Dance competition is a season full of excitement, anticipation, stress, tears, and laughter. It’s a time for dancers to finally show off all their hard work, for building friendships, and for learning life lessons.
There are so many lessons to learn from competing at dance competition. Many are pretty theatre specific, and many more can be applied to every day life.
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Here are the best lessons you learn from dance competition:
How to put on false eyelashes when you’re still half asleep.
Gotta love that 7:00 am call time in full hair and make up. But if you have the patience and skill to put false eyelashes on your dead-tired face at 6:00 in the morning, you know you can do anything you set your mind to.
How to be incredibly organized.
There’s just no way you’re going to survive performing 5-15 dances in one week without being extremely organized. That’s having all the choreography in your head, that’s packing up all your costumes and tights and shoes, that’s having a game plan for changing your hair between dances, that’s keeping track of all your belongings in the overflowing change room.
How to handle nerves.
It’s scary to go on stage and perform for a theatre full of people! But figuring out how to handle those nerves and use them as fuel for your performance is a major life skill that will take you far in a lot of scenarios – job interviews, presentations, a particularly competitive game of charades. You know, the important stuff.
How to react in a messy situation.
Forgot some of your routine? Dropped your prop? Costume malfunctioning? What are you going to do about it while trying to maintain an air of grace and professionalism with all eyes on you? Handling these situations takes quick thinking and a calm attitude.
How to change your costume, tights, shoes, and hair in 4 minutes.
Maybe you’re going to find yourself in a rom-com scenario where you have to be in two places at once – you know, like how Katherine Heigl’s character in 27 Dresses was a bridesmaid in two weddings happening at the same time? That is where it’s time for you and your quick-changing ability to shine, kid.
How to take critiques.
You’re not going to be perfect at everything you do. In fact, you’re going to need some guidance on how to get better. This is called critique and it’s good for you and it’s part of life. Learning how to take critique without taking it personally is such an important lesson! If you’re going to be aiming for greatness in the things you do throughout your life, you’re going to have people telling you that there are things to be fixed. Those critiques are there to help you, so take them as the gifts they are.
How to win and lose with grace.
Nobody likes a sore loser and nobody likes an arrogant winner. Learn how to both win and lose at competition, and you’re set for all those moments in your future.
How to relish the moment.
Dancers spend so much time practicing the same routine, and then it’s all over in a moment. Learning how to squeeze every ounce of joy out of those 2-4 minutes on stage is so important in not letting what you’ve been working towards pass you by.
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I have some great memories from my dance competition days, and all the lessons I’ve learned from competing will stay with me forever.
Are they any other lessons I missed?