Dance Obsessions is Delaware County's innovative dance studio with a fresh and modern style

Dance Competition Tips & Tricks

DO-X-fbbannerWe are excitedly gearing up for Competition Season!
Here are a few tips and tricks to get you ready to hit the stage.
This is a great checklist for all dancers, especially new competition dancers!


  • Practice makes perfect! Before traveling to competition, be sure your dancer has consistently practiced all their routines and is ready for the stage.
  • Download your dancers cut music to their phone or iPod so they can review material on their own. You can get this from us, if you email the studio and we can provide your music for your requested routines.

Don’t overdo it the week of competition. Work hard to achieve your goals but don’t overstretch and hurt yourselves. Please don’t do any extreme sports (trampoline park, skiing, skate boarding) before competition. We don’t want to risk a dancer getting an injury before their performance.

  • Triple check that you have each and every part of your costume (per the emailed Accessory List—emailed after Dress Rehearsal), as well as dance shoes, tights, hairpieces, and other small accessories.

• Make sure that your name or initials is on every piece of every costume, accessory, including shoes, caboodle, etc.

Re-stock your caboodle: check if you need new makeup, false eyelashes & glue (for Senior dancers), bobby pins, safety pins, hairspray, extra hair ties, sewing kit, frog clips, etc. You can find these necessary items at any convenient store or even the Dollar Tree.

• Pack water bottles/gatorade and some healthy snacks. Competition can be long days and you want to keep your energy up throughout the day, especially if you are in multiple routines. Most places do not let you bring food into the theater/auditorium, so you may have to keep your snacks in the dressing room.

• Check your venue/hotel location. Make sure you have directions and plan out enough time for travel. If you’re in for a long weekend, check the area online for food places, Wawa, etc.

  • Take care of your body before a performance. Eat regular healthy meals, get a good night rest before competition weekend and try not to stress!


  • Please show up to the competition 1.5 hours before you are scheduled to dance. If you are early in the day, please be there by the time doors open. These days can move along really fast and the kids need time for preparation and stretching/warm up.

• Be dressed in your first dance costume with proper hair and makeup 1 hour before your first scheduled routine. This will give everyone time to settle in, get their costumes organized, review routines and stretch thoroughly.

  • Dancers are expected to sit properly together while waiting to hit the stage. Be courteous to other studios in the dressing rooms and respectfully clap for your competition.
  • USE HAIRSPRAY! Proper presentation is key for each and every dancer. Utilize your bobby pins, hairspray, safety pins, etc. Check that your hair is glued to your head and that there are NO flyaways. Check that your makeup is flawless, reapply your lipstick and glitter when necessary. Pin your costume to your tights, pin suspenders, secure your accessories and double knot your shoes!

Points will be deducted if your presentation is not polished. This is one thing we can make sure we avoid losing points from, if we’re all clean and secure!

• Please wear your Dance Obsessions Competition Team jacket to all awards ceremonies.

  • We will select 1 dancer per group to represent the routine at the awards ceremony.

• If asked when accepting awards, please try to remember to use the full studio name as well as your teacher(s)/choreographer’s full name.

  • Remember, you are representing the elite group of competitive dancers from Dance Obsessions, therefore we expect proper behavior off stage, and super sassy dancers on stage!


• Double check that you have packed all of your costumes, accessories, etc. away and that you aren’t missing any costume pieces or shoes.

  • Collect your winnings and tidy up your space in the dressing room. We don’t want to be known as the sloppy studio.


  • Hair should be completely slick! Refer to the video tutorial on our website for the exact hairstyle and how to achieve it. Fly-aways can be distracting to judges and leave an “unpolished” look. Use more than enough bobby pins, so your hair is secure. Wrap your ponytail as tight as you can and use 2 hair ties to keep the ponytail in place. Please use neutral colored hair ties (no neon colors).

Makeup should be applied via the video tutorial on our website. You must have the BE A STAR makeup kit for competition, including the gray eyeshadow pallet, pink blush, lip pencil and lip glitter. All senior dancers must wear false eyelashes. Use eyeliner and mascara. All dancers should have a similar, cohesive look.

If it can be pinned, pin it! Bobby pin your hats or headbands/hair accessories to your head. Safety pin your costumes securely, so that there are no costume malfunctions. If you are wearing a tan bra or bodysuit underneath, pin your straps to your costumes.


  • Clear nail polish works wonders if your tights get a snag, hole or run. Pack some in your caboodle in case of an emergency.
  • Black thread can be used if you have fishnet stockings and you get a hole in them! Just tie a knot through the fishnet holes and close up the rip.

• Always keep a backup pair of extra tan tights in your bag in the event you get a monster hole/runner.

  • Use eyelash glue in a pinch! If your rhinestones have started to peel off your costume, use eyelash glue to reapply.
  • Spray your tap shoes or other footwear with hairspray if the stage is slippery. Look for Rosin first, sometimes competitions provide a small pile backstage that you can step in. If all else fails, a very small piece of black duct tape on the bottom of your tap shoes will help (Miss Kim can show you).


