MOVEMENT MONDAY #4: First Show Tips

| January 4, 2010 | 2 Comments

Aaaaaah!  It’s first show week, it’s first show week, it’s first show week!!!  Gah!  Where is my tape recorder? Where is my manual? Where is my judge’s bag?  Oh… hey, wait a minute.  This is the MOVEMENT column… hold on, let me take of my judge hat and find my Movement Chick legwarmers.  Phew, that’s better

[Sidebar:  I am NOT that unprepared to step into the stands,
I assure y’all… that was purely for dramatic effect]

And also, I know, the rest of the free world is not perhaps quite so crazy ridiculous over eager timely as is Upstate New York, and the first show may NOT be so blasted refreshingly early.  It is, however, out there and will be here before we know it. [Again, speak for yourself… in my little world, it’s HERE… but as ever, I digress] So… this week, it is my supreme goal to give you one or two last minute miracle fixes to your show.

Okay, fine. There are NO miracle fixes, you’re absolutely right.  Nothing will stand in the stead of good, solid and ongoing training.  Nothing takes the place of a regular and effective body/dance block; strength training and equipment basics.  Nothing will solve first show jitters and the resultant performance concerns.

[Gee, Movement Chick, helpful much?]


If I were to provide anyone out there with some thoughts, here they are.

Your performers’ bodies are what move them around the floor, perform your choreography and staging and support your equipment book.  Yes, I am a master of the obvious, thanks for noticing.

On show day, it is wise to take the BEST care of those bodies we possibly can.  Try, without policing, to get your performers in the optimum place they can be, regardless of the state of the union show.  How does this happen?  Again, there is no surefire fix. But, I have some ideas:

[…pause as we allow for the Collective gasp of shock [!] from the reading audience]

1. Do not over-rehearse … young performers especially.  If you are competing on the World Sheet, that is a different animal altogether, and let’s just leave it at that.

2. Worry about hydration early – not when you arrive at the show site.  Make sure the performers are drinking plenty of water – soda and sugary drinks should be limited or eliminated, if possible

3. Nutrition:  I find it helpful to forbid NOT allow discourage a trip to the concession stand before a performance.  Unless you are competing in a world which provides nutritious and light options at the snack bar [and if so, email me and I’ll be right down], you’ll find chili and nachos do not meld well with performance nerves.  Afterwards … that’s your call, and it may be out of your hands.  But, a baggie filled with a mix of peanuts, dried fruit and cereal and a few M & M‘s for immediate energy can be a fantastic pre-performance snack.

4. Stretch appropriately.  I know, I know… the uniforms are new and time is short and, and, and… Work it backwards from your warm up time, and allow for a decent stretch and some across the floors to get the blood flowing.  Then, do your darndest to KEEP those muscles warm. [Yes, I live in the tundra…‘tis true]  Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s not negotiable.  Those muscles, ligaments and tendons are all you’ve got. Keep them healthy.

There are plenty more moments to consider before fielding your first show.  But. These are a few nuggets we have found to be helpful.  Any additions are absolutely looked for and welcomed!

Now, go knock ‘em dead!


 * the movement chick

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Category: Instruction, Movement, Performance, Preparation & Travel

About the Author (Author Profile)

Cheryl Myers (aka “The (self-proclaimed) Movement Chick”) is a movement instructor, adjudicator and would-be rockette, living in the Fingerlakes area of New York State. Primary affiliations include the New York Federation of Contest Judges, and the Atlantic Indoor Association. She has most recently worked with Trumansburg High School, and is continually blessed by the opportunity to consult and adjudicate for circuits around the country. In addition to her pageantry career, Ms. Myers works in the accounting and insurance fields, and yes, is great fun at parties, thankyouverymuch. Her primary job, and that which she is most proud of, is raising her two beautiful children, a future dancer and drummer.

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