Dance conventions can be one of the best experiences in a dancer's journey. The opportunity to learn from diverse instructors, meet new dance friends, and bond with other studio members are just a few reasons conventions are so popular. They can be a bit overwhelming though if it's your first time or you haven't done a little preparation first. In this post I'll share some tips from my experience as a dance mom and share some great resources to help keep you organized.
Prep your bag
First, take a deep breath. This is going to be fun. Planning ahead with a checklist is the best way to stay stress-free and ensure you don't forget anything. Under our FAQ tab, you can find a link to a great checklist for competitions by Covet. Many of the same items are necessary for conventions as well but I've revised the list specifically for conventions. If you plan on competing at a convention, I recommend using the competition list. If you are only attending the convention then the condensed convention list might work better for you.
If this is your first convention, I am so excited for you! Most conventions are fun and fast paced. If the convention you are attending is fully booked, then prepare for A LOT of dancers. There is a good chance that the venue will have crowding and long lines at certain times. Always demonstrate professional courtesy to the event staff (competition and venue staff). They are working hard to provide you with a great experience but unexpected hiccups can and do occur. Be patient and kind.
If you are a dancer, you want to be able to take full advantage of every opportunity that is available at the convention you are attending. If there are classes offered that are out of your comfort zone, PARTICIPATE! You never know, it might become your new favorite dance style. Instructors DO look for attitude and participation. DON"T be afraid of looking silly. No one expects perfection. The classes are fast-paced and short on time. DON'T compare yourself to others! Some dancers travel with the conventions and may already know the choreography. Judge yourself only on your own effort and attitude.
If you are a dance mom, I highly encourage you to observe your dancer in at least a few of their classes if you are able. You will learn a lot just by sitting in. If your presence makes your dancer nervous however, respect their feelings. They won't be able to focus and get the most out of the classes you paid for if they are worried about impressing you. Convention rooms can often be very crowded especially in the rooms with younger dancers. You represent not only yourself but your dancer and their studio. Flexibility and patience is key. If there is an issue, keep in mind that lots of little eyes are on you. Contrary to popular belief, most dance moms are friendly and are on the same page as you. As dance moms, we love to chat and catch up with each other. Please keep this to a minimum in the classrooms. Side conversations can be a big distraction to dancers and instructors. If you won't be in the room observing your dancer, bring a book or magazine. Take the opportunity to recharge your mom battery!
If you have additional questions, we'd love to hear them! If you have some more great tips or tricks, please share in the comments.
Check out our links in the FAQ section for more great tips.