Category Archives: Dance Competitions

More Random Thoughts From A Dance Competition: Part 2

This past weekend was the final competition of our dance team’s regular season.  The fog has lifted from my dance competition weekend hangover enough to share a few of the thoughts I had with you.  Here’ they are:

  • Put the iPad away, Grandma. There’s no pics or videos in here today. Plus, you look silly holding that thing up.
  • Nothing like starting a dance competition with a song about death.
  • I like my music loud but they could really dial it down a notch today.
  • Nice. They’ve got the stage mic’d so you can really hear & appreciate the cloggers & tappers.
  • These girls are 8. Why did you give them choreography & costumes more appropriate for 18 year olds?
  • The prop trailer is unloaded & paint touched up. Is it break time yet?
  • It shouldn’t have taken that long to put 12 umbrellas on the stage.
  • If I could ban 1 song from dance competition use what would it be?
  • Show some respect, people. Only talk/enter/exit between dances. Not while the performers are on stage.
  • It’s always the dance moms that yell “go girls” when the dancers come on stage. I’ve never heard a dance dad do that. (Not judging. Just an observation).
  • I know they’re sharing the stage but your dancer’s head could fall off & I’d probably miss it because I’m focusing on my daughter.
  • Your dance was good but the many prop malfunctions were very distracting.
  • A hair bow just fell out on stage. I feel sorry for the dance mom that put it in. Abby Lee Miller would not be pleased!
  • 3rd performance of “Rotten To The Core” today. Each 1 distinctly different but I don’t need to see another one this weekend.
  • Someone near me smells like lemon scented Pledge.
  • I swear this kid has been in at least 10 dances today. I’d hate to pay her dance competition fees!
  • Oh, Yay! Another dance to Rotten To The Core. (You read that with sarcasm, right?)
  • I like this kid & I don’t even know her! Q: Congrats. Would you like to give a shout out to anyone? A: God, my parents, & choreographer.
  • And now the top 3 groups wearing blue costumes. Just kidding but these awards are really dragging & that’s what it feels like.
  • Yeah. Good idea stopping to take your kid’s picture right where everyone’s walking. There’s an open wall around the corner.
  • Up & ready to go for day 2. Need coffee. Need. Coffee. Now!
  • Every dance competition should start the day with a few hip hop numbers to get some energy in the room.
  • Ouch. that music edit was jarring.
  • I wonder if I could start a small business editing music.
  • Hair bow down. Hair bow down.
  • Coffee = dance fuel!
  • It’s fun hearing someone near you make a snarky comment at the start of your dance only to have to eat their words when it’s over!
  • Wow! A good dance routine is good whether it’s from our studio or not. I’d love to see that last modern piece again.
  • And here we go with Dear Future Husband. Make it stop! At least it’s not another Rotten To The Core.
  • “Mama, I’m A Big Girl Now” should be retired as a dance competition song.
  • Don’t be shy if the MC asks what studio you’re from & who choreographed your number. It means you did well. Say it loud & proud!
  • This auditorium is freezing. Glad I decided not to wear shorts.
  • Maneuvering thru the halls of this dance competition around all the groups practicing is like a human version of Frogger or Crossy Road.
  • Backstage getting ready to set my daughter’s solo prop. I swear I’m always more nervous than her.
  • Ugh! I can already tell tomorrow morning is gonna be rough. (It was).
  • I wish we had another competition weekend!
  • At least there’s recitals and nationals to look forward to.



Dance Competition Etiquette

I’m in my 5th year of being a Competition Dance Dad.  Over the course of those 5 years I’ve noticed that the way people act at dance competitions has gotten progressively worse.

A lot of times it’s not the dance families displaying the rude behavior… it’s friends and extended family that might not know any better.   I thought I’d offer up some rules of etiquette for those new to dance competitions.

  1. Turn the ringer off on your phone (and the electronic devices you brought to entertain your kids).  A ringing phone is a big distraction for everyone.
  2. Turn the brightness down on your smartphones and tablets. Auditoriums are dark.  Having your device at full brightness is annoying.
  3. Only enter and move around between dances.
  4. When you find a seat sit down quickly.  We paid good money to watch our kids dance.  I’m not exactly sure how much.  See lesson #1 of Dance Dad 101.
  5. Keep your conversations down and only between dances and at breaks.
  6. Watch your comments.  You never know what studio or dancer those around you belong to.
  7. Find an appropriate place to take pictures.  Right outside the auditorium doors in the traffic flow is not a good place.
  8. If the competition says “no pictures or video” they mean no pictures or videos.  If they allow pictures make sure your flash is off.
  9. If you need to smoke do it in your car and not at the front of the building.

