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5 Tips to Help Dancers Prepare for Nationals from a Certified Personal Trainer

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

So I've been talking to a lot of dancers and parents who are quickly approaching their national competitions in June or July. Most of my 1:1 dancers are SUPER excited about it. Some of them are a bit nervous already.

And that's totally normal. It's only the biggest competition of the season! 😬

Whether you're a parent or a teacher, I wanted to give you some tips for these upcoming competitions! And if you aren't preparing for nationals, these tips would be great for any upcoming performance!

So here they are...

1. Do Less!!

Honestly, if you were going to start working on your stamina for your group routines for nationals, you should've started wayyyyy long ago.

As you approach any performance, you want to make sure your body is well-rested, well-hydrated, and well-fueled. This means you aren't training until fatigue. You actually should slow down your training the week leading up to the performance to allow your body to recover properly.

2. Bring Snacks

This one seems obvious, but it's super important. I LOVE snacks, y'all. Give me ALL of them. But when you're performing and dancing all day for multiple days in a row, you have to be eating enough food. And nutritious food as well!

Aim for snacks that are higher in protein and carbohydrates for quick energy.

3. Be Present

It's easy to get caught up in the nerves and the anxiety of being in a large group and performing in front of so many people. I know I used to get nervous before performing too. And sometimes huge crowds make me feel anxious.

As we get caught up in the future, it can be hard to stay present. Of course, meditation and journaling can really help with this. But at a dance competition, you may not even have time for that!

So before every dance class, rehearsal, or performance, I want you to take 5 deep breaths and say one positive thing about yourself. I know this is hard for a lot of dancers, so here are some examples that might apply to you too:

  • I am a hardworker.

  • I am good at picking up choreography.

  • I have great facials.

  • My leg extensions are beautiful.

4. Trust Yourself

You might feel the need to do some last minute training before competition. While that might work in your favor for some last minute reminders, it can also cause a lot of physical and emotional stress. Think about it... you have been prepping for this competition for MONTHS (whether it feels like it or not).

All of your previous rehearsals, private lessons, classes, etc have brought you to this point. It's time to trust your body and remember what it's capable of!

5. Do a proper warm up

If you follow me on Instagram or have been to one of my webinars, you know that I talk about this all👏🏻the👏🏻time👏🏻

You cannot ONLY do stretches and call it a warm up. First, get that blood flowing with some jumping jacks, high knees, etc. Next, activate major muscle groups with squats, lunges, planks ,etc. Third, mobilize the joints with some hip circles, arm circles, mobility drills, etc. And finally, add some specific exercises for your skills. This could include dynamic stretching, some static stretching, or pliés.

If you have any more questions about proper warm ups, check out these posts on my Instagram page!

Hopefully that will help you navigate your national competitions this year. If you have any more questions, feel free to leave a comment on this post or message me on Instagram (@trainwithkendall).


Kendall Baab

Owner & Founder of BodyKinect

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