The dance convention environment is an important component in building strong, confident, adaptable, and resilient dancers. The experience is unique, challenging, and, when approached (and presented) correctly, highly effective and beneficial as a supplemental training opportunity.

Here are 10 Tips for making each convention a successful experience for your dancers! 

1. Dress to Flatter. Yes, it is important to stand out, but convention attire has become so over the top trendy, that the art of classic, flattering apparel is almost a rarity. What looks best on you? Are you prepared with attire that matches every style of dance offered? For hip-hop, do you look like a hip-hop dancer? For ballet, do you look like a ballet dancer? Know your styles and dress appropriately (and professionally).

2. Physically Perform, Mentally Engage. Conventions require physical exertion for performance, but they also require an equal amount of mental engagement and focus.

3. Be Prepared. Arrive early, be well rested, hydrated, and have a plan in place for healthy meals and snacks throughout the workshop. Take care of your body!

4. Remove Yourself from Distraction. Remove yourself from your in-class friends and parents (if they are observing). Find your own spot in the room where you can focus and absorb the information. Leave your cell phones and iPods outside. When you are in the dance room, you have to be in the zone.

5. Focus. When you are in class, be focused, engaged, and connected with the material being taught. If you disengage at any point, you will likely fall behind in the choreography/instruction. If you fall behind, do not give up. Work hard to catch up, and keep trying! If you have a thoughtful, relevant question, do not be afraid to ask it.

6. Be Respectful & Kind. Treat ALL dancers, instructors, and attendees with the utmost amount of respect. Think about how your words, actions, and gestures may be interpreted. Do not leave or sit down in the middle of a class. Stay throughout the entirety of a workshop.

7.Push Yourself Beyond Familiarity. Use the convention environment as an opportunity to explore and attempt new styles. Take EVERY class. Do not sit out. You will strengthen yourself as a dancer and may realize a new interest or love for a particular style.

8. Thank Your Instructors. Take the time to thank your master teachers. It is a great showing of respect and a resourceful networking tool. Also, take the time to thank your in-studio teachers and parents for providing you with this wonderful opportunity.

9. Do It for the Right Reasons. Attend workshops for the right reasons– i.e. receiving a scholarship should not be your motivation to attend. Go in with the mentality that you there to work hard, learn, and improve yourself as a dancer.

10. Apply the Lessons & Skills Beyond the Day. Retain the information, tips, and techniques shared at the workshop. Apply it to your everyday dancing and make the experience last far beyond the weekend.

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