What did I miss? What would you add to this list?

Attending your 1st Dance Competition? Here's a few rules to follow! Click To Tweet

Empty Dance Stage


More Random Thoughts From A Dance Competition

Another dance competition weekend has come and gone.  Once again it was a fun time… and once again I had thoughts.  Lots of thoughts.  Here are a few:

  • You know you’re a Dance Dad when you’re up earlier on a weekend comp day than you are for a normal work day.
  • Hotel showers were not made for anyone over 6 feet tall.
  • Part of the fun of any dance competition is hanging with the other dance families during the downtime.
  • I wish I could eat a hotel breakfast every morning.
  • Why do dance comps/studios still use CD’s?
  • My daughter nailed her lyrical solo! My prop placement wasn’t bad either!
  • Kudos to whoever is playing the bumper music in between routines at today’s dance competition! Good mix of fun favorites.
  • Woo hoo! Made it to the first break & we’re 20 minutes ahead!
  • Lunch break at B-Dubs! I went from helping with props in the wings to eating wings.
  • I love wings!
  • Starbucks makes everything better.
  • Ouch! That music edit was done with a hatchet.
  • I like this awards announcer. Give the results, get in, get out, & move on.
  • Please ask yourself… is this prop really necessary?
  • Those wings at lunch were good.  We should get wings every comp weekend.
  • That lyrical routine gets me every time. #isitdustyinhere
  • Putting together a gigantic prop in a tiny space surrounded by a crowd of dancers isn’t easy but it’s kind of fun.
  • Made it 9 hours into today’s dance competition before “Dear Future Husband” was played. That’s a record this season!
  • I don’t care who you are if you include Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky” in your hip hop I will stop what I’m & watch you.
  • It’s physically impossible for me to stay still watching my youngest daughter’s group do their hip hop routine.
  • Loading the prop trailer is like a real world version of Tetris.
  • Yowza! Witnessed a dance mom verbal assault backstage. I thought stuff like that was only staged for TV. Apparently not.
  • Let’s quit goofing around and get on with the awards!
  • Only two hours from home. Let’s get some food and get going.
  • Whoever cooked this bacon on my burger did a great job. Perfect crispiness.
  • Thanks to the Waze app I know our pee break only added 8 minutes to our trip home.
  • Seriously, that was some really good bacon.
  • Finally! Home!
  • Finally! In bed!
  • I’m exhausted. Why can’t I sleep?
  • Is it wrong that I’m still thinking about the bacon on my burger?
  • Can’t wait to do this all again next weekend!

If you enjoyed these be sure and check out my thoughts from our first dance competition this season.

First to come last to leave


DDU Tip Of The Week: Makeshift Night Stand

I discovered this week’s tip of the week by accident. We’re out of town staying at a hotel for a weekend dance competition and I was frustrated by the lack of a night stand by my side of the bed.

I surveyed the room looking for something that would work. Just as I was about to give up our Dream Duffel caught my eye. More specifically the stools sticking out of the side pocket.

Turns out a Dream Duffel stool is the perfect size and height for a makeshift night stand!

Dream Duffel stool night stand.jpg

Check out this #DanceDad hack! Click To Tweet

Product Review: RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger

As a Dance Dad, one of the things I carry in my backpack on dance competition weekends is a portable battery pack.  That way I’ll have more than enough juice for pre/post performance pics, sharing results with friends on Facebook, and tweeting random thoughts about the competition.

With an external battery back you can recharge your phone without being tethered to a wall.  My battery pack of choice is the RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger.

A battery pack like this would also come in handy during storm season if we lose power.  It’ll also be nice when we go camping or spending the weekend at a softball tournament.

I didn’t get free product and am not getting paid for this review.  It’s just me and my opinion.  If you do click on the links included and purchase this from Amazon you’ll get the same price as everyone else but I’ll make a small commission.  Any money I make I use to offset my yearly web hosting fees.

RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger

Inside the box you get the portable charger, instructions, a carrying pouch, and 2 micro/usb cables (one longer than the other).

