While you’re dusting out preschool cubbies and sorting out your closet of recital costumes and props, you might want to add “routines” to your spring cleaning checklist. Whether your first competition has already happened or it is months away, taking time to take a hard look at places you can shake out the dust and reorganize a little bit is always a good thing to do before finals season.

Go Back to Basics

Now, this doesn’t mean get rid of all of your complicated moves or tone down the excitement or throw out your story. In fact, it doesn’t mean to get rid of anything! Instead, look at the “basics” of your routines, the rhythms, individual steps, and the overall tone of the piece. Where could the movements be more synced to the song? Where could you get just a little bit closer to matching that rhythm?

Practice at Different Speeds

Run your dancers through your routines in slow motion. Run through them twice as fast. Use changes in timing to see where there are weak spots. It’s a lot easier to hide mistakes at the right speed, but when you have to slow down or speed up and let your body takeover, that’s when areas to focus on are highlighted.

Ask the Dancers

Even though you can watch them over and over again to correct choreography issues and technical mistakes, only your dancers can tell you where they are struggling in a routine. Ask them which parts they think they need to focus on and work from there. When they feel confident with every section of a routine, that’s when you score the highest.

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Veronica Good has been with Showstopper Magazine since 2016. When she isn't keeping you updated on the latest trends, she is at home with her many pets or probably playing The Sims 4. Veronica has a BA in English and an MA in writing from Coastal Carolina University. She is also a writer of fiction and poetry, and her work can be found in Archarios, Tempo, and Scapegoat.