Let’s face it, the thought of stepping up on the stage to compete is both exciting and nerve wracking. I mean, on one hand, who doesn’t want to take your passion (or in some of our cases obsession) to the stage and show of all of the accomplishments you’ve been making in class. On the other hand, fear of falling, forgetting a move or anything other than a stellar performance is enough to scare you away from your goal before you even begin. Despite the your nervous concerns, there’s still a part of you that interested and that’s the part of you I want to speak to. Now, this post isn’t for the people that have competed before and absolutely hate it, those that just have absolutely no interest in competing, and those that go Texas cheerleader psycho competitor when they compete and avoid competition to keep their cray contained. However, for the people that are competition curious, that are on the fence about competing, or maybe even unsure about competing again here are the top seven reasons why you absolutely should.
#1. It forces you to take ownership of your growth. It’s one thing to come to class every week and learn from your instructors, and maybe you retain what you learn each week and possibly retrain those skills during your personal practice or freestyles (in most cases people don’t), but when you compete, you are developing something far bigger and better than what you learn in weekly classes. You’re planting a seed, nurturing it by practicing every week and then putting it in action when you hit the stage. During the process you will likely have help from your pole peers, studio owner, instructors or personal coach, however it’s still on you to make the time to practice and do the work. We can support you, encourage you and help you but we can’t do it for you. And if you’re not putting in the work it will show in your rehearsals and your recovery.
#2. You grow exponentially. When we just attend certain classes each week (not taking full advantage of the class schedule studios offer) we tend to limit our overall growth, create pattern overload and miss out on so much. It never fails, that once people enter the competition process, they start to see how important flexibility, strength & conditioning, flow and artistic elements become. This is often when I see the most new faces in classes and private coaching requests, because all of a sudden there’s an urgency to fill in those missing performance elements.
#3. You become more than a hashtag and picture moment. Again, it’s one thing to go to class week to week and learn a trick here and there. . .many that we never revisit again. And often when we do finally wiggle, munch and adjust our way into the trick, the focus is just getting that perfect picture moment for the gram. But let’s be real, so often there is very little focus on how you get in and out of the trick, smoothing out transitions, understanding how to sequence and layer moves – all of which will help your flow and make you a better dancer. Well when you compete, you learn how to do these things as you put together your performance piece.
#4. It builds confidence. For so many people, being able to create something, see it through to the end and have your moment on stage (regardless of the placements) does so much to build your confidence. You find that you’re already a winner before you hit the stage just for embarking on the journey and seeing how strong you become along the way.
#5. Your strength and endurance and conditioning will improve immensely! Being able to do a 2-4 minute routine on stage is tough if you haven’t built up the proper strength and endurance, doing it with a smile (or whatever emotion you’re trying to convey) is even harder if you’re not in the shape that your piece requires. Through the competition process you’ll get a better understanding and hopefully appreciation for your instructors and why they push you the way that they do. You’ll learn the value of conditioning, core strength, lines and pointed toes and more.
#6. Builds stronger bonds with your pole family. For the people that are a part of a studio or competition team, those bonds between you and your pole peers grow during the competition season. I see so many people getting closer, supporting each other, rallying around each other, being emotionally supportive, helping with costume and makeup, and so much more. It’s really such a beautiful sight to see.
#7. It’s an accomplishment that no one can take away from you. Your routine is a creation that you brought to life. Even if you had assistance, you developed it, improved upon it each practice and then performed it with passion. The experience and growth that comes with this accomplishment is 110% you.
There’s so much more than just these seven things that I’ve shared with you. At the end of the day, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’ve coached a lot of people over the years, some that haven’t won and others that have won many times, although honestly it’s not about winning. I never guarantee a win and that’s what makes the process so sweet. These men and women come in with the focus of just getting better and it makes it even sweeter because they’ve already won so much before adding in any additional hardware.
While I focus on competitions, any performance opportunity like a studio open house or competition showcase will still provide you with the same growth, but a certainly a little less stress. So if you’re still competition curious and feeling more excited than before then give me a shout and let’s get started on this journey! I’m here to help answer any questions you have, finding the right competition, private coaching, choreography assistance and more.