How To Cope With Jealousy in Dance and Make It Useful

You’ve probably heard stories of dancers feeling jealous of each other and sabotaging one another. Whether it’s putting glass in someone’s shoes (in the extreme sense!) or giving the cold shoulder to another dancer in the class, jealousy is real.

Jealousy can cause us to feel insecure. We start to compare ourselves with others and that’s what makes us lose sight as a dancer.

The sad thing is not many dancers talk about their feelings of jealousy because it’s embarrassing. Truth be told, it happens to everyone. So let’s get real here.

So how can we take this green monster and turn it into our best arsenal? Here’s how to cope with jealousy in dance turn it into something useful!

Acknowledge and Feel It

Once you’ve realised that envy strikes, the first thing you should do is to acknowledge these feelings and feel through them.

You don’t have to feel ashamed by these feelings because you know what?

It’s normal.

There will always be aspects you wish you had. If you’re a natural turner, you wish you are a natural jumper. Maybe you wish for a better arch or more flexibility. The point here is, everyone has their strengths and everyone progresses at their own pace.

Feelings of jealousy and envy become dangerous when you bottle them up. It may affect your view about yourself and how you interact with your peers. It may cause you to be distracted in your training because you may feel low in confidence or you’re putting all your attention on your peers.

Writing down your feelings on a piece of paper can really help you to relieve the emotional tension you are feeling. Sometimes you may even find that the root of your jealousy that could be related to something much deeper.

Focus on Yourself

Feeling jealous of someone consume a lot of our energy, whether we notice it or not.