Competition is a Bad Thing
Competition is a concept that seems to be put on the bad list. Everyone gets a ribbon for just turning up these days. You can’t really even say, someone came first and you got beaten. It is all about doing your best and not being the best, or even trying to be the best anymore.
I was competitive as a kid. I wasn’t a very good athlete. In fact, I was terrible at running, ball games and I hated high jump. I always thought I would hurt myself on the bar. And we only had sawdust to land on. But I tried. I lined up at the starting line of the 100 meter race alongside my friends who were athletic and won all the time, determined to do better than l did last year. Focused on that finishing line, I took off, ran my heart out and finished nowhere near the front. The next year, I did the same again. I didn’t give up and I was always wanting to do better.
Those girls in front where the ones I was chasing and trying to beat. They gave me a goal to work towards. They made me want to do better. My Parents didn’t tell me that I needed to run faster or finish with a ribbon, I wanted it for myself. Every year I tried, I didn’t give up. Never having won a ribbon, but trying my heart out didn’t seem to do me any harm.
Achieving a Goal
Swimming was a sport I was quite good at. Unfortunately, I was always the shortest and smallest in the age group races. One swimming carnival, I was put down to race with the 10 year olds. I was 12 at the time. Consequently, I won all my races for a change. This wasn’t really satisfying. Being a head shorter than the rest of the usual competitors, made it difficult. Despite this, I did win a ribbon. Third place for backstroke in the Club Championship. I was ecstatic.
At school, my friends and I were always competing against each other. Who came first in this subject? Who got the best mark on an assignment? It made me want to do better, try harder. Competition is a great motivator.
Compete Against Yourself
These days it seems that being competitive is a nasty thing. Everyone talks about trying to be better than yourself. This is a great idea. Kids should try and improve themselves every time they come into the dance studio. Comparing yourself with your last performance to see where you improved is a helpful tool. Trying to find out what you still need to work on is also helpful. You need to have a goal, something to work towards, something to strive for. It could be nailing your turns or gaining a place in a comp. Kids need motivation.
Competition is a Motivator
Dancers who have passion and drive, are the ones who will succeed. Those who have some healthy competition, will always have the motivation to work hard and improve. Kids who really want to win, will work their butts off. They just have to be aware that it may take time and not get disappointed if it does happen straight away. They will learn not to get disappointed, but more determined.
There are some amazing dancers out there. My students compete against some kids who they idolize, because they are awesome and inspiring. Even though they know they probably will never beat them in a comp, they motivate them to try harder and be just like their idols. Every comp, my students improve. Getting closer and closer each time they compete to the dancer they can be.
When Dancers see others doing amazing things, they believe that they can do them too. “She can do 8 turns, I am going to do 8 turns. Maybe I will do 9!” This is the sort of attitude dancers need to have. A good healthy competitive attitude is good. If a student starts to get a little cocky and begins to think that they are better than their fellow dancers, this is not healthy or acceptable.
Great dancers, can be nice people. You can be humble in your awesomeness. If you have worked hard to get where you are at and that is amazing, you should be proud of yourself. Most kids I have met, who are talented and hardworking are lovely kids too. Hard work makes you humble. It is really only those who are handed everything on a platter, who have a bad attitude. Those with a bad attitude won’t get far.
Life is a competition. It is about being in that race. It isn’t about where you finish, but how you ran the race that matters.