What’s your general take on dance competitions? This topic seems to be fairly polarizing among students and parents as well as studio owners and instructors. Whether you’re an enthusiastic proponent of competitions, a definite nay-sayer, or undecided, we think you’ll find this information helpful as you consider the best path for you, your daughter, or your students.
Appreciating the Benefits of Dance Competitions
For many dancers, dance competitions provide a productive aspect of their dance education and experience. For one thing, the stage offers them a venue for demonstrating their dance skills and passion for the art. For competitive types, these events can also prompt dancers toward greater levels of improvements and advancement to the next level of achievement within their studios.
Many cite the many positives that aren’t related directly to dance skills as well. The competition scenario uniquely allows dancers to learn how to win and lose gracefully. Dancers also learn how to network within the dance industry and connect in new ways with other dancers. As team members, dancers learn how to better support their teammates. And then, of course, there’s the excitement factor: can anything compare to the adrenaline rush of a competition?!
Evaluating the Negative Aspects of Dance Competitions
With all those positives in view, it may be hard for those who love competition to see how there could be a downside. But there is. Competitions can vie for dancers’ attention, distracting them from learning and mastering proper technique as they focus on memorizing routines instead. Since dance competitions account for more injuries than other dance-related events, they can put students further behind in their development.
Dancers who enjoy competitions can sometimes lose their focus, aiming for trophies instead of their best performance. The judging process can sometimes be tainted, causing discouragement and leading to less motivation to excel. For some dancers, competitions can squelch their love for the art or threaten their self-confidence. On a less significant note, dance competitions cost a lot — using valuable time and finances that could perhaps be better spent by dancers, their parents, and dance studios.
Taking a Position on Competition
We’re not trying to take a position for or against dance competitions here; our goal is rather to simply inform of both sides of the issue. As a dancer or parent, don’t worry: you don’t have to be wholeheartedly for or against competitions at all. Some people see the arguments of both sides and step away for a time but re-enter the competition world when their students have opportunities through those events to take classes with industry-leading teachers. But if you are decidedly on one side or the other, you’ll want to consider your preferences as you decide on a dance studio.
As a studio owner, you can opt to either create a pro-competition culture in your dance studio or forego any official connections with competitions. As an alternative, you could appeal to those in either camp by offering two types of instructional options: competitive and traditional.