Your dance shoes are packed, your clothes are pressed, and your heart is definitely beating a little faster than usual.
It's the eve of your next District Showcase, your muscle memory has been set, and your brain has a "No Vacancy" sign on it - normal stuff. That doesn't mean we can't put a few ideas out there in case there's a little space in your head, or suitcase.
10 Last Minute District Showcase Advice for You, the Arthur Murray Student
1. Take Full Advantage of General Dancing
With the new two day format, there will be a few breaks for dancing. While you may be midway through your freestyle schedule, and your first instinct may be to use that time to sit back and rest your feet, we recommend that you utilize this time to dance, stay warmed up, and socialize with others. All three of these things will reduce any potential anxiety, and you'll have plenty of time to kick your feet up at dinner.
2. Walk On the Floor With Purpose
If this is your first District Showcase, congratulations. It is the dance event version of a freight train, and things will move quickly. A purposeful walk will keep you looking confident and like you've been there before. So walk briskly, with or without your teacher, and treat it like the Fastrak lane on any Bay Area toll booth - do not stop.
3. Check in Before you Check Out
There are times when you may need to leave the ballroom. Unless you are finished dancing for the day, check in with your teacher, or another member of the staff, to ensure that you do not miss any of your freestyles.
4. Smile Early
Just like a carnival, or pool party - the sooner you start smiling, the sooner you'll start to enjoy yourself. You may already have smile inducing dances on your showcase agenda like Country Western, Merengue, or Peabody, and if that's the case, be sure to thank your teacher... by smiling.
5. Don't Share on the Floor
When it comes to little errors, or total and complete brain work stoppage, avoid the urge to publicly toss your efforts, or those of your partner, under the proverbial bus. In most cases, no one will notice what you missed, unless you tell them.
6. Make Your Goals a Broken Record
Your personal goals, those things that you agreed on with your teacher, the next run up the dance progress ladder should be repeated constantly throughout the day. Like a gambler with a pre-casino financial strategy, you need to keep your goals communicated to ensure that they are consistent with the ones you walked in with.
7. Consider the Source
When asking for feedback, it's important that you always ask someone who can share insight, and offer clear, actionable steps to get there. While other students may give you an "atta boy" or "great job", be cautious of any non-teacher giving harsh criticism or technical advice. Everyone's dance program is custom planned, and everyone's learning style is unique - so what is taught is like your own prescription, and you should never take someone else's prescription.
8. Accept It
You may receive compliments throughout the day. This is a good thing. There is no elaborate complimenting conspiracy put together by the positive club of secrecy. It's important that you always remember one thing: They could have stayed silent, but didn't. So accept it with class and graciousness.
9. Redirect It
Taking #8 a step further would be to redirect. This is like an awards speech when the Best Actor says "and this wouldn't be possible without....". Redirecting the praise is a great way to pay tribute to everyone that has helped you along the way like your teachers, the managers, the consultant, or students who have encouraged you along the way.
10. Enjoy It
Life can be crazy. Perhaps you started dancing because of this exact reason. We never know what kind of twists and turns life has in store for us, we recommend that you enjoy the twists and turns of the showcase. Whatever dance problems come your way, just compare that to the crazy life that you had before dancing, and we think you'll prefer dance-crazy over the alternative any day of the week.
If you were in the Olympics, it was your training that got you there. The event itself may add more pressure, and adrenaline, but doesn't change your training regimen. Your training regimen is what got you prepared enough to participate in the District Showcase. And while the purpose of the event is to extract a more dance confident version of you from within a fortified comfort zone, feel free to smile and enjoy the process.