UNDERSTANDING COMPETITIVE DANCE
This is a long read, but one that is required to understand our studio's ethics. Still interested... make it to the end.
Dance company is not for everyone...You have to take into account if your dancer is mature enough to handle it. What are you wanting to take away from the dance competition? Can the dancer handle loosing? Can the parent handle loosing? If your dancer doesn't place, do you think he/she is lost? Are you competing to beat another dancer, or do you love dancing?
These are REALLY BIG QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF! Over the last 9 years I have ran into all kinds of dancers & parents in my studio and others. Each year, I learn something new... weather it be good or bad. Here are a few points you should reflect on when deciding if competition dance is right for your FAMILY..... and just what do you want your child to take from this?
-Do not base your worth or your child's worth on a piece of plastic. No where will I ever list a “trophy” being a benefit. Dance is SUBJECTIVE, and yes – even political at times. Any given day with a different set of judges, a different result could be met. Placements should not mean much. Remember that (aside from actual technical flaws/weaknesses) it is often opinion, not fact, that says one dancer is better than the other. Do not decide that because you didn’t place in the top 5 that you are worthless. Take those worth-their-weight-in-gold judges critiques and find out what you can work on to get a better score and -more importantly- become a better dancer. Then go back to the studio and do it! AND DO IT, over and over and over.
What have I learned in the last few years... NOT ALL DANCERS ARE READY TO COMPETE. Winning with grace and loosing with grace are equally important. Throwing hissy fits and tantrums will get you more recognized and remembered then you think . You should always grow from each competition.
-Participate in competitions AND conventions. I know conventions can be costly, but there is so much value in taking those classes. Once again, you get even more exposure/connections in class, and you go home after the weekend having grown “leaps and bounds” -pardon the pun. Competitions are getting better and better – some even offering a few classes too! – but give yourself the opportunity to take a nice weekend-long convention at least once or twice a year. You will not regret it.
What have I learned about conventions: technique should be 1st and foremost in the your dancers life. If you see your child learning just dances, and never technique... this is a HUGE RED FLAG. This comes from instructors who are not experienced. In our industry lately my colleagues and I have noticed that "YOUTUBE" Teachers are on the uprise. They are unable to teach dancers how to dance, because they lack actual training or correct technique themselves. So make sure you educate yourself on what to look for not only in a dance studio, but in your dancers instructors.
Just a few more tidbits.... If your are wanting to go into the dance industry...Don’t expect a future employer to care that you were “Miss Junior Dance Explosion Corpus Christi Chapter 48 2011”. These things on a resume will rarely make any splash, (all the more reason to disregard the trophy!) However, showing that you have taken master classes, gone to conventions, qualified for scholarships and intensives, or that you actually have met this person through the competition circuit– well, that could definitely help you get a dance job!
Don’t let the competition world become EVERYTHING. There is so much beyond competitions in which dancers need to educate themselves. Go to professional shows, learn about dance history, understand the modern and ballet roots behind the movement you are learning, research cultural dance styles and techniques. Do not become one-dimensional. Keep learning. Keep digging. Competitions are important and valuable – but you should know that although you will take those valuable things with you… the dance world is infinitely more than competitions. Dance is a universal language of human expression that engulfs the globe.
Now... if you are ready to GROW and have the best time doing it... Then we would love to have you! Please email us about company placement at email@example.com.