“I want to participate in DanceSport competition but I can’t find a partner!”
If these are words are familiar – then ask yourself “am I doing everything in my power to optimise my chances?” Sure… there are many more girls than guys looking, but it’s also hard for guys to find the right girl!
So, here it is, the no holds barred , no more excuses list of
“Increasing Your Odds –
11 ways to maximise your DanceSport try-out”.
1. If you are seriously looking for dance partner, work on becoming the best dancer you can be – take as many private lessons and classes as you can afford from the best teacher you can find, listen carefully to what they say – and then practice, alone if necessary! Don’t buy a gown, yet, buy lessons!
2. Learn all three DanceSport Styles (Standard Ballroom, Latin American and New Vogue) and become proficient in each. Knowing only one or two styles immediately lowers your chances of finding a partner. Do multi style medals while you are looking for a partner, to get you used to performance under pressure.
3. Be flexible across which age group you wish to dance in. You and your perfect partner might be better competing in Masters, than Adult, or a Junior might have to be content with a ‘perfect for them other than age’ Youth partner.
4. Get fit! Carrying extra pounds? Aim to trim down now! First impressions count and prospective partners (and even you) are looking for someone who looks like a dancer.
5. Update your dance practice wardrobe and wear it to the tryout. Choose flattering styles for your figure. Black is safe, and you will look serious. Men, get some dance practice trousers and top – or wear a black shirt – and girls, bring a Latin and Ballroom skirt.
6. Make sure all elements of your personal grooming is impeccable. Wear clean, odour free, competition style dance shoes. And, be sure to be freshly showered and use fragrance lightly. Use deodorant, and floss to ensure you have no bad breath, and don’t eat garlic. Update your hairstyle (a conservative style and colour is best) and girls – wear makeup. Guys – shave!
7. Tryouts can be nerve-wracking but be on your best, most friendly behaviour. Avoid bragging about yourself, avoid trashing your last partner, be positive, friendly, open to conversation, a good listener and above all, SMILE. No one will sign up to partner a negative or solemn person, including you – no matter how good dancer they are.
8. Be flexible if a good match cannot meet your expectations regarding lessons or practice time. Sure, you know it takes 5-7 days week and 3-4 hours per day for most champions, BUT, right now, you don’t have partner, so be prepared to compromise. Likewise with teachers and studios.
9. Get out there! Go to competitions, go to socials, go to classes at different studios` and everywhere you go look awesome, and be friendly.
10. Make sure you’ve got an advertisement with flattering photos in costume on all the partner search sites, DSA, Dance Partner Search on Facebook etc. Update it regularly.
11. Look for potential in a partner who’s not at your level. If you think you can work together, then go for it. Many a time a girl has forfeited a beginner boy and then seen him a few months later with someone else – dancing like a pro. And guys – take a second look at a girl who has little ballroom but some experience in other dance styles such as ballet – these girls cal be amazing in no time.
Monica Fincham was a competitive dancer for 17 years and had four partner during that time – the longest and most successful for 13 of those. She commenced in the early grades and ended up as a top professional on the Australian DanceSport scene, competing internationally and in particular at Blackpool DanceSport Championships. She now owns and operates a dance studio in Melbourne, Australia and – along with a professional coaching team- trains couples to enter competitions locally, interstate and internationally. http://www.dancesportkingdom.com.au