Nationals season is in full swing and teams across the nation are gearing up to put out the best routines of their lives on the biggest stage. When routines packed with difficult skills go ahead to head, hitting a clean routine can be the edge that separates who moves on to the next round or even who takes home the title. Use the tips below to clean up your routine to put on a performance you can be proud of!

One Step at a Time

When cleaning your stunt sequence(s), take it one skill at a time. Do the first skill in your stunt sequence until it you’ve got it down. Then add in the next skill, focusing on the technique you just cleaned from the first skill while working on improving the second. Continue to add in each skill until the entire sequence looks clean.

Also, take your routine one step at a time. Clean up your opening motions/tumbling— focusing on technique. Once that section is perfected, add in your stunt sequence, your jumps, etc. Breaking your routine down piece by piece will give you time to focus on cleaning each section as needed instead of rushing to clean the whole routine at once.

Fresh Eyes

Do your routine in front of someone who hasn’t seen you perform before. Fresh eyes will help point out mistakes that you may have gotten used to. A great way to get a set of new eyes on your routine is with a V!ROC Clean Sweep! Some of the nation’s top choreographers will work with your team one-on-one to fine tune and make improvements to your competition routine. You can also sign up for a V!ROC Showcase. Your team will get the chance to perform (twice) in front of choreographers and judges to get valuable feedback and critiques to make needed changes before your biggest performance.

You can find V!ROC Clean Sweep & Showcase dates and locations near you here.

Perform for Each Other

During your routine, you’re focused on what your doing in the moment as are your teammates. Have each stunt group perform their part in front of the rest of your team. This gives your group the chance to do more reps in front of people and allows your teammates to provide feedback and swap tricks of the trade.

Timing is Everything

Stay in synch with your squad! Work tumbling timing drills with smaller groups. As the small group timing gets better you can combine groups to work timing as a team. Do the same with your jump section!

Back to the Basics

When you have a routine jam-packed with difficult skills, it’s easy to forget the basics. Take a time out to review your motions. It may sound silly, but your skills look less impressive when your stunts end with bad motions. Break down your dance motion by motion to make sure your team uses proper placement and stays sharp.

Also take time to work on correct use of your spirit raising props. The cheer can make or break your routine, so spirit raising props are a vital part of your routine’s success. Are your sign girls all flipping their signs the same way? Are you hitting your signs sharp? Are you going through the motions of using a megaphone or are you using it correctly? A great way to check is to have your team watch as those who use signs perform the section together.

Make It Fun

Preparing for nationals can be stressful. Don’t forget to have fun with your team while you’re cleaning your routine! Remember the dancing diva game from camp? This is a great way to have fun AND work on your dance.

Hitting a skilled AND clean routine at your next competition is sure to put your team one step above the rest!