In the dance competition world, someone has to win. It’s in the very definition of competition-
the activity or condition of striving to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others
It shows you are superior. It shows you are important. It shows everyone that you are the best.
But here at Dance Comp Diaries, we really believe that winning isn’t everything. There are so many more aspects of the competition world that are important, and if you focus too hard on the winning, you might just miss them:
Team work: Whether you have come to the competition as part of a dance school team or as an independent solo performer, it takes a lot of people to get you on that stage. Your parent or guardian to escort you, your dance teacher to train you, your choreographer to prepare you, your dance friends to cheer for you. Well, the list goes on, doesn’t it? You cannot have a successful day without the support of others around you, whether they are near or far. And that is just as important as winning. Remembering who you are, what team you are part of, and how you all came together for this one performance. Team work builds you up, gives you the skill of working with others in a mature way, and supports you through all of it. So really, you are already winning.
Fight or flight- We have spoken in other articles about stage fright, and the theory of ‘fight or flight’
physiological trigger when you face a frightening or threatening situation- you choose to fight for survival, or run.
And this is something that you achieve every time you step onstage. Especially if you suffer from stage fright. If you enter the stage, execute all of your moves (and maybe even enjoy it) then you have already won a battle that you didn’t know you were fighting. Congratulations!
There are other goals to strive for apart from a medal. The founder of the Olympic Games, Barron Pierre De Coubertin himself coined the motto:
"Citius, altius, fortius". This translates as “Swifter, higher, stronger”
And it is believed that winning athletes are those that combine good behaviour with natural talent. Therefore, if you have competed strong, with maturity and natural talent, as far as the Olympics are concerned, you’ve already won.
A winning attitude is seen as someone who strives for excellence and victory. But realistically, competitions are based on chance. By adopting a winning attitude, you are increasing the chance of success but never guaranteeing it. “So, what will I get out of it?” I hear you ask... You will achieve excellence and victory. Medal, trophy, sash, tiara... they are all symbols of chance. Your achievements in excellence make you a winner.
Competition provides you with the chance to be creative. It stops you getting ‘stuck in your comfort zone’ and your competitors force you to think outside the box. But whatever you do, don’t imitate them to win. Use their successes to help you persevere, try new things, and be more creative. Then you will be one step ahead. And being one step ahead, well that means you’ve one right?
Writer – Stephanie Clark Porter