People have a lot of different opinions when it comes to dance. People that aren’t dancers usually have limited exposure to dance separate from shows like "Dance Moms." On the other end of the spectrum are people that that know a lot about dance but put certain types of dance above others.
Coming into college I have realized that some people think very poorly of competitive dance. I will never understand this point of view. I think most people think that all competitive dancers can do is tricks, and think of them as less of artists.
Growing up in competitive dance has given me so many opportunities that I would never have otherwise, along with skills that I use every day.
Competitive dancers can pick up choreography very fast. When you have to learn a combination within the first few times it has been taught from the back of a ballroom at a convention, you learn how to learn in a way that allows for picking up certain details of choreography quickly, which is always helpful in class, auditions, and professional work as well.
Along with being able to learn quickly, competitive dancers are also exposed to so many different choreographers and styles. Yes technique is very important and the foundation that makes a great dancer, but being able to take a piece of choreography and incorporate style into it is a big part too. Being able to learn from so many different people has made me a diverse, well-rounded dancer that can take bit by bit of what I have learned from people and incorporate it into my own style. My studio won Studio of the Year at a competition called The Dance Awards, and I was able to learn from some of the industry’s top choreographers, including Beyoncé’s choreographer. I most definitely would have never gotten to say that if I wasn’t a competitive dancer.
Being on a competitive team for so long also taught me so many life skills that I will forever be grateful for. I learned how work with other people, and how to take corrections both from my teachers and my peers. Learning how to help others and accept criticism from them as well is a useful tool not only in dance, but in the workplace, school, and pretty much everywhere. Cooperating with people will never not be important to know how to do. I have learned how to listen to other people’s ideas and grow as a person because of them.
People may look down upon competitive dance, but as far as I can see, it can create some of the best dancers I have seen. Yes most competitive dancers can do a lot of tricks and have good technique, but there is more to it than that. I just want people to stop judging competitive dance and looking at it as something less than artistry.
Being a competitive dancer gave me some of the best years of my life, and has well prepared me for college and professional work. I would be nowhere close to the dancer I am today without it, and so I felt the need to tell everyone how amazing of a thing it can be. Don’t judge a book by its cover my friends, it can be so much more if you just see what all it entails.