How to Win a Dance-Off

So you think you can dance? Step it up with this advice from dance competition judges and talent scouts.


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You Will Need

  • Multiple dance styles
  • Fitness
  • Confidence
  • Humility
  • Excellent posture
  • Precise movements
  • Stage presence
  • Practice


  1. Step 1

    Learn it all

    Learn as many dance styles as possible; you never know what's going to be thrown at you. Judges particularly like to see ballet skills in dancers, even if that's not their specialty.

  2. Mix it up. Find a way to fuse classical dance with street moves, and you'll stand apart from the crowd.

  3. Step 2

    Be in tip-top shape

    Be in peak physical shape and stick to a healthy diet: Otherwise, you won't be able to keep up with the competition's grueling schedule. And be sure to stay hydrated; in past competitions, contestants have been hospitalized for dehydration.

  4. Step 3

    Be self-assured, but humble

    Walk that fine line between self-assured and humble. Judges are like anyone else: They root for likable people.

  5. Step 4

    Play on people's sympathies

    If you have a sob story of some kind, by all means use it. And shamelessly promote yourself. Sometimes, it's not the best person who wins, but the one who's best known.

  6. Step 5

    Remember the five Ps

    Work on the five Ps: Posture, Precision, Presence, Personality, and Partnership. That's what the judges are rating you on.

  7. Step 6

    Look happy

    Look like you're having fun. You can be technically perfect, but will lose points if your face is scrunched with concentration.

  8. Step 7

    Make it look easy

    Now put all that together and make it look easy. How? With the biggest "P" of all – Practice.

  9. In 2008, a group of supporters petitioned the International Olympic Committee to get pole dancing into the Games.