What I Learned At My Last Comp

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

  1. twothreefourone

    twothreefourone Active Member

    Hehehe, sorry TC, didn't think when I imported that acronym (Team Captain). Although... I'd be honoured if you're offering to be our Tanz Coach... :D
    Terpsichorean Clod likes this.
  2. Dancing Irishman

    Dancing Irishman Well-Known Member

    Learned that even with no prep whatsoever (including a seven month hiatus for you and your partner), you can rock a closed syllabus event! Make a couple mistakes, then just laugh them off. And end with the best results you've ever had (including your first blue ribbon!). And apparently, I fake bolero really well!

    Also, doing ten heats in a row is BRUTAL. Also, fan position is a lot more comical when your hands slip getting into it because they're too sweaty (TMI?).
  3. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    It's better to sit down if you are wearing a ballroom dress and need to remove a rhinestone stuck to your shoe.
    It's a good idea to look through your video as soon as you got it, because if there are any issues with it, it's quicker to resolve them right there. Just fast-forwarding through it is enough to spot problems like camera not following you.
  4. JANATHOME

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    If you think you cant do it while in the heat line up, when you get on the dance floor you will stink!
    Mental prep is just as important as all the rest of it... Getting past how ugly the whole thing was and getting back to work.
    j_alexandra likes this.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    aw Jan, sorry...that bites
  6. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    My smooth waltz is surprisingly rough. Or I suppose it's not *really* that surprising as it hasn't had all that much time put into it. To say my marks for my waltz were worse than those for tango and foxtrot would be a dramatic understatement.

    More importantly, it's time to take a slash-and-burn approach with my standard choreography. Standard day was pretty much disastrous with me going wildly off-routine and getting hideously flustered and my dancing going into the absolute tank. When I sat down after my second round of freestyles, I was near tears, things were going so badly. The good news is that I was able to pull myself together and dance respectably in the scholarship rounds. I mean, I largely didn't get the marks, but it was a brutal field. At least the dancing felt reasonably acceptable.

    Anyways, I know the ultimate cure for preventing the sort of tilting I did in those freestyles (in the poker sense) is to compete more. But in the interim, I feel like reducing the number of things I have to worry about out there should help. And there's just *no reason* my am partner and I have to have four full walls of bronze choreography and four of silver with little overlap between the two. It's not like the judges are likely to care. And I *so* want Nationals to be a positive experience for me. I can *not* have a repeat of this weekend there. Especially since I won't be dancing with a highly experienced professional doing her best to calm me the heck down.
  7. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    Awwwwww...I really feel for you...sorry about all that Jude.
  8. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Yup, I've been at comps where the dancing unraveled before my eyes :oops:. Keep it simple. Pare it down to your strongest and most useful moves. Add stuff back in as you progress and feel more comfortable.
  9. JANATHOME

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Aww, sorry about that Jude.

    I too ran into this with my first large comp with new pro... Routines on the comp floor for the first time was also a crash and burn. What worked well in practice did not work so well on the comp floor... It at first can be a real confidence disaster but you just learn from it and move on.... So we went back to the drawing board, made changes to routines, and go get 'em again....

    It is a process, all good
  10. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think everyone has experienced this. That is why the 'mental' side of ballroom competing is so important to develop. There is a difference between studio work and what shows on the competition floor. Doing sports psychology type exercises to stay focused, calm, and present can help. But I do remember completely forgetting my routine a few times! Now it just seems funny, at the time I was mortified.
  11. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    (Hugs) to you, JM. I think it's extra hard when you are doing am and pro-am and a couple different levels. That's a lot of mental challenge. I I were you, I really would try to pare down and maybe do the same routine for bronze and silver, or decide which one is your true level and just compete that...because three different sets of routines per style is A LOT.

    I know when I was doing both am and pro-am, I had one pro-am practice where I started getting the routines confused and just kept messing up. It was only about a week before a comp at which I was competing in both and apparently my brain was not handling that well.

    After I got through that comp, after that I decided that it was probably better for me to keep my pro-am and am competitions separate. (Although my husband more recently decided he doesn't want to compete anymore, so I am without an am partnership anyway....)
  12. sbrnsmith

    sbrnsmith Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear Jude, I can relate in a way. My first comp with my current teacher was a disaster for me. I did not place at all. It was really hard to pick myself back up after that. I was very discouraged and disappointed. I know it was a process I went through and a lot of soul searching and some tears.
  13. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    Sending you a huge virtual hug, Jude. Definitely been there multiple times in the past.
    ajiboyet likes this.
  14. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    I should already know this by now, but get to the competition way earlier than you need to. One event got pushed up by about 45 minutes from originally scheduled, and I only had one half of my fake eyelashes on, no lipstick, and no jewelry. Another couple did manage to get dressed within 2 minutes while we were on deck, including tails, which was pretty impressive.
  15. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Thanks, folks. I sincerely appreciate the support. Hugs right back at y'all. A few specific replies:

    @JANATHOME - One of the vexing things is, with one trivial exception that didn't actually impact anything, there was nothing I did this weekend that I hadn't previously danced on a competition floor. Granted it had been ages since I'd competed with the TFQ choreography, but it was with the waltz that things started to really go amiss. And I'd danced *that* just last November.

