Few people walk in to start taking dance lessons because they want to be a competitive dancer, it happens, but the majority of students are looking for a new outlet for self-improvement, stress relief, and a community among many other benefits. Your lessons are going along just fine, you are feeling progress and then your teacher says, “There is ________________ competition coming up I think you should go!” Wait a minute, what?! I came here to go to the salsa club, dance with my wife, lose weight, make new friends, get ready for my wedding, etc. not PERFORM! Why should I do this? If your dance teacher is in tune with the benefits you are looking to get out of social dancing, they will invite you to do a dance competition. Here’s why:
Enhance your dancing- Have you ever noticed that many of the best students at the studio are the ones who go to competitions? They didn’t get that good and then go compete, it was part of the preparation process! When preparing “freestyles,” which are choreographed amalgamations of level appropriate patterns, you are able to practice lead/follow techniques, balance, strengthen your frame, improve your footwork and play with musicality. Even though the freestyles are choreographed, your closed category routines should be socially lead-able at that level. This is great for leaders! You can dance much of your material with other students without having to think because it will be engrained in your brain and your feet!
Community- In your private lessons you might not have the opportunity to interact much with other students, or you might only see students that are at the studio at the same time as you. Traveling to compete together gives you the opportunity to strengthen friendships within your studio and make friends from other studios. You might meet dancers from other parts of the country or abroad. But you all share the same language through dance.
Build confidence- Once you decide to spend some quality time on your dancing, you will probably become one of the better dancers when you go out socially dancing. People will stop and watch you! If you haven’t spent time in front of a crowd before that might make you a little uncomfortable. But imagine how much easier going out to dance will feel when you know that whoever you are dancing with is going to have a great time because you have gotten out all of your nerves at dance competitions. Piece of cake!
Opportunity to Travel- Most competitions, especially with Arthur Murray, are hosted in beautiful and exciting locations like Hawaii, Vienna, New York, Florida and so many more! Many people put off vacations due to work or other obligations and before you know it it’s been years since your last vacation. When you travel with Arthur Murray we handle most of the arrangements for you and you get to combine your love of travel with your love of dance.
Get dressed up- We can’t ignore the glitz and sparkle of the ballroom dance floor. Even if you live in denim and sneakers on a daily basis, getting dressed up to dance can get you in character and boost your dancing. Imagine how much more graceful you will become in your waltz in a gown or tuxedo. Or maybe you will channel your inner Antonio Banderas with your latin shirt. Your teacher will help you pick outfits that flatter you and are comfortable to dance in. There will also be vendors, make-up and hairstyle artists at the event in case you forget anything or want a little extra assistance.
Have Fun- If you were to close your eyes at a competition, you might think you are actually at a football game! When not on the dance floor everyone is cheering, doing line dances and socializing. Most events also have several themed parties in the evening giving you the opportunity to cut loose, dance with new people, watch shows and dance till you drop.
Sounds like a good time, huh? There is a reason why no one ever competes just once! You might not be able to attend every event, but your teacher will know the different events coming up for the year and help you pick which ones will be the best ones to help your progress and be a ton of fun!
Originally posted June 17, 2014
Credit to California Arthur Murray Schools