Observations on Performance and Presentation

I happened to catch Skate America the other night watching the men perform.   I was amazed at how critical the commentators were throughout each performance. I’ve never even attempted to lift my leg but 3 inches from the ice and here were these young athletes doing full extensions while moving!  I found it  amazing!  But, that’s their job, right – to make it look graceful and effortless.   I go through the same thing as a performer in the sport of ballroom dancing; the average person has no idea how much time and technique it can take to perfect a routine but often, the entire way though, you have judges and coaches critiquing your every move.

That’s when I realized there were pearls of wisdom in the seemingly negative commentary of the commentators. Enjoy:

1. Don’t “front load” your program or you’ll have nothing for the big finish; you’ll also likely tire yourself out early on.

2. Don’t end on a low note or a non-powerful pose; it’s just not exciting.

3. Choose your music and cut it carefully, it should reflect your style and compliment your program.

4. Create smart combinations; it puts a new spin on the usual choreography.

5. Save something for the end; it’s ‘s the last thing the judges will see and how they will most likely remember you.

6. Share your exuberance with the audience; it’s fine if you have a more “artistic” piece, but it’s hard to convey dark and moody when you’re gliding by with your leg at 90 degrees.

7. Find moments to “work the audience”.

8. Do it in front of the judges; your best jump, spin, tuck, turn–whatever, but make sure the ones that matter see it.  And smile the whole way through.

9. Bring them (the audience) to their feet.

10. Embrace the expectations of your age and your craft. But be careful not to be too good too soon.  Otherwise, how do you expect to get better?

Go, performers, go!

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