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Author Topic: Feeling 'ready' for a comp...  (Read 2149 times)
elisedance
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« on: July 04, 2010, 06:48:27 AM »

This comes from a comment Mrs Moose said about being ready to compete.  It occurred to me that I don't think I've ever felt ready for a competition - seems we are always working on last minute stuff.

Does that ever happen?  Or when is feeling 'ready' for a comp a sign that maybe you should retire (you aren't learning any more?)
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Lioness
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2010, 09:05:26 AM »

Well, we always want to improve, and as such don'tever feel completely ready for a comp. But I think when we have sat down and detailed the things we want to accomplish in time for the comp, and if we've managed to make those things work, then we feel ready.

Say, for example, we're dancing Waltz, Cha Cha, and Merrilyn at our comp. We might say that for Waltz we want our spin turns working nicely, and we want to get a nice smooth lead-follow relationship. For Cha Cha, we want our turns snappier, and our hips working nicely. For Merrilyn we want to get the arm movements looking nice, and the rise and fall natural and attractive. If we get all those things a week or so before the comp, then we'll feel ready.

OTOH, if we want to make every single step better than those of our competitors, then we're never going to feel ready. We're going to be constantly looking for something to improve (which isn't a bad thing, it just doesn't help you feel ready for a comp). We're not going to be ready if, the lesson before the comp, coach is still pointing out "Oh, that foot isn't quite in the right place. You look like you're sitting down there. Put your head in the right position, etc."

I think feeling 'ready' for a comp is all about whether you feel that you have achieved set goals.
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elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2010, 09:11:06 AM »

Thats a great attitude - trying to improve too much can be very self-defeating as you start to obsess on particular things - and then dance everything else awfully.  I think we tend to be impatient and try to to improve too much - but its hard when you have a mental image of what you were doing wrong and know that you are likely to do the same thing again.

Of course, it does not mean the judges are seeing those things at all - which is pretty obvious when you watch other heats and see who wins Shocked
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pinkstuff
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2010, 01:40:17 PM »

I just go for it.  There is always too much to improve on, guess that is why we progress levels every so often Wink.  If I have everything (eg make-up etc) in order, I tend to feel ready but then the panic of trying to organise at the last minute is conveniently distracting!
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Dora-Satya Veda
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2010, 02:32:49 PM »

I have never been ready for a competition. I am still not ready to compete. The reasons for not being ready from back when I competed and now is very different but the main point is I am not ready. If I had had to wait until I was ready then I would never have competed.

I asked my main teachers the question about being ready. They both said that they had never been ready either and they were many times professional finalists and even world champions. My dance father said that all I had to do was go in to the competition and sell what I have now. Not what I am going to have later, 3 month, 1 year or 5 years down the road. My dance mother told me to think of competitions as a test run of the things that I had been working on.

DSV
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elisedance
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2010, 02:56:57 PM »

Thats an important issue - one coach likes us to have one thing to think about improvement wise during a competition whereas another says don't think of anything except performing and dancing while at least looking like you enjoy it.  I've found plusses in both approaches - the first helps you get somewhere (after several comps you accumulate skils) but with the danger of making you focus too much on one thing at the expense of others.  The second approach seems to me to be better to achieve your best since its easy to forget and underestimate how importan it is for the judges to see a couple that is happy on the floor....
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pinkstuff
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2010, 03:06:11 PM »

I have never been ready for a competition. I am still not ready to compete. The reasons for not being ready from back when I competed and now is very different but the main point is I am not ready. If I had had to wait until I was ready then I would never have competed.

I asked my main teachers the question about being ready. They both said that they had never been ready either and they were many times professional finalists and even world champions. My dance father said that all I had to do was go in to the competition and sell what I have now. Not what I am going to have later, 3 month, 1 year or 5 years down the road. My dance mother told me to think of competitions as a test run of the things that I had been working on.

DSV

That is exactly what I get told.  The week before or so we don't work on anything particular anymore, we just dance.  I'm still learning to "sell", at the moment I think the most important thing for me is to believe in what I am selling otherwise no-one else will either.
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MusicChica
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2010, 10:24:37 PM »

This is a timely thread for me.  I don't think there's any possible way I'll feel ready for Vol State at the end of this month, just because we decided a month ahead of time to do Open when I've only ever danced Bronze before (for details, see "at a comp, which entries?" thread).  Best I can shoot for at this point is to remember the routines and not fall flat on my face...
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elisedance
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 06:07:06 AM »

This is a timely thread for me.  I don't think there's any possible way I'll feel ready for Vol State at the end of this month, just because we decided a month ahead of time to do Open when I've only ever danced Bronze before (for details, see "at a comp, which entries?" thread).  Best I can shoot for at this point is to remember the routines and not fall flat on my face...
Then read this topic http://partnerdanceonline.com/index.php?topic=398.msg78903#msg78903 and in particular post 113 on making mistakes.  This was one of the biggest revelations to me in competition dancing (and probably any perfomance act).
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MusicChica
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 02:18:51 PM »

But see, I don't know that I'll get nervous at the comp itself--I haven't gotten butterflies/nervous about a performance in...years, actually.  My nervousness will probably come in the week or two leading up to the comp, freaking out about making sure I've got everything I need and we're as prepared as we're going to get.
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elisedance
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2010, 05:23:26 PM »

But see, I don't know that I'll get nervous at the comp itself--I haven't gotten butterflies/nervous about a performance in...years, actually.  My nervousness will probably come in the week or two leading up to the comp, freaking out about making sure I've got everything I need and we're as prepared as we're going to get.

tsk.  the post was not about nervousness.... its about making mistakes
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MusicChica
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2010, 06:09:04 PM »

The quote was about having butterflies.  And it's in the "nervousness" thread.
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elisedance
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2010, 06:11:29 PM »

The post was about making mistakes.  The point is that its OK to make them - that everyone makes them.  Just watch the top couples.  The secret is to a) not show it and b) (even more) turn it into something else.  On the whole, judges are not looking for mistakes they ignore them as long as they do not undermine the dance....
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cornutt
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2010, 08:57:19 PM »

I nearly always feel like I am ready for a comp.  Now, mind you, I can always be "ready-er".  But being ready, to me, means that I've had time to go through all of the dances I'm going to be doing in the previous weeks; I'm fresh on everything that I'm going to dance and my instructor has had a chance to see it and critique it.  And, I'm all packed (use a checklist). 

I may have doubts in my mind about whether I'm going to be able to do everything that I'm signed up for.  But some of the best things of my life have come when I put myself into situations where I was over my head.  It's a familiar feeling by now.  Being ready doesn't mean that I'm confident I'm going to win.  It just means that I'm ready to give it my best effort.
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elisedance
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2010, 09:04:13 PM »

Its great when you have a comp every 2 weeks or so - then one really is ready all the time, 'oh its saturday must be a comp' Smiley
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The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
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