The first chance a judge will get to see you is the moment you walk on that stage. You have approximately five seconds of walking when everyone in the arena is watching you. Judges may not realise it but they are already marking you – not physically, they are marking you mentally by observing everything about you as you walk. If you walk on with a timid approach they expect a timid performance. If you walk on confidently they expect a confident performance and will be more inclined to watch you the whole way through. I personally feel that having a great walk on will buy you attention at least for the first ten to twenty seconds of your performance. A great walk on will draw the judges’ attention to you, and once you have that attention you must make sure the first seconds of your dance live up to the expectation you just brought onto that stage. If it does you will steal the attention from the other dancers and all eyes will stay on you, but if your first ten seconds do not live up to your walk on then eyes will start to look elsewhere. Steal the attention from the first step on stage, walk on broadcasting that you are about to give something special, and ensure you follow it through with a great start (and finish) to your performance.

Knowing why we should walk on confidently is one thing, but many do not know how to develop a great walk on. Firstly, let’s look at your posture.


“Stand up as tall as possible. Standing tall improves your self-confidence as you feel more dominant. Your shoulder blades must be contracted, and your chin up. Your nose must be in the air with your arms falling perfectly at your sides.

Don’t rush your walk and don’t make it too slow, either; you need to ensure it is just at the right tempo. A slow walk will suggest fear, as if you don’t want to dance. A fast walk will make it look like you are rushing and you just want to get it over with. Walk like you’re taking everything in your stride and soaking up the experience!

People used to say I walked on stage like an Alsatian dog because my nose was in the air, and come to think of it I probably did. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but the most important thing is I was remembered for something I did. Being remembered is great because it means you stand out from the rest of the crowd. You should each be remembered for something. Be that girl who is remembered for the big smile or the man who walks on stage with the long stride. Whatever it is, it will define you; look at it like it’s your signature, it’s your own trademark and will let everyone see who you are. They may not know your name, but if they see you at a competition again they will remember that one thing about you that identifies you. It will keep you in the forefront of people’s minds and that in itself can only be a good thing.

Lauren Early

– Abstract from the ‘Reaching New Heights’ book

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