Well the big day has arrived and it's your turn to show everyone what you've
been up to over the last few months. Here's some tips to help you enjoy this amazing moment and look forward to it with anticipation rather than dread.
I think the best approach is to think of the things that can go wrong.
Prepare yourself for the worst case scenario and then what have you left to fear?

1. You start on stage and your music doesn't.
If you've been to shows before then you will have seen it. It happens occasionally that a competitor and the audience waits in uncomfortable silence while the sound people have a moment. If this happens to you, count to about ten. If your music still isn't starting then wave to the judges and the audience and leave the stage professionally.

2. You start on stage and the wrong music is played.
If this happens you have a couple of choices. If you've rehearsed your piece over and over you should
pretty much be able to do it to any music. If you are confident enough to give it a go by all means
go ahead. If you've gone for 60 seconds of hard out Drum and Bass and suddenly they're playing
Shiana Twain then the best thing to do is to acknowledge both the judges and the audience then leave.
You can turn a potentially horrible moment into one that shows that you have grace and strength.

3. Half way through you forget your routine.
Again if you've practiced until you can do it in you sleep then your brain should (hopefully) go into overdrive
so this shouldn't happen. Remember that most people in the audience haven't seen your routine before so if
you feel confident to get back into it then do. No one will notice if you don't let them.

If it's completly turning to custard then go through your compulsaries one by one. At the end leave the stage with an "I meant to do that" air about you. Don't run off with your hand over your mouth! Actually on that point practice your exit after the music finishes. I found myself running off the stage the first time. Not a good look!

4. The judges are doing comparisons and there is heaps of confusion!
This one is very dear to my heart. It's hard hearing the judges calling out the numbers and having to swap places with grace on those heals especially on a wooden stage. The lights are bright and it's all pretty overwhelming (in a really cool way) Here's where I went wrong,

I stopped concentrating and took in
the moment instead which I'm sure more seasoned competitors will forgive me for. I completly missed calls a few times in the four shows I did. Concentrate and don't let your guard down. Practice moving around to do your comparisons. Try to walk with purpose and confidence, don't clomp around.

Sarah Fox
First published April 05

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