Encourage your dancer, and be their biggest support! Every competition has a different set of judges and on that day is their opinion of your dancers performance. Wish them best of luck and commend them on their performance :) they are all eager to showcase what they have been working so hard on.

  • Know where your child is… when dancers go missing at competition and are running about playing with friends, they tend to lose concept of time. You don’t want your dancer to miss their performance and the competition will not wait around for you.

— Points will be deducted from the routine if your dance is skipped over, so please be on time!

• Make sure you have your accessory check list and that you’ve packed extras, so that you aren’t having to constantly borrow things from other people. Dance parents that are on top of their game will get annoyed with you if you’re always borrowing safety pins, etc. 

Lead by example and make the best of your day at comp! D.O. parents are just as much as a reflection on our studio as the dancers are. Please be courteous and respectful to others in the hallways, dressing rooms, hotel stays, etc. We are trying to keep a positive attitude throughout the entire weekend!

Please try not to complain about the competition schedule to D.O. management. This is completely out of our hands and we cannot move things around. Competition weekend revolves around dancing and performing, we cannot rearrange the schedule because people want to go swimming at the hotel, shop at outlets or do touristy things.   

Everything counts! Yes, hair needs to be that tight and secure and slicked back, yes you need to glue false eyelashes to your dancers eyeballs, yes you need black socks for that certain number. Performance is key (as mentioned above) and it is NOT necessary to get points docked for presentation, when a little extra hairspray and extra pins will secure extra points on a dancers’ clean presentation!

ALL competitions state NO VIDEOTAPING / RECORDING of any dances. Even your own child’s solo or duo or group dance

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. This is purely for the safety of all dancers involved in the competition. Competition directors have the right to disqualification of the routine and removal of the person video taping the dance from the venue. If you have a problem or want to question this, please talk to a D.O. director and we can explain the safety issue.

  • Engage in the experience. If you have the time, let your dancer stay or show up early to support their teammates. The kids love having their friends cheer them on! Also, watching other studios compete, allows your dancer to check out new techniques and styles that they aren’t always exposed to. 

• Sign up for our Competition Team REMIND Text App so that you are on our texting list, if the competition starts to run early or late, we can let you know ASAP.


  • Remember you are at competition to dance! Please don’t get sidetracked by other matters and stick to the schedule. You may not realize it and the competition could potentially run early and you don’t want to miss your dance. The competition cannot be held up waiting for you.
    — Points will be deducted if you are not on time. If there’s a costume scheduling conflict, alert your teachers and they will notify the backstage team (so we can avoid deducted points).


Got the butterflies? Nervousness can get the best of us, but a little deep breathing and reviewing your routine with a fellow teammate or teacher can settle your nerves about going on the big stage. DOn’t forget to smile and use your full energy!

  • Give yourself enough time to get settled in and stretch!!! This is so important. The day can be stressful enough, performance jitters can make you nervous. Alleviate all the extra tension by getting to the venue in a timely fashion and prepare yourselves for a full day of dancing. You want to be stretched the best and be able to run through your routine before your first dance.
    Dress rehearsals are crucial! Even if your costume appears to fit perfectly when trying it on, you do not know how it will react to your body movement during choreography. Pins and tan bras/bodysuits and double knots will certainly help!
    The face can be the last thing a dancer thinks about on stage, especially beginner dancers. Practice your performances with facial emotions and think about switching up your smile. Relax your face and don’t let your expressions be forced.

Stay for the awards ceremony whenever possible. Not only do you want to find out how you did, but this shows your respect for your teachers, fellow dancers, and the judges who so kindly sat and watched you all day! 

• Please treat your teachers and parents respectfully!!! You don’t want to be “that guy” that flipped out on your mom for trying to help out (or getting in the way). Do your best to avoid fighting in the dressing room/hall.  Remember, your attitude reflects on your team. Stay positive and you will have a positive experience. Laugh, have fun and enjoy your time in the limelight!

  • Cheer for your teammates! Support one another and congratulate each other on a job well done. Even in the event that someone “messes up” do not act condescending and tell them what they did or didn’t do. It is the teachers place to review the mistakes, which we learn from. 


Chances are, something is bound to go awry during your day… you accidentally forgot your socks, somebody messed up on stage, a teammate got lost on their way to the venue…

The best approach is to accept the setback, dust yourself off and move on. Dwelling on accidents and inconveniences will only distract you from doing your job the rest of the day.

• It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s what you do in your dancing shoes! Remember, no matter what place you get, we are proud of your efforts and achievements. Our goal is to advance and get better each time we go on stage, but most importantly, HAVE FUN!


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Now offering top rate dance instruction, for ages 2 to 18 in Aston PA, and Delaware County Aston PA dance studio offering hip hop, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, acro and more © Dance Obsessions 2018