Sometimes dancers are under the impression that judges will remember who they are. Don’t get me wrong, judges do remember certain individuals, especially, if they had a chance to work with them individually (wink, wink). Or, of course, if they are relatively known (probably because they have already done their fare share of competitive dancing). If the competition is big, and the volume of dancers is overwhelming, you can forget about the fact that a judge would “know who you are”. The only way they would judge your dance is by seeing your competitive number. And that number better stay on you no matter what.
Besides, I bet them judges hate when numbers get undone, ripped or fall completely off (Yep, happened to me a few times). It’s like losing your identity on the dance floor. How are you gonna get your X’s and placements now?
For those who had done rounds (Pro & Am) and quite a number of singles, multis and scholarships (Pro-Am) would agree, numbers made of even the most durable paper would not last for too long. Excessive dance movements, partner hand movement on your back, shirt changes, etc. put a lot of abuse onto your competitive identification. But, there are numerous things you can do to aid and reinforce the stability of your number on your back.
Have good safety pins on you AT ALL TIMES!
Don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate when a pin, or several pins, get undone. There are a few reasons behind this issue. One of the primary ones – Crappy Safety Pins. Sometimes you get lucky with some competition organizers investing into well made pins. But, sometimes the pins are so bad, they can’t even go through the number, and the type of metal used is so soft they bend all over the place. My advise, the competitions where the pins are decent, grab a few more “To Go”. I am sure the registration staff wouldn’t mind, unless, you’re going for a handful. But dude, who does that?! It’s good to have these babies pinned somewhere on your toiletry bag, or better on your favourite warm up jacket. This way you always know where they are.
Paper hates water! And, let’s admit it guys, we sweat a lot! If you’re going straight for the final, it is not a big deal. But, if you’re starting with rounds, there might be a soaking-flapping problem. A DIY solution to that – Scotch Tape and Scissors. This is how we’re gonna do this:
1. Make a decision if you’re going to apply scotch tape vertical or horizontal onto your number. It really doesn’t matter which way.
2. Prepare stripes of already cut tape before hand. They should be slightly longer than your number. DO NOT apply tape while still having it attached to the roll.
3. Pick a hard surface
4. Gently apply first strip of tape. Be sure the ends of it are off the number, so it can secure the number in one place.
5. Apply steady pressure, gradually moving from one side to the other the tape strip, making sure the adhesive is fully attached to the surface of your number
6. Repeat the process with additional tape strips until the full number is covered. (Totally a personal choice to overlap or not to overlap the tape strips. But, definitely DO NOT leave any untaped gaps in between)
7. Repeat the process with the back of you number
8. Trim excess tape
9. *OPTIONAL: Have a drink to calm yourself down…
You know your basic Cha Cha, right? Well, you definitely have to know how to pin your number properly, so it doesn’t flap or, God forbid, fall off… It seems that the most secure way to do it only involves 4 steps:
- IN THROUGH THE NUMBER – Here, I would recommend making an additional hole in the corner of the number
- INTO THE FABRIC – Pin goes right into and through the fabric of your costume
- OUT THE FABRIC – The pin now has hooked the fabric and the number
- OUT THE NUMBER – Sometimes number comes in with already existent tiny holes. It is entirely up to you if you want your pin to come out of that hole, or make an additional one
Tips To Remember:
- It does not really matter which way the pins face. Vertically, Horizontally, Diagonally … As long as they go through the number first, and come out of the number last
- It is usually pretty safe to use 4 pins, but if you feel like you need extra security and not really planning on changing shirts, feel free to add more pins. They usually go to the top and the bottom, of the middle portion of your number.
- Share the “Pin Technique” portion of this article with your partner, so she knows how to do it as well.
Cheers, Good Luck, and…
Author: Egor Shalvarov
Exclusively for Dance Comp Review