pre-competition disorder

3wishes

Well-Known Member
My first real ballroom competition is in 3 weeks away. In the past, I have competed in Country Western through UCWDC and I've entered an in-house comp at my studio. I've been dancing American Style for about 6 years. I'm a little nervous about my American Smooth and Rhythm entries.

I just started International Standard in June of this year. I am terrified about my Standard entries.

Any advice?

Also, my showcase is in 1 week.
Practice. Practice. Practice. The more you practice the less terrifying it will be.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
But the first one's always a little terrifying. Totally normal - and you never feel completely ready.

It helped me, prior to my first, to find a non-judgy person who has competed before who could answer all of my million and moderately embarrassing questions, like how know when my events were, how you enter the floor, would there be change rooms, water, etc. They also showed me a video of their first completion... which helped immensely, because it gave me a different picture to put in my head than the high-level and posh comp videos that permeate YouTube. I found that a bronze or silver dancer was more helpful for me than my teachers, likely because they remembered their first competition and all the nerves and questions that came with it.

About a week out, I consciously try to shift my mindset - because by then, all the work is done and it will be what it is. I often switch to obsessing about my hairstyle or nail colour... I seem to like to have a focus for the worries, but putting it on something trivial helps with my overall level of nerves. Plus, those are things I can control ;)
 

Loki

Well-Known Member
Personal notes on Standard -

Keep your frame, keep your frame, keep your frame.

Don't "dance square" to walls, but I'm sure your pro will mind the alignments. I think of it as more like a starfish ( 4 arms though) than an oval. Get the "Down the line, here's a corner, down the line, here's a corner" out of your head if that's in there.

Get used to your floats? I'm told it does feel different than Smooth, but that's one follow's opinion.
 
I have no floats. My dress has no stones. I'm using the same dress for standard and smooth. I'm anxious about all of those things. My pro said the dress needn't be too ornate since it's my first competition. He also says that a simple dress makes a statement. I hope he knows what he's talking about.

Fortunately I my pro minds the alignments and I can do things like focus on my frame, and focus on my frame, and focus on my frame. I hope I can remember to breathe.
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
I focussed on my partners breath for awhile so that I would continue to breath during rounds/competitions.

It is all fine! Even if you discover that you want to do some things differently next time, it really is all fine. Simple dress is definitely fine. Any other particular concerns you have?
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
I have no floats. My dress has no stones. I'm using the same dress for standard and smooth. I'm anxious about all of those things. My pro said the dress needn't be too ornate since it's my first competition. He also says that a simple dress makes a statement. I hope he knows what he's talking about
I wore a plain black practice dress with chunky costume jewelry from a regular store for my first one. Not an issue at all.
 
The breathing tip sounds like something I could use. These have all been great suggestions.

I’m hoping to come up with a ‘go to’ fix. One thing I can focus on when things start falling apart. I don’t want my mind to try and figure out what to do. I want to have an automatic place to start. Any suggestions?
 

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