 Ways To Survive Dance Competition Season: Parent Edition

We are currently in the THICK of competition season! These couple months filled with dance, lipstick, hairspray and chaos can get WILD. Dance parents often find themselves caught in a whirlwind of excitement, nerves, and logistical challenges. From costume fittings to rehearsal schedules, the journey to competition day can be both thrilling and overwhelming. However, with a bit of preparation and a positive mindset, parents can navigate this season with grace and ease. Here are the top five ways parents can not only survive but also thrive during dance competition season:

1. Open Communication

Communication is key in ensuring a smooth experience for both you and your dancer. Know your contact numbers and emails should an emergency arise. Also… and this is a big one… read your emails! Trust us, we have sent you everything you need from makeup requirements to directions to our dressing room. If you have a question, first check your email and you will most likely find your answer. PLUS stay in regular contact with your child’s dance instructors to stay informed about rehearsal schedules, costume requirements, and any updates regarding the competition. 

Lastly, encourage your dancer to communicate their feelings and concerns with you openly, fostering a supportive environment where they feel heard and understood. We often forget about their little feelings through all the hustle and bustle. Going on stage can be a big scary thing, we should always remember that. 


2. Establish a Routine

With the added commitments of rehearsals and performances, maintaining a structured routine becomes crucial. Set aside designated times for dance practice, homework, meals, and rest to help your child manage their time effectively. Consistency will not only alleviate stress but also promote a sense of stability and balance amidst the busyness of competition season. This goes for competition days as well. 

  • Set wakeup and meal times out for your dancer AND for you! 
  • Go over their comp checklist with them each night to make sure they have everything they need. 
  • Go over their day’s schedule so they know when they have to be at rehearsal, onstage etc. 
  • Have a set of prepared questions to allow them to talk to you if they need. Example: What was your favourite and least favourite thing about today? What are you proud of yourself for? 

3. Embrace Team Spirit

Dance competitions are not only about individual performances but also about teamwork and camaraderie. We are always telling our dancers that we are a team and family. Hence why we call you all our Ark Dance Family. We mean it! So lead by example and get involved in the dance community by attending team meetings, volunteering to assist with backstage management, or organizing group activities for dancers and parents. Building connections with other dance families can provide invaluable support and create lasting memories for both you and your child. 

One of our biggest tips if you have time to spare at competition is watch as many of our dances as possible, even if you dancer isn’t in them. It makes such a huge difference to the dancers on stage to have people cheering for them in the audience. They appreciate every clap and holler. 



4. Practice Patience & Encourage Perseverance

As the competition draws near, tensions may run high, and challenges may arise. Practice patience with yourself, your child, and the entire dance team during moments of stress or frustration. They will happen, trust us… and we will all laugh about it about 8 business days later lol. Encourage perseverance by emphasizing the importance of hard work, dedication, and resilience in the face of setbacks. Remind your child that mistakes are opportunities for growth, and success often comes from perseverance and determination.

The biggest thing we can tell you about surviving competition season as a dance parent is this: Your job is to be a parent, not a dance teacher. As much as you might have well intentioned tips and tricks for your dancer, leave this to their instructors. The best thing they can hear from you is that you’re proud of them. Give them space to talk about their feelings and reassure them that they can do hard things! We actually leave most of our critiques until we are back in the studio, that way our dancers focus on the moment rather than what went wrong.

5. Celebrate Achievements, Big & Small

Amidst the intensity of competition season, it’s essential to pause and celebrate achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Whether it’s mastering a challenging routine, overcoming stage fright, or simply showing up and giving their best effort, acknowledge and praise your child’s accomplishments. Celebrate each milestone as a testament to their hard work and passion for dance. 

They did it! Dancing on stage is no small feat! They have worked ALL year for this moment. Make sure they feel like a mini celebrity when they see you. 

And make sure you congratulate yourself as well. You survived a weekend covered in glitter, surrounded by screaming children, being shushed by an umpire, and driving back and forth to Booster Juice and Starbucks 18 times. Literally AMAZING job!!!

In conclusion, dance competition season can be a whirlwind of excitement, nerves, and growth for both parents and dancers alike. By fostering open communication, establishing routines, embracing the team spirit, practicing patience, and celebrating achievements, parents can navigate this season with grace and support their child’s journey towards success on and off the dance floor. So, lace up those dance shoes, pack your patience, and get ready to cheer your heart out – because competition season awaits!


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