How to prepare for aerial dance competition?
If you've never enrolled in any aerial contest and you want to know what to focus on, we have 8 key points for you:
1. Read the rules carefully.
Check which age and level categories are for you. Some contests exclude people who already won in other events or have different categories e.g. for those who already teach aerial classes.
2. Check the obligatory and bonus figures chart.
Make sure you are able to perform them. You can begin calculating points if this information can be found in the rules. Sometimes you can get more points for bonus figures than for all the obligatory ones.
Check if there are any minus points for costume, hair, prompts etc.
Record your act and try assessing it as if you were the jury member. If you are satisfied with your performance, go on and send the sign up form!
Why you should think twice before enrolling?
If you sign in and then change your mind, you may lose the sign up fee or you may end up banned from this competition for certain time.
Some competitions exclude people who resigned from taking part in future editions.
3. If you can, check what equipment will be used in the competition (parametres, type, height etc.)
Try practicing on the same kind of equipment. If that's not possible, get to know if there's a possibility of rehearsing just before the competition on their equipment.
If there is, use it! It's not a good idea to perform on equipment you don't know.
Besides stress, you can get an injury.
4. Plan your preparation.
If you are preparing alone, plan how many trainings you need (preferable plus 2 or 3 spare ones, in case of any delay or difficulties).
If you are preparing with a teacher, ask them to help you plan it.
5. Choose your music and costume.
Don't leave those decisions for last minute.
Music is a very important part of any performance and often if your performance is consistent with music, you can get bonus points.
If your costume will be made by a seamstress, remember that it takes time and you do want to rehearse in your costume as well.
Don't perform in a costume you haven't rehearsed in!
Untested costume can get ripped, cause burns, get tangled in silks or hammock.
You can get minus points, stress and it may be dangerous.
6. Record your trainings.
Watch them to correct any mistakes. Show it to your peers or people close to you, check their reaction, ask their remarks.
Often we don't realise some parts may be too slow, too boring, too hectic etc.
Don't get nervous if you hear a negative opinion. If it is constructive, think if you want to improve your performance. Jury can be strict and if someone noticed an "uncool" moment, jury will surely notice it, too.
7. Plan your breaks and relaxation time.
Even if you feel your performance isn't 100% ready, plan the last day as a day off (sauna, swimming pool, hot bath, massage etc.)
There's no point in rehearsing till 1am and waking up at 6am to go to the competition.
Lack of sleep, overtraining, lack of concentration are most common reasons behind injuries.
8. Have your own audience:
if you have this possibility, take your loved ones, some of your friends with you as your support team. You will have someone to help you dress, do make up, hair bur also you will have good audience reactions during the performance and that adds to confidence!
Applause is not judged by the jury, but it gives emotional support and that helps with the competition stress.
Good luck with your first competition!