Dance competitions have existed for a long time behind-the-scenes, but recently they have been brought to the spotlight by TV shows such as Dance Moms. I was reminded recently of a 2012 article in the New York Times that discussed the popular pageants. Read the article here.
As a former dance competition contestant myself, I think that these events have both pros and cons. When done for the right reasons, dance competitions can be a great place for dancers to practice their performance skills. The judging panel can give you a new perspective on which technical skills you need to perfect. Dance competitions can teach you how to work hard and compete for something that you want. And above all, they’re fun!
There are definitely cons, however. Many times the “tricks” in dance competition choreography can outweigh the dancing. Sometimes teachers fail to consider the age range of their dancers, and dances can get inappropriate. Also, the competition can become unhealthy if the dancers, teachers, or parents take winning too seriously. After all, as I’ve heard in many competitions before, “a different set of judges on a different day would have completely different results!”
So, if you’re considering a dance competition, I say go for it! Just make sure you’re competing for the right reasons, and above all, remember to have fun!