Thoughts on YAGP and Competitions

Monday, January 21, 2019

Good morning, dancers! It's that time of year again. YAGP! Competitions! Let me share a few thoughts on all of this. 

I am a big fan of participating in competitions for several reasons. 
First, the process of preparing one or more solos and being coached on them can help you move forward as a dancer. Fine tuning transitions, port de bras, √©paulement, and other minutia in a variation will carry over into your class work. Classes give us combinations that we always have to pick up on the spot, but working on a variation allows you to focus on only a few steps, and to dig deep. We all have to find how to make our lines and our positions look the best on us and our bodies, so working one on one with a teacher or coach can help with this. 

Also, having a goal to work towards, knowing that on "x" day you are going to go out and perform for judges, can help increase the motivation to make every class count and for dancers to work their hardest leading up to it (hopefully creating good work habits that will carry beyond).
The scores and adjudicated comments will give you an idea of where to work from moving forward. Did the judges notice you need to work on arms, on turnout, or something else? Instead of taking these too personally, use them to grow! 
It's easy to let a score or comments get you down if it doesn't produce the outcome you had hoped for. However, keep in mind that the journey was always part of the outcome! View your growth as its own medal or plaque, and one that will serve you much better than something that sits on a shelf.
No single competition will define you as a dancer. You could win the top prize, and that will only be meaningful if it is backed up with a proper work ethic. Keep in mind what your goal is as a dancer - to go pro, to dance in college, to teach, to choreograph, or simply to become the best dancer you can be? Those are the real prizes in life, and competitions should only be a tool to move towards them. 
A "win" or a "loss" at a competition is short term. Progress in your dancing, learning, growing, and moving closer to your ultimate goal is forever. So go dance, have fun, make new friends, and take the competition and yourself only seriously enough to strive for the most benefit from the entire experience.


1 comment

Paula said...

With your son doing competitions, can you separate your "lioness protecting her cub" and knowing that that the corrections aren't personal, but are for his own good? I found it hard to do this, and almost felt it was a personal insult! It's amazing the corrections we can absorb when it's directed towards ourselves, but criticise my baby and I turn into the lioness! :)

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