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Going to my first convention! Tips please?
By dance56SEHvun8member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Oct 12, 2008 09:52 AM

Hey DDN! So, this year I made my studio's company (yay!!), which means I'll be going to conventions soon (double yay!!). But the issue is that I'm a total convention virgin, and have no clue what to expect! I was hoping some of you more experiences convention go-ers could give me some advice on what to expect, what to bring, what to wear, and pretty much everything. Thanks!

9 Replies to Going to my first convention! Tips please?

re: Going to my first convention! Tips please?
By danzadancer2285
On Mon Oct 13, 2008 05:46 PM
Edited by danzadancer2285 (182484) on 2008-10-13 17:47:32
Edited by danzadancer2285 (182484) on 2008-10-13 17:50:08 Last edit? I hope!
Edited by danzadancer2285 (182484) on 2008-10-13 17:52:34 OK, this is the last edit. *crosses fingers*
I love going to conventions. I find them to be a great learning experience and a good chance to work with some of the best choreographers in the country. I would by no means consider myself an expert on conventions (LOL), but I can give you a few tips.

What to pack:

*If you are taking a ballet class, which you probably will be, make sure to bring a black leotard and pink tights along with ballet slippers. At very few conventions will you actually do pointe work (I have never personally been to a convention where they have you put pointe shoes on, but there might be one out there), so you don’t have to worry about bringing your shoes and all that good stuff.

*For hip hop, bring your tennis shoes or sneakers and baggy sweats. Treat hip hop like any other style of dance, even if it truly isn’t your style. You wouldn’t walk into ballet class with your hair down, a big baggy sweatshirt, and sweatpants that say “Kiss It” on the butt, would you? You will look just as odd if you walk into hip hop with your hair in a bun, leotard and tights still on, and barefoot. Bring those warm-up pants and t-shirts with you, and dress like a gansta. This is one time where nobody will care!

*For any other class (i.e. jazz, lyrical, tap), you are probably safe to wear whatever you want within reason. Most girls wear booty shorts or tighter fitting shorts (AKA not gym shorts!) along with a tank-tap. Jazz pants and t-shirts are also acceptable in most cases. Check with the dress code that the convention or your studio requires and work from there.

*Remember your footwear. Bring you ballet slippers for ballet, tap shoes for tap, jazz shoes for jazz, and sneakers for hip hop. For lyrical, a lot of girls either go barefoot or they wear foot-paws. I have also seen some people wear socks to classes, although some instructors do not allow it.

*Bring all of your hair supplies that you may/will need. This includes a brush, a comb, bobby pins, hair clips, hair nets, hair ties, hair gel, etc. Whatever you may need to style your hair, bring it!

*If you are scheduled to compete at your convention, remember your stage make-up, your costumes and accessories, all required shoes, all required hair supplies, and a schedule for the night.

*If you wear everyday make-up, feel free to bring that.

*Bring a lunch or money to buy lunch! You will need you fuel throughout the day with all of the classes that you are going to be taking. Most conventions only give you half an hour to an hour for lunch, so I recommend bringing a lunch rather than wasting your time trying to find someplace to eat. You may want to pack small snacks in your dance bag that you can eat throughout the day if you feel like you need a quick burst of energy. Some good snack ideas include fruits and veggies like grapes or carrots, crackers, power bars, etc. Also, don’t forget that water! You will be thirsty if you are working hard enough!

*Overnight items such as pajamas, tooth brush, tooth paste, hair brush, etc. Simple things like that that you would need if you were staying the night at a friend’s house.

Tips for classes:

*Try to stand in the front of the room so that the choreographer will more likely notice you. Treat your classes as if they were auditions. (Actually, it is an audition because you are auditioning for scholarships. Plus, if the choreographer sees you and likes your dancing, you may even get a job out of it.)

*Force yourself to pay attention to the choreographer and what they are saying and doing. By watching and listening carefully, you are more likely to pick up the details in the choreography and better technique. These little details are what will set you apart from the rest of the group.

