“I’m not in competition with anybody but myself. My goal is to beat my last performance” Celine Dion
Competitive Dance is a wonderful experience, but just like traditional sports it can bring along some tough life lessons for young kids involved. Like with any competitive activity or sport, you win some – you lose some and keeping a positive mind set can be difficult at times of defeat or embarrassment. A good teacher instills core values into their students that help them understand how to have a positive competitive experience. Competition can be a fun and rewarding experience, not only focusing on their development as athletes and dancers, but their psychological and social development as well.
Using Competition as a Motivational Tool
Students motivation is the highest when they are challenged by someone who is equal to their current abilities. The challenges they face should range from just below or just above their current level of capabilities, remaining in their comfort zone enough to keep them feeling confident. If the competition’s skill level and the competitive challenge increases too much, the fear of losing to someone better will take over. Most dancers don’t want to compete against anyone who is very superior or very inferior to them. They like to compete again someone who is at their level and provides a healthy challenge. This will motivate them to push further in confidence, furthermore increasing their motivation to improve.
Developing Positive Character Traits
There are numerous traits and qualities that can be learned and developed through exposure to competition. Values are learned such as; humility in victory, respect for oneself and others, fairness, grace in defeat, and general sportsmanship. Learning to wish others good luck, even if they are their toughest competition can go a long way. Congratulating those that have beat you will only build your character further. Being critical of your performances, even if you think you did well. Looking at small details while applying self corrections, can give you an edge and take your dancing further than you even expected.
There is no I in team is a common phrase you use when explaining cooperation. Competition and cooperation are complimentary processes that go hand in hand in order for a team to compete effectively. When used together, these processes will elevate the level of commitment and effort from team mates as a whole. The goal of a team should be to reach a level of cohesiveness that strives for excellence even though they may all be performing separately or even competing against each other. Team work and support is paramount to a successful competition experience.