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Irish - Champs
The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs (karma: 11)
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3157, member since Tue Apr 24, 2007
On Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:16 PM
Made sticky by oz_helen (35388) on 2008-04-30 23:21:24

Lately I’ve seen post after post asking the same question:
I’m just one or two dances away from Championship. What can I do to move up?
Or the variation from the MAIDS- What can I do to help my DD or DS move up?
First of all, unless you post videos of yourself, it is hard to suggest changes to your dancing. However here are the general tips that have been offered by many different dancers, parents, teachers, and others here on DDN. These tips are compiled and summarized from many posts, including suggestions from: Burkegirl, Teddo1, Obsession 101, E111, Irishdancer92, Jiggymomma, WrocDancer, Kitri, and others, along with my own experience and suggestions from my TC, in addition to the sticky (or former sticky?) by Lauren503: www.dance.net . . .


Form
Get the basics clean and strong- turnout, height on toes, getting high on the jumps, crossing your feet, holding your arms down, having your body not leaning back or forward, and holding your head still. This is the first and biggest thing that judges are looking for, and amazing form is what sets aside the dancers who are amazing to watch.

Practice
How is your stamina? Do you do things like jump rope, bike, run, or swim to increase your endurance? After all, you are going to have to get through three steps of the treble jig, and two and a half of the hornpipe when you become a champion. Start now, working on dancing with energy through three or even four steps. If you can make it through a fourth step, then three will be a piece of cake.
Are you using your practice time wisely? Just running your steps over and over isn’t the best way to improve. Pick a form area that you need to work on, drill harder moves, work on your timing, and stretch to increase your flexibility, in addition to practicing your steps.

In Competition
Energy is the word! Even when you are doing a dance like slip jig, you want to look like you are dancing, not walking through the steps. Get up on your toes, bounce through your skips, soar on your leaps, snap every movement so you look like a star.
Relax before you dance. Sure, you need to warm up, but don’t watch what everyone else is doing and worry that you aren’t preparing like them. Do what you need to do, then get a sip of water, and tell a joke to the person waiting on the side with you, or ask a friend to stand on the side and make faces (but not where they will distract the other dancers!). Laughter is a great stress relief, and you don’t want to be tense when you walk on stage.
Take the pressure off. Maybe it is the last dance you need first in, maybe you’ve placed third in the last three feisanna and you only want to do better. When you focus too much on the place you need, you can subconsciously mess yourself up. Just go out there and dance!

Stage Presence
Do you look like a deer in the headlights on stage? Do the other dancers intimidate you? Do you look bored, sad, angry, in pain? If this is you, work on your stage presence! The judges want to see a dancer who looks as though they are having fun. Practice getting that nice, fake grin that stays on while you dance, even when you are gasping for air. A smile makes you look confident, ready, and sure of yourself. When you walk out, have your shoulders back, and walk like you own the stage. When you point your toe to start dancing tell yourself that you want nothing more than to have the judge watch only you. Push through your dance with energy, but make it look easy. Use your stage, and don’t let the other dancers dance over you (but don’t be mean either). You are performing, and you want people to watch! When you finish, point that toe, bow, and smile one more time. Go back to your place in line and look like it was the best dance you’ve ever done. Even if you flubbed it totally!

Inspiration
Sometimes it is the little things that can make a big difference. Go watch the champion dancers and tell yourself that someday soon you will be dancing with them. See what catches your eye about their dancing, and what you could work on to add to your own dancing.
Go to a camp or a workshop. It can be good to get fresh ideas or suggestions from an objective eye, and it breaks the monotony of your regular practice.
Go to a show, or watch your favorite DVD. What made you want to start dancing in the first place? Find that passion again and remind yourself why you’re doing this.

Good Luck to you all!

26 Replies to The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs

re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By zippysmom Comments: 1048, member since Fri Jul 08, 2005
On Tue Apr 29, 2008 01:10 PM
OK, is this a sticky? If not it needs to be. This is a great post and I for one appreciate it. I'm going out to buy a jump rope as soon as I can, great idea! Thanks and kudos to you!
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By Hrynmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 924, member since Wed Aug 15, 2007
On Tue Apr 29, 2008 04:54 PM
Thank you so much for doing this! I was thinking about actually writing one myself earlier to compile all of the suggestions and information, and then realized that that would be a bit hypocritical considering I'm stuck in that exact same position myself! But really, all that it is is patience, and waiting, and working on obvious, common sense issues. I think all dancers know what they need to do, they just need to hear it confirmed that what their working on is actually the correct thing to do.

Sticky status to you!
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3157, member since Tue Apr 24, 2007
On Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:07 PM
Thank you! I hope that this will answer some of the questions that are out there, and please feel free to add other suggestions in the various areas.

PS- if you want to vote this for a sticky, hit the mod button and tell the nice mods why. Thank you for the kind words.

Pog
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By Snuffymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3386, member since Wed Jan 02, 2008
On Thu May 01, 2008 02:44 AM
Edited by Snuffy (189942) on 2008-05-01 02:45:02 I'm a bit repetitive! :P
Wonderful post! Well done. :)

I've also been noticing all the threads asking much the same questions, and I think you've really summed up the answers. In fact, while I haven't asked this kind of question myself, I'm definitely taking note of everything so that I can apply it to my dancing when I start competing soon.

Furthermore, just reading this is making me really excited about my first feis coming up - I can't wait to see how well I can incorporate these ideas! :D
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By Feis4ever101 Comments: 221, member since Sat Sep 02, 2006
On Thu Jun 12, 2008 04:36 PM
mad good you are DEFINATELY getting KARMA
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By Jillian_Dance Comments: 40, member since Sat Jun 28, 2008
On Sun Jun 29, 2008 02:03 PM
Thats Brilliant! I have my first feis as a cham this weekend and i will definitely take all your tips on board!! Espsecially About the Slip Jig :D Thanks A Million!!

Love Jillian!!..XXXX
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By Luckyirish Comments: 126, member since Fri Aug 01, 2008
On Wed Aug 13, 2008 08:49 PM
This is a great guide. Whoever spent the time to make deserves an applaud. Everything mentioned does make a world of difference.
re: thanx
By han123 Comments: 1, member since Tue Dec 02, 2008
On Sat Dec 06, 2008 03:08 AM
hi thanx so much for the awesome advice me read it and a couple of months later me found out me is going to the australian national championships next year anyway thanx again han123.....xx
p.s. sorry about the "ME"
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By irishdancer7513member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 159, member since Thu Jan 15, 2009
On Thu Feb 26, 2009 03:40 PM
This is really nice. I liked it.

Does anyone have any tips on quivers??
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By Cujosail Comments: 13, member since Sat Aug 01, 2009
On Mon Aug 10, 2009 09:03 PM
Hi: Excellent advice! Especially about the stage presence. As an ex world champ I smiled all the time. Now my daughter is having difficulty with this aspect of stage presence and I keep plugging at her to remember to smile. She danced this past weekend came in third in prelim. I think if she had smiled in her hornpipe she my have done better.
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By colormecaitlinx3 Comments: 4, member since Tue Aug 11, 2009
On Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:52 PM
This was great especially because i am moving into prelim this coming week and im trying to make my dancing as champion as possible right now so i dont stand out. and so i dont place last. thanks again it was great.
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By mom22 Comments: 34, member since Thu Oct 29, 2009
On Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:55 AM
Great post! My daughter is a PreLim with her 1st first place win already. However, now she has not placed in 6 months. PreLims can be a big waiting game and these tips are a great reminder to focus on the basics! Thanks!
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By thatsportybabe22 Comments: 51, member since Sun Jan 03, 2010
On Mon Jan 25, 2010 03:32 PM
everything you said is right on. I also notice that all my best results happen when I don't expect to get ANYTHING AT ALL, and so there's no pressure. And if you go on stage to dance because you love to dance and because it's THE funnest thing in the world, nothing else matters, 'cause its just sooo much fun!
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By irishdancer7513member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 159, member since Thu Jan 15, 2009
On Mon Feb 15, 2010 01:16 PM
This is great!!! I used it and I got to prelim last year!! I'm hoping to get to open champs using this. I'll keep you updated on how it goes after my suspension is up from competing.
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By leaps4lifemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 182, member since Thu Aug 12, 2010
On Thu Aug 12, 2010 02:09 PM
AAHHHH !!! thank you SO much for this post!!! I am using it to try to try et into prelims!
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By irishswan27 Comments: 5, member since Sat Aug 14, 2010
On Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:20 AM
Does anyone have any tips on getting leaps higher?? My dd is just not getting as much height or hang time as other girls....
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By DinoDancer Comments: 41, member since Sat Sep 25, 2010
On Thu Nov 25, 2010 06:10 PM
Yeah, I really need to work on my stamina-but i'm terrible at running!
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By Pipp Comments: 39, member since Sun Apr 19, 2009
On Mon Mar 21, 2011 02:46 PM
This was very helpful. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed reading this. She is practicing extra hard now.
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By knotirish Comments: 21, member since Sat Apr 10, 2010
On Mon Jul 25, 2011 08:56 PM
Awesome advice! We're trying to move up from Prelims to Open, so thanks!
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By inspiringID Comments: 63, member since Fri Jun 01, 2012
On Sat Jun 02, 2012 05:48 AM
Thanks for this post. Totally agree about inspiration, it can really motivate you to do well!
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By Ceilimom2 Comments: 53, member since Fri Oct 28, 2011
On Thu Aug 30, 2012 06:30 PM
Thank you for the great summary! In the run up to the Oireachtas my girls are working up to ten minutes of jump rope a day (it's harder than it sounds!) to work on stamina.
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By eturner3 Comments: 20, member since Mon Dec 02, 2013
On Sat Dec 07, 2013 08:42 PM
Very well said. To add some things, I've found from teaching. Many dancers ask for tip on improving their stamina. Running and doing things that aren't Irish Dance will improve it to a point. If you want to really build up stamina for this sport, your dancing is the only thing that will improve your stamina. Irish dance uses muscles on your body that aren't typically used. To improve the endurance to the fullest, dance your steps and get your body used to building up those muscles.

Thanks so much!!!
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By mmkjt Comments: 22, member since Sat Apr 09, 2011
On Tue Apr 29, 2014 01:35 PM
Great post. Would love to pete to my DD!!Especially the stamina part!
re: The Sumarized and Organized Guide to getting into Champs
By CarleIrishDancer Comments: 36, member since Tue Aug 12, 2014
On Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:46 AM
Thank you so much! I'm stuck in Novice (2nd EVERY TIME!), so this was very helpful for me. I'm always looking for tips on the "finishing touches".
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