RavPower Battery Pack

The carrying pouch is useful for protecting the pack when not in use and keeping all your cords with it.

RavPower Battery Pack In Pouch

My first impression is that I liked the the size and quality of the charger.  It’s got a good, compact size and isn’t as heavy as I thought it would be.  It’s about the same weight as a can of pop.  Not something I’d want to carry around in my pocket all day but nothing you’d notice in a backpack or purse.

RavPower Battery Pack Compared To Coke Can

It doesn’t come with it’s own charger (although they do sell them) but if you have an Android phone you can just use that charger to charge the unit.  I used my Nexus 6 turbo charger.  Even with that, it took at least 12 hours to fully charge up the RAVPower.

The RAVPower has 2 charging ports so you can charge two devices at the same time.  There’s even a handy LED flashlight.

RavPower Battery Pack Flashlight

There are 4 blue LED lights on the top of the unit that correspond to the amount of charge it has left: 25% per light.  So if all 4 are lit up it’s fully charged.

RavPower Battery Pack Fully Charged

To put it to the test I thought I’d start the week with my Nexus 6 at full power and see how far I’d make it only charging it with the RAVPower unit.

RavPower Battery Pack Charging Nexus 6

Here are the results:

Monday – Phone battery at 100% at 7:30am.

Tuesday at 8:40am – Phone battery was at 39% and was fully powered to 100% at 10:30.

Wednesday at 6:20am – Phone battery was at 39% and was fully powered to 100% at 8:10am.

Thursday at 6am – Phone battery was at 36% and was fully powered to 100% at 7:50am.

Friday at 9:20am- Phone battery was at 40% and was fully powered to 100% at 11am.

Saturday at 9:30am – Phone battery was at 31% and was fully powered to 100% at 11:30am.

By this time the blue indicator light on the RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger was flashing meaning it was about out of juice.  I tried squeezing a little bit more out of it on Sunday but only got my phone battery to go from 40% to 43% before there was nothing left in the external charger.

So, I got 6 full days of use out of my phone and 5 charges from the RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Based off these results there’s no doubt in my mind that if I was careful with my usage I could get a full week out of my phone charging it with only this portable charger.

It certainly has more than enough juice to get me (and my daughters’ iPhone & iPad Mini 4) through a weekend dance competition, a few days camping, or a ball tournament.

For the price and performance I’ve experienced with the RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger I have no problem recommending it to you!


DDU Tip Of The Week: Label Makers

I’ll admit that my handwriting isn’t the neatest to look at.  Sure, it gets the job done and is fine for labeling ballet, clogging, and jazz shoes… but not so much for medals, ribbons, and trophies.

That’s where having a good label maker comes in handy.  You can label all your dancers awards in a neat and professional way.

Labeling dance ribbons and medals

What’s your best dance tip? Leave a comment and let me know. I may use in for an upcoming DDU Tip Of The Week!


DDU Tip Of The Week: Song Lists

Once your dancer starts competing, chances are, they’re going to want to do a solo (or team up with some friends to do a duet or trio). If your studio is like ours your dancer will get a big say in the solo song they dance to.

Choosing the right song is important.  It has to be one your dancer loves and can connect to.  It also has to be one that the choreographer can work with.  Finally, it has to be one that you as a dance parent don’t mind… because you’ll be hearing it a lot for the better part of a year!

In order to help narrow down the song choices it’s good to keep a running list of your options.

I’d suggest keeping the list digitally in an app on your smartphone that you can also access on the web.  Something like Google Keep, Google Docs, Evernote, or a simple document you save to Box or Dropbox will work.

The reason you want the list accessible on your phone is you want it available when inspiration strikes.  Hear a song on the radio you think might work? Add it to the list.  At a comp and hear a unique cover version? Add it to the list.

You can even add bands or artists to the list.  If you see a great performance to a unique cover song Google the singer.  Chances are they’ll have other cool versions of familiar songs too.

When my oldest is really on the hunt for a solo song she’ll email YouTube links of songs she likes.  I add those to the list.  You can add your own YouTube links too.

You can also remove songs from the list throughout the season if you notice they’re being overused or your dancer decides it’s not a good fit for them.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a personal resource your dancer can draw from when it’s time to choose a solo song.

Narrow down solo song choices for your dancer with this DDU Tip Of The Week! Click To Tweet

DDU Tip of the week - Song Lists