Competition dance has been popularized by television shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Dance Moms, and some parents are unwilling to allow their dancers to participate because of what is portrayed on these shows. Some feel it is too time consuming, and others feel it could hurt their dancer’s self esteem. But, there are many benefits to being a competition dancer that should be known before making a decision not to try joining a competitive dance team.
First, it gives your dancer more opportunities to perform rather than just once per year on recital day. Their hard work is more frequently rewarded and continues to justify the amount of time they put into practicing. Also, performance skills are important for any future career, and knowing how to perform can lead to better job interviews and professional relationships. Being able to “turn on the charm” is an element possessed by any performer, and to know how to charm future employees and employers is an excellent skill.
Secondly, being part of a competition dance team usually means your dancer is required to take more classes per week. These extra classes will focus on flexibility and posture, whether it’s a ballet technique or a jazz progressions class. Improved posture has many benefits, including the following:
- Facilitates breathing
- Increases concentration and thinking ability
- Helps to avoid health issues (back aches, back pain, slipped disks, poor blood circulation, etc.)
Finally, being part of a competition team has the great benefit of helping your child learn to work in teams. In high school and college, group projects become a major part of the grading process. In any future career, there will be many opportunities to complete tasks in a group. Learning to work in a team may bring out natural leadership qualities your dancer may not normally show. Alternatively, your dancer may learn that, though they don’t have the desire to lead, they like to complete tasks as designated by a leader of their choosing.
If you are contemplating allowing your dancer to join your studio’s competition team, discuss your concerns with the teacher or studio owner. They will have the best advice in terms of what your dancer can handle and also how prepared they are to be a member of the team. With this information, you will be able to make a better informed decision that works for you and your dancer.