Eisteddfod season…it’s one of the busiest, fun and craziest times of the year. From long hours to backstage dramas to nervously awaiting adjudicator decisions, there are a few tips we have learnt throughout the years to make the day, weekend or week of competition a little easier.
Read on to find out our top 10 tips for surviving eisteddfod seasons.
- Purchase a program and bring a pen. Whilst we suggest you don’t rely solely on the times provided, eisteddfod programs are a great guide to when your child is performing. It’s a great idea to also write down the name of the routine next to each entry to make organising costumes easier. Programs are also a great memento if it’s your child’s first, last or favourite competition!
- Pack healthy snacks for you and your dancer. In case you haven’t been to an eisteddfod before, the days are long and food options generally range from hot chips to chocolate bars. Healthy snacks such as nuts, muesli bars or fruit are a great way of keeping energy up and a positive mindset.
- Warm-up before you get to competition. In the craziness and excitement of the dressing room, many dancers either forget to properly stretch or are unable to find enough space and time. If you make sure your dancer has a good stretch before they get to competition, they will not only be getting into the right mindset, but also only need to ensure they are keeping their muscles warm rather than a complete stretch. Packing a resistance band in your dancers bag is a great way for them to warm their muscles effectively before going on stage. REMEMBER…injuries are just as easy to get on stage as in the studio.
- Pre-prepare your costumes and accessories. There is no doubt in the week leading up to competition you’ll be inundated with extra rehearsals, late nights and a nervous/excited dancer. Try to get all your costumes, accessories, tights and shoes together the week before so you are able to make a list of any last minute essentials. To avoid any mix-ups, also make sure you NAME every item.
- Organise your competition kit. Grab a make-up/accessories box and get together all your safety pins, bobby pins, hair nets, band aids, clear nail polish (for stockings) etc. to ensure you have extras of any small essentials.
- Double Up! It is all too easy when there are 100 other dancers in the room to lose, damage or even forget an item. Ensuring you have spares of everything from tights to shoes to false eyelashes means you not only have back-ups for yourself, but if someone from your team happens to forget something you are able to help them out…just remember to ask for it back!
- Read the notes from your adjudicator. Make sure you listen for the adjudicators notes at the end of the session and collect your written notes and music from the eisteddfod staff. Although eisteddfods are a great way to perform and hopefully place, they are also a great opportunity to learn from industry professional.
- Be mindful what you say. When you’re sitting backstage or in a full auditorium you never know what studios are surrounding you. Be sure to only speak positively about other teams, you don’t want to give yourself or your studio a bad name. This is also important during adjudicators decision. Respect his/her decision and congratulate everyone in the section.
- Know your call times and plan for parking. Eisteddfods can often be quite a drive away and most teachers require their students be in the dressing room at a specific time that isn’t always reflected on the program. Make sure you know the exact times you are required for each routine, and consider how long it will take you to get to the venue. Also consider parking and whilst a lot of venues have allocated parking lots, be mindful of others which you may have to drive around for a while or park a fair distance away.
- Take plenty of photos and have plenty of fun. Your child won’t be a competition dancer forever, but those times will be some of the best memories they have of their dance years. Make sure you take plenty of photos and purchase routine videos for your dancer and their friends to look back on in years to come.