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Leaving It All on the Floor 5 Tips for the Competitive Dancer


Whether you are a seasoned pro or a new dancer, competing in a dance competition can be a rewarding experience. It allows you to show off your hard-won skills in front of onlookers, get to mingle with your fellow dancers, and might even inspire you to explore new techniques and styles you haven?t yet experienced.

But for many, even the thought of having to dance competitively can be intimidating, so here are a few tips and tricks to help you overcome your jitters and get onto the jive.

Carb Load

Eat! It can be tempting to skip a meal or two before your competition so that you can squeeze into a visually arresting gown or suit, but not eating enough is the quickest way to lose at a dance competition. A 150-pound person will burn, on average, 240 calories in a single hour of dancing, so don?t forget to load up on some carb and protein rich goodies to get some sustenance for you samba.


When you were a child learning to tie your shoe, did you ever run to show your parents your new skill only to be completely flustered and unable to perform? That?s because unless something is so rehearsed that it has formed a muscle memory, it can be easily derailed by even the slightest division of your attention.

When it comes to practicing, you should perform each step slowly and only work up your speed when you have complete mastery. And don?t stop just because you can do something once! Keep practicing until you can do it every single tip.


Has anyone ever told you not to get in your head about something? It?s a pretty common problem for all beginning athletes. The key here is to learn to trust your instincts, let your body react in the moment because by the time your brain figures out what to do, it?ll already be too late.

Focus on Clarity of Movement

While you might want to show off that flashy trick you learned in last week’s dance class, it?s always better to give a simple flawless presentation. Ballroom dancing is about clean lines. The judges want to know you understand the fundamentals. Remember, less is more.

Make Your Partner Look Good

There is a temptation to hold your partner to a higher expectation than you would yourself, or worse, to try to show off even at their expense. A generally good rule is to make your partner look good. If you know they excel at a specific skill, give them every opportunity to showcase it. Trust me, they?ll love you for it.

It can be scary to try something new, especially something like a dance competition with judges. But the important thing to remember is to have fun, and not sweat the little stuff and waltz like no one is watching!