Moving from a recreational level of dance to a competitive one is a large step. Knowing if a dancer is ready for that jump can be hard to discern, especially if they came into dance later than others and aren’t fully sure of what a competitive level of dance entails. In this post, we’ll explore some ideas you may want to consider before making the leap into the competitive dance world.
Are They Interested?
It may seem obvious, but one of the first steps in knowing if a dancer is ready for competition is figuring out whether or not they’re actually interested. If they’re asking about it or considering it, they’re well on their way.
Do They Know Why They’re Interested?
Having specific reasons for wanting to start competitive dance is a great indicator that the dancer is ready. Some common reasons are:
- The more rigorous practice schedule typically results in a higher skill level than recreational dance
- The intensity of the competitive dance world can bring dancers closer together than ever (but can also push them away, so make sure they know how to handle things if that happens)
- Competitive dance can give dancers fond memories to look back on and can greatly build self-confidence and teamwork skills
Does Their Teacher Think They’re Ready?
Dance teachers at competitive dance studios typically have years or even decades of experience with competitive dancers, so they’ll have a good idea of whether or not the dancer in question is ready to transition. Sometimes they’ll even allow dancers to audit competitive classes for a short time to see if they enjoy the style of learning that’s required in competitive dance.
Does the Dancer Understand the Commitment?
Make sure the dancer in question knows that competitive dance is a large commitment in a variety of ways.
Countless hours of classes and rehearsals are spent going over and over the same steps to make sure that they’re perfect. Time management is required of the dancer, especially if they’re in school and have to balance schoolwork with their hours in the studio. They may have to give up things they enjoy in order to make dance a priority.
Pressure is high for competitive dancers, so ensuring they understand the emotional strain that they may have to deal with is a good idea. Make sure dancers know how to stay motivated since they will likely face periods of discouragement or dissatisfaction. Are they prepared to be good sports about losing? Ensure the dancer understands that every rehearsal and performance represents an opportunity to grow, whether they win or lose.
Organizational and Financial Commitment
The nature of competitions involves travel, which can be fun, but also draining and requires organization and preparedness. Last but not least, the financial commitment to competitive dance is a large one, so making sure that the dancer is ready to pay for the extra classes, costumes, travel, transport, and dancewear that they’ll need is imperative.
Obviously, each dancer will be different, but these are some of the things we think are a good idea for dancers to ask themselves before joining the competitive level. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out and let us know.