Natasha Bayard, left, and Rebecca Goodrich check out the vendors at the recent Savannah Classic competition. CINDA SEAMON

Have you ever wondered what it takes to prepare for a ballroom dance competition? Is there really that much to do? Check out this laundry list of items! Besides lots of practice, there is a lot to do, even before you leave home.

• Make sure your lodging and travel arrangements are in order, especially if you are flying. If you’re driving, make sure your car has a full tank and is road-ready.

• Be sure you have everything you need – costume, makeup, shoes, jewelry, etc. This includes checking your costume to see if it needs cleaning or repairing and that you have all your accessories for each particular outfit. This should be done a couple of weeks prior to the competition.

• Make appointments to get your spray tan, manicure and pedicure a couple of days prior to the competition. You might want a hair appointment as well, for a cut and/or color.

• On the morning of the competition, while at breakfast, go over your schedule again. Hair and makeup are next on the list. If you have scheduled someone at the competition to do to your hair and makeup, you will need to work that into your schedule.

• Now it’s time to get comfortable with the competition environment. By starting your warm up, stretching and practice dancing early, you not only will have a chance to see old friends but also check out the competition around you.

• Check out the ballroom before your first event. Take note of the size of the floor and the consistency of the floor (slippery or sticky). Know who the judges are, where they will stand, and where to enter and exit the floor. Make sure all your props, if you are using any, are ready.

• Keep checking your schedule throughout the day ~ stay on top of it. You don’t want to miss an entry!

• When dancing near the judges, it’s important to make eye contact – it shows confidence. If you make a mistake, don’t let it show on your face – that way, people will never know.

• After the competition, dancers have a chance to take the time to see all the vendors displaying their jewelry, hair pieces, dance shoes and costumes. The most fun, though, is the awards ceremony at the end of the competition.

• Whenever you are accepting an award, no matter the results, always thank the judges. That goes for your competitors too – always show kindness.

Now, who’s ready to compete?

Sandro Virag is a partner and instructor at Hilton Head Ballroom Dance Studio of Hilton Head, located in Bluffton at Seaquins Ballroom.