Rachel Papo for Pointe

Got a Competition Coming Up? Use These Tips From 3 Pros

Whether you've just started on the circuit or you're already the proud owner of several medals, dance competitions can be nerve-wracking. How can you make the most of the experience? Three former comp kids who've gone on to find major success in their careers shared their top tips.


Ryan Steele, Broadway performer:

Photo by Lee Gumbs, courtesy Ryan Steele

"I didn't realize that I wasn't just competing for a scholarship or a title, I was auditioning for future jobs. Some of my strongest professional relationships were built at conventions and competitions. Not just with the teachers, but with peers as well. Those relationships will stick with you. Make them count!"

Lia Cirio, Boston Ballet principal dancer:

Photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy Boston Ballet

"Don't compare yourself to your fellow dancers. Focus on you and the goal you wish to accomplish."

Jaclyn Walsh, Keigwin + Company dancer:

Matthew Murphy, courtesy Jaclyn Walsh

"Onstage, there are so many other variables aside from bodies in space: the lighting, spike marks and live music. The experience I built while competing made me more prepared to tackle these as a professional."

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