Eisteddfod season is one of the most exciting and most stressful times of a dancers (and families) year. There is so much to organize and prepare for. It is a time where you are focusing all of your energy on dance and making sure that everything goes to plan. There will be times when things don’t go to plan – as much as we try to tell you it will all be smooth sailing, it wont always be. So how do you manage to get through? What ways is there to help with being ready?
Planning and Organization
The number one tip for being ready for Eisteddfod Season is to be prepared and organized – in all aspects of your life!
Firstly set up a big white board with dates on it. This way you can have set out in advance the dates of rehearsals, costume fittings, competitions and also all of the other family events that are on during the Eisteddfod period (doctors appts etc) Being able to visibly see what is planned and scheduled in the coming months will help you to stay on top of each activity.
Next comes the costume organization. To help with quick changes. If your child is performing multiple routines than you will have multiple costumes to deal with. Organize your costumes on a hanging rack, clearly labeled with the routine that they are for. This helps in the unfortunate event where you can not attend or are not able to be back stage with them. This way the person with them is able to have the items ready and waiting for them when it is time to change into them.
Attending the Eisteddfods to watch your children dance is an important part of dance. Being able to see them perform after all their hard work from throughout the year and being filled with pride watching them up there. This means you need to ensure that you are free for the concert. If you are meant to work on those days, book the time off in advance and give your employer plenty of notice. (Or team up with one of your dance mums, if in a troupe)
It may seem like a pretty simple and obvious task however as the dance concerts Eisteddfods get closer and you are getting busier (perhaps even spending more time camped out in parking lots), making meals may seem to slip your mind and take away can become your best friend. If you can, make meals in advance that can be frozen and taken out of the freezer when needed. Set up snack bags of nuts, crackers and dried fruit that can be grabbed out of the cupboard to snack on. And make sure you have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables available. You want to make sure that your performing child is both full of energy and full of healthy cells leading up to their performance.
Another obvious one, is practicing. But not just the practicing of the routines. It is a great idea to complete practice runs of all aspects of the day. Complete full dress rehearsals at home so you are confident with your abilities for hair and make up. Another good reason to do this is so you can time how long it takes to complete the hair and make up for each routine. The Eisteddfod’s run on tight schedules and you need to ensure that your child is ready to go when it is their time.
Practicing the routine is obvious and will be done millions of times! It is all the other parts that need to be practiced as well. Do not leave it all to the last minute and assume you will have time for everything.
As stressful and busy, as an Eisteddfod may seem, they are also a lot of fun, at the end of the day you will look back and realize it was all worth it. Before the day, take a day out with your child and have fun. Have a day not thinking about the upcoming performance(s) and do activities outside of dance where you can see a movie or have lunch together, Or they can just have a day out enjoying their friends.
As dance mums and dads, we are always there to support and always very proud. Remind your child, that winning isn’t always everything and giving it your best shot is the most important thing to remember. No matter if you come first, second or last. It’s what we take out of these experiences. It’s the friendships we make along the way, the life skills that are learned, and most importantly the fun that is always had through an eisteddfod season.
Happy Dancing! xx