    @debmc - I have to admit, this is definitely not the first time I've gone off script. Usually it's funny for me too, and funny almost immediately. I really couldn't say why I spun out of control this time.

    @CCM - Yeah, I really think the sheer quantity of choreography I'm carrying around isn't helping. You're pretty much exactly right about it being three full sets of choreography for three different styles for me currently. And cross-style contamination started to happen once I really started to lose it. On the plus side, I talked with my am instructor and my am partner tonight, and they're cool with the idea of chopping this down. And I'm done with bronze smooth and standard on the pro-am side of things for a while. I'm optimistic that focusing on a more narrow set of things for Nationals will help.

    @sbrnsmith - The funny thing is - my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day had almost no impact on my marks at all. I actually wound up winning the freestyle rounds where I was struggling so badly. (The field there was ... less strong.) I finished 8th in my scholarship, and the gent who finished 7th is someone I've competed against in the past. I generally approach competing against him with the attitude of "I'm going to try to see how many marks I can steal" rather than "I think there's a real chance I can win". *Maybe* had I danced out of my mind, I might have finished a place or two higher. Maybe. Probably not.
  16. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Hey JM, I was impressed by what I saw. I know what you mean by the crash-n-burn... my brain totally deserted me during a cha-cha heat. I messed up right off the bat mis-leading a crossover flick, and it went downhill from there. I did somewhat get it together during the scholarship round, but the competition was so stiff I didn't figure on placing, which is a good thing since I didn't. Oh well.

    I've done a prelim screening of the video from the comp. Cuban motion really, really needs work... I thought I was doing it better than that, but the video doesn't lie. Rumba was not bad, but cha-cha was not very crisp, and I need to get more serious about ECS if I'm going to keep trying to do scholarships in rhythm. Smooth was better than it was at Magnolia, but I note an overall lack of movement and range... we were getting out-run by nearly everyone else on the floor. Some of that may have been me still getting used to a new pro partner, but still, it's something I need to work on. (Gotta work on lowering more... my previous pro was nearly my height and she had long legs, which made it easy for me to move without lowering properly.)
  17. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    I learned that the competitive field is stronger on the east coast. Or at least I hope that's what I learned, because if not, it means that we haven't actually been improving like we and our teacher thought we were. I think the improvement is real -- we a got a friend to videotape a round, and (despite all the work my head position still needs), it doesn't look that bad. But it sure would be nice to see improvement in placements, too. Good thing we have the video, at least, or we'd be truly bummed. I guess what I also learned is that we're further from moving up a level than I had thought we might be. Back to work, I guess.
  18. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Heck, as far as I'm concerned, any competition where the video makes me feel better rather than horrified is a good comp. :)
    FancyFeet, j_alexandra and cornutt like this.
  19. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Adding an extra day to simply explore the city is fun!
    fascination and Bailamosdance like this.
  20. Spookisgirl

    Spookisgirl Active Member

    Hi all!

    I have been creeping around here for a while, but recently decided to ask some burning questions :) Everyone always has such good and insightful things to say!! I have done two comps so far, one franchised, one NDCA. Here are some things I have learned:

    1) Competitions are the extremely motivating for me :)
    2) I need at least 10 mins of dancing in my shoes before I feel comfortable and grounded in them (and not just using my toes)
    3) Both my pro and I can dance well with the flu
    4) 4 days without dancing before a comp is never a good idea
    5) I prefer NDCA comps to franchised comps, and the level of competitors is much more challenging
    6) I improved a lot between my two comps :) And I want to keep improving and dancing higher
    7) Videos are great tools for evaluation--especially reviewing them with my pro!
    8) Half-knowing the routine my pro wants to do for each dance is a good balance between pure lead/follow and fully choreographed routines. It gives me a general idea of what to expect, but also leaves me able to adjust on the fly if need be (like for traffic issues)
    9) I can fall during a solo and still get right back up and keep going
    10) I prefer doing smooth to rhythm although I love both
    11) I really like multi-dance comps
    12) I can't wait to compete again!!
    13) There is so much to do and learn!!
    Dean, ajiboyet and cornutt like this.

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