*If you are dressed to stand out, you better be ready for that attention. If you wear your Uggs to hip hop along with silver booty shorts and a bright colored top, you better be ready for all eyes to be on you because that is what is going to happen. If you can’t handle all of that pressure and your dancing doesn’t live up to the standard that you were setting by the way that you were dressing, you can count on getting some strange looks and bad attention.

*Try not to watch the dancers around you, but instead focus on yourself and the way that you are dancing. Try to know the steps before your group is called up to perform. If you do happen to forget, watch your fellow dancers and mimic the steps until you find your place in the routine, and try to pick it back up.

*Turn your cell phone off!!

*Try not to talk during classes. It really bugs the teachers and it can be very distracting to the dancers that are actually trying to learn something. If you must talk, wait until the time is appropriate (i.e. not when you are learning a piece) and then talk in a whisper-voice.

*There will be a lot of people in the room and you will more than likely be crowded. So if you get hit or kicked, try not to take it personally. If you do end up slapping somebody, wait until the routine is over and then go up to the person and apologize.

*Try your hardest and try not to get frustrated when you mess up. You will not likely come out of a convention with perfect technique and ten times better than when you went in, but hopefully you learned a thing or two and gained some experience.

Umm… Other than that, the only thing I can tell you is to expect to work hard and sweat a lot. May I ask what convention you are going to and who you choreographers are? Maybe then I could give you a little bit more information.
re: Going to my first convention! Tips please?
By dance56SEHvun8member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:23 AM
Thank you so much! All that information was so great and useful. I'm going to Tremaine in Michigan, does that help?
re: Going to my first convention! Tips please?
By dezzi1211991
On Thu Oct 16, 2008 08:11 PM
Oh cool! Im going to Tremaine winston salem,and nationals =)

Anyways, definitely dress according to the class. (youll look weird doing tap in tights and a leotard)

Also, when Tremaine does the scholarship auditions, its usually during lunch, so you definintly want to bring something to snack on.

Also, wear something flashy during the auditions, there going to make you audition in groups so u want to stand out.

If you want starbucks get up early! Be there about 15 minutes before they open (im sure this one in your hotel)trust me there will be a long line!!!

*Try to wear jazz pants in Desiree's class (shes the jazz teacher) shes not to fond of booty shorts.

After the last class on sunday before the faculty show, be sure to go to the front of the stage (in the senior room)as fast as you can, u definitely want a good view.

Most importantly have fun!!! Tremaines awesome, they have a great faculty, and the the classes are really helpful too!

*if you dont mind me asking=) what studio do you dance at?
re: Going to my first convention! Tips please?
By dance56SEHvun8member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Oct 17, 2008 10:07 AM
Thanks a ton! I dance at Dean/Black School of Performing Arts.
re: Going to my first convention! Tips please?
By behappy_dancemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Oct 17, 2008 07:39 PM
Hopefully, I'm not taking over the thread, but I'm going to DEA and PDTA this year and was wondering if they were comps AND conventions or just comps. Also, what IS a convention?
re: Going to my first convention! Tips please?
By cbcjazzspazz
On Mon Oct 20, 2008 01:27 PM
no way, i'm going to winston salem too this year!! but thats only because my studio is performing (i think). i'm also going to the arizona jazz showcase in two weeks and its my first time doing ANYTHING like that. i've never even taken class outside of my own studio..eek!!

and i will definitley be one of the youngest ones there, i hope that i am good enough
re: Going to my first convention! Tips please?
By dancerqtxoxo40
On Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:20 PM
When i went to my convention(jump MI)I didnt have time to eat breakfast because our classes started really early so I suggest either eating a big dinner, pack a big lunch,or get up early!
re: Going to my first convention! Tips please?
By dance56SEHvun8member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Dec 07, 2008 01:58 PM
Once again, I'd like to thank everyone. I had the time of my life at Tremaine, and look foreward to my next convention!
re: Going to my first convention! Tips please?
By FollowurDreams
On Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:48 PM
I'm going to be going to DEA, which is the only convention I will be going to. I wanted to thank you for asking this question! I haven't been to any convention classes since I was 10.. eek I'm 19 now... and I have been very nervous, but also REALLY excited! So thank you, this thread really helped and made me feel a little less freaked. lol


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