Being a competitive dancer for almost my whole life taught me not only how to grand jete or how to turn without getting dizzy, but it also taught me some life lessons along the way. Dance was a huge part of my life; the studio was my second home. My dance experience shaped me in to the person I am today and I learned some great things along my dance journey.
1. Time Management
Since dance isn’t like most sports, practice isn’t right after school, so you know that you had to start that homework right away. Whether it was doing homework in the car between dance classes or at the dinner table, you made sure you got your work done. Usually when dance was ending at 9:30 P.M., your nights of studying was just beginning. To make sure you succeeded in both school and dance, you had plan your school schedule around your dance schedule.
You had to make sure that you had every pair of shoes, tights, costumes, head pieces, accessories, lipstick and everything else you needed at every competition and shows, because you can’t let your teammates or coaches down.
You learned how to do advanced skills by practicing. You sometimes didn’t get a step the first time you read it, but you were determined to master that step. Dance taught you to never give up.
4. How to change your outfit in 30 seconds
You mastered quick changes by your senior year in high school. You learned how to change from pointe shoes, pink tights and tutu into jazz shoes, fishnets and sequin costumes in under a minute.
There is no “I” in team. You learned to work with all types of people and that everyone is good at something. You learned how to work together and act as a whole instead of just one.
“I can’t, I have dance” was one of your most used phrases. You skipped out on school events, birthday parties, family dinners and hanging out with your friends because you made a commitment to your team.
You learned to have a positive self-image as you stared at yourself in mirrors for several hours each day. You danced in front of hundreds of strangers, judges, friends and family. Being in front of a crowd doesn’t scare you to this day.
8. Constructive criticism
You learned how to take criticism, because constructive criticism only makes you better.
9. Losing happens sometimes.
You learned that you’re not always going to win. And when you do lose, you can learn from mistakes and get better.
10. To always smile
Facial expressions are a huge component with dance. Even if you mess up on stage or your headpiece falls off, you keep on smiling. In life, not everything is going to go perfect, but you have to remember to stay positive and to keep a smile on your face.
11. The love of your parents
Your parents drove you to and from practice, payed for the dance bills, sewed your unfitted costumes, took you to competitions and was at every single performance (sometimes even danced with you for the father-daughter dance). They always cheered you on and always knew what to say when dance was stressing you out. Your parents were your number one fans and they always supported you with your dance career.
12. Self discipline
You know that you had to show up for practice on time and there was no skipping practice. If you didn’t show up to a practice, you knew that you were letting down your team and that you would face consequences. You learned to make the right decision.
13. To be a positive role model
There is always someone younger watching you who looks up to you. In dance, you learned to always make the right decision, to think before you speak and to always be polite. You don't want to disappoint that little girl who thinks you are the world.
You learned what it really feels like to have passion for something and doing something that you love to do. You also learned to never give up and to always chase after your dreams.
15. A true meaning of friendship
You spent hours with these people; they turned in to your second family. At your final recital, you realize how much the people meant to you and what an impact the studio, coaches and classes had on your life.