Competition Prep Tips

The spring box for 2022 is focused on sharing some tools to equip dancers for competition. See below for specific uses and a few extra tips.

Tools and Tips

Button Down Tunic

Tip 1

Start with a button shirt or tunic so that you don’t have to worry about pulling a shirt off over your head after doing hair and makeup. Order this top


Floral Tail Comb

Tip 2

Pack your favorite hair items for touchups even if you are having your hair done by a professional. This tail comb has many uses and it is super pretty and soft.

Floral Tail Comb
Got2B Glued Hair Spray

Tip 3

Use high quality hair spray that is sure to keep all your hairs in the right place so that you can concentrate on your dancing and not worry about fly aways. got2b glued is a tried and true brand loved by many professionals. Be sure to check out our tutorial on hair pieces for tips on washing out this amazing hair spray! Hairpiece tutorial

Rose Makeup Setting Spray

Tip 4

Use a Makeup Setting Spray to finish off your look and help your makeup last all day. We chose a setting spray with a light rose scent to help relax you before you dance. 

Rose Makeup Setting Spray

Tip 5

Don’t forget to pack some healthy snacks to help you get through the long day. Be sure to check out our past nutrition tips and recipes for energy trail mix.

Preparing for a competition is about more than all the things you need to pack. Here at Ballroom Box, we want to help equip for your dance journey so we often include extra opportunities in our box. This season we featured a card from coach Lyvia Zenger. Check out her competition prep tips below.

Let’s go over a pretty common scenario in the dance world: 

Leading up to a competition, you are working really hard to get your routines down and make sure everything is ready to go. 

You are running rounds, dancing to music, and having even more lessons. 

The makeup and hair appointment is booked and you begin to pack all your necessities. 

That’s all that is required for your success at the competition RIGHT?! 

Hate to break it to you…..but there is another whole level of preparation that you should have taken care of by this point in our scenario. 

I bet you’re wondering what it is……well, let’s see if you can guess it based off this other scenario: 

You arrive at the competition and the first thing you start to wonder is who is competing. Discreetly, you pull up the heat lists and begin to check who is in your event. Your heart drops as you see the name of the most competitive woman in your division listed. 

“There goes my chance to win.” You instantly regret looking at that heatlist as you feel your chest get a little tighter and your breath starts to change. 

As you walk up to your hotel room to get ready to compete in the morning, you decide to brush aside the comparison and re-focus on you. Even so, you feel a little ‘off’ as you start your evening routine; the fact that your routine is slightly out of the norm doesn’t help your growing self-doubt.

The next day, as you walk into the ballroom, the mind chatter only gets louder and your ability to fight it gets weaker. You begin to get extremely nervous and worried about your dancing, which in turn starts to affect all the hard work you did leading up to the comp. You feel disconnected from your body and “performing” starts to drop lower on the priority list. 

“I should feel happy.” “I need to be excited.” “I want to feel confident.” These emotions are not showing up no matter how hard you try. 

The only result from this experience is that your best dancing (that you normally have at the studio) doesn’t show up on the competition floor. That leads you to feeling even more frustrated and angry with yourself and the battle raging within. 

Have you guessed it yet? If you said mindset, you are correct. Preparing mentally for competitions is just as important as preparing physically. If you neglect it, you’ll experience the scenario above or something similar to it over and over again. 

Even if you can’t relate specifically to what I described above, have you experienced extreme fatigue and tiredness at competitions? If so, how do you keep your mind strong enough to not let your body quit? The answer is, mental preparation. 

So how do you prepare mentally? 

This subject is WAY too deep to cover in one blog post which is why I have a whole program dedicated to helping female ballroom dancers understand and develop this. But, I can give you a few tips to get started 🙂 

#1: Before the competition, you need to set up the boundary that the body is not allowed to make your decisions. 

Achieving this WILL be difficult but worth it. It requires you to direct your thoughts to more empowering places when your body is screaming at you to stop (of course, this also requires self- awareness so you can avoid injury). This will allow you to progress and continue moving forward despite the pain. You decide how you feel and how you act!

 Start building that boundary by:

  • Holding a 1 minute plank each day and focus your thoughts on a memory where you felt calm and happy – Let your body shake if necessary
  • When your body feels to tired to practice, turn on your favorite song and dance around. Tiredness is a choice and if you change your physiology, you will be able to choose to feel energetic 
  • Stay accountable to what you say you are going to do. NO EXCUSES! 

#2: Set up routines. 

I’m not talking about dance routines here. I am talking about intentional habits that you do on a consistent basis. The dancer in the second scenario would have had a much different competition experience if she had a consistent routine she could rely on to keep her from comparing and going down the rabbit hole of negative thinking. 

To get started, set up a morning and evening routine that you can do everyday. Maintain it during a competition to allow your mind to return to a comfortable and familiar place amidst the stress and chaos. This will help you avoid feeling ‘off’ and will allow your best dancing to carry over onto the competition floor. 

This is just the start of preparing mentally for competitions! And we didn’t cover the other subjects that affect your competition success like: cosmetics, performance, workouts, nutrition, and partnering skills. 

Posse Lashes and glue

Thank you to Lyvia Zenger for being our guest blogger this season and sharing some great tips to mentally prepare for a competition. If you loved this and want coaching on mental preparation and improving other areas such as cosmetics, performance workouts, nutrition, and partnering skills, check out her program helping female dancers master the small details in order to achieve massive results. She also offers 1:1 coaching here 

Want to join her free Facebook group? Click here:

Do you have a favorite tool or tip?

Dance is about community and connection. We would love to hear your tips and suggestions for nutrition as you prepare for a competition. Share below or join the FB group above.

Here are few tips from our friends on social media

  1. Pack your costumers and a pair of shoes in your carryon
  2. Stay Hydrated
  3. Always take backup shoes
  4. Put your feet in third postiion and snuggle up to whoever’s next to you in the awards line
  5. Take a shot of tequila