Have you ever pondered upon what a dance teacher’s life is really like? You probably haven’t. The best way to describe it is a little like an episode of Dance Moms mixed with Love Island.
The problem is that no matter which dance school you attend, there is always inevitable drama. There is also always at least one person that thinks they know everything already. These are a dance teacher’s nightmare. The worst are those who think that they know more than you do. One of my dance coaches, the late and great Bob Barber, was a bit of a stiff dancer himself. However, at no time did I indulge in the idea that I was a better dancer. Instead, all my thanks go to him. For, if it wasn’t for him, I would never have become the dancer I am today. His knowledge was second to none. I hope one day to have at least half the knowledge he had.
How To Win A Dance Competition – Team Mentality
Anyway, I haven’t even broached the subject matter yet of how to win a dance competition. Or have I? I started this blog the way that I did because dance competitions are all about being part of a team. All the great dancers in the world started in a team. A small group all learning together. If that team works together as a group, then each individual will always improve faster. Whereas, if the team pulls in different directions, the individual dancers don’t improve either. So, if you ever find yourself struggling to improve, look at the team that you have joined. Ask yourself whether you are helping each other to win a dance competition.
If you would like to be part of the Rubies team, then you can read more about it here.
How to Win a Dance Competition – Honesty
I have been fortunate enough in my dance life to work with some of the best in the business. I was even lucky enough to work at the University of Oxford as their Latin coach for 7 years. Throughout all these wonderful experiences, the one thing that seems to hold people back the most is their own honesty. Or lack of it.
It is so difficult because as dance coaches, we will always be criticising you. We will always focus on what needs fixing, not on what is right already. However, if you think about it, this is the best use of your time and money! It is only by being told what you do wrong, that you can improve. We all like to think that we are amazing – but try to listen to your dance coaches. Absorb the criticism and use it to reflect honestly on your own dancing.
However, there is a fine line between self-criticism and self-destruction. Remember that your dance coach provides critique to make you better. It is because we believe in you that we can be tough on you. If you find yourself demoralized, speak to your coach and ask them to help you re-focus.
If you’d like to hear from my pupils about their experience at Rubies Dance Centre, you can read our reviews on google.
How to Win a Dance Competition – Tackling failure
If you are part of a dance team, you will usually compete on a regular basis. Not all those competitions will go your way. How we deal with the losses will define you as a dancer. Always try to be positive about what you have learned even if you did not get the result you wanted. In other words, don’t beat yourself up (that’s your dance teachers job)!
Don’t try to place any blame elsewhere. Lots of dancers fall into the trap of blaming their partner, their teacher, their dress or the butterfly wings created a disturbance in the force… You can see what I am going with this…
Take the learnings for yourself from each competition. If you didn’t win, there is something that you need to work on. Look at yourself first blame yourself, not everything else.
When you do win, apply that same honestly. You won because you worked hard and you deserved it. Ask yourself, how did I win that dance competition – and how do I do it again?
If you’d like to see our team in action, check out our Facebook page.
The relationship you have with your dance coach will undoubtedly play a role in your success in competitions. Dance teachers come in many different flavours. However, if you really look, you can categorise them in two ways: the hard one or the soft one. Both work extremely well. You have the hard tough-love coaches that run their schools like a mini dictatorship. Ignore their instructions at your peril. Then you have the other end of the spectrum: the Mary-Poppins-coaches that everyone loves. You can’t help but want to please them.
I was lucky enough to have both. My ballroom coach was the hard one. My Latin coach was the soft one. The funny thing is that they both brought out the best in my dancing. The truth of the matter is that your coach’s method is the right method if they care about your dancing. If your coach cares, you will develop a relationship of trust. Most competitive dancers would rather lose a competition than upset their teacher. That’s exactly how it should be. Pleasing your coach is the best way to win a dance competition.
Always follow their advice even if you don’t like it. They have years of experience to guide them. They know what is best for your dancing. Every time you go out on the dance floor, you represent them and their reputation. They are invested in your dancing.
If you are looking for a dance coach in your area, then get in touch.
How to Win a Dance Competition – Conclusion
Immerse yourself in the team spirit. This will help you improve quicker than anything else. Sacrifice yourself for the team and your teammates will bend over backwards to help you win a dance competition.
Be mindful of what you are doing and how you are doing it. You will be surprised how quickly you will learn very hard lessons. Don’t fall into the trap of blaming anything else or you will never know how to win a dance competition.
- Tackle Failure
Take every bad result as a learning experience which will teach you how to win the next dance competition.
- Dance Coach
Look at your relationship with your coach. Do you really listen to everything they tell you? Do you really do everything without complaining? Are you more concerned about what your teacher thinks than the results of the last competition? Trust me, if your dance teacher is anything like me, they care more about your dancing than you do.
This is the attitude which you should bring to your dancing if you want to win your next dance competition.
There are other key skills which make a dance champion. We will be covering both topics in future blogs:
- The art of practising
- The art of leading and following
In the meantime, these are the essentials in your pursuit of how to win a dance competition. Set yourself up for success by following this advice.
Dance well, stay in time and have fun.