Why Do We Compete In Dance?

An excerpt from our 'What It Means To Be In Intensive Dance at YAA!' page:

Competitions
Dancers will participate in 3-4 competitions a year. Fees for group members are approximately $45 per dance, per competition.  Competitions run for a week at a time, from morning to night, so it is possible that you will need to miss school for 2 to 3 hours for each dance. Schedules will be released 1-2 weeks prior to each event.

 

So, why do we compete in dance?

 

For the following reasons and more:

Just a dance competition? I don’t think so.  While it may look like little more than dancing on stage in a shiny costume, dance competitions present us with amazing opportunities to grow. Tucked away in the craziness are valuable lessons to enrich our lives. Focused on preparing to dance our best, we forget to look around and appreciate how dance prepares us for:

Exposure.
They say chance favors the prepared mind. Or in this case, the prepared dancer. The harder you work in practice, the more brilliant your talents and gifts shine to an audience; bringing acknowledgment and opportunities.

Performance experience.
No matter how clean you feel your performance was, there is always something to be learned. Some facet we can improve upon. Embrace the opportunity to perform and learn something new each time.

Critiques/Feedback.
Just like you, competition judges started dancing when they were young and have learned many lessons. Know that their critique comes from a desire to share what they’ve learned and help every dancer reach their full potential.

Networking with peers.
“It’s a small world.” is an old saying but also very true. The people you dance with and against, can and will, come back into your life in the most unexpected ways, at the most unexpected times. Always be mindful and humble when interacting with your fellow dancers.

Learning how to handle disappointment.
You worked hard, pouring all your energy and effort into your routine and didn’t get the result you dreamed of. Sometimes it’s the way the world works and it’s OK to feel disappointed. What is important is, we graciously accept the results, pick ourselves up and learn what we can, taking those lessons with us into our next performance.

Time management.
Being on time and ready to go for every practice and call time is an important skill to master. It displays maturity and leadership and lets those around you know you take your commitment seriously and are someone who can be counted on.

Self-motivation/Personal Responsibility.
With so much going on at dance competitions, there are times when the onus fall on us to warm up and stretch. When we are left alone to get pumped and motivated to dance our best. From this we learn how to be self motivated and be accountable to ourselves.

Inspiration/Learning from others.
Great dancers don’t fear being upstaged. Rather, they seek out and draw inspiration from the passion their fellow dancers put into their routines.

Quick changes.
Life, like dance competitions, moves quickly. Situations change at the drop of a hat and we have to keep up. The ability to switch between characters and costumes in a matter of minutes trains us to be adaptable and flexible.  Valuable skills which will help us succeed in all areas of life.

Perseverance.
Injury, exhaustion and disappointment are a part of every dance competition. Learning how to push through tough times and adversity is what separates challengers from champions.

 

Dance competition is not about the end results – it is the lessons we learn during the process that make the experience valuable for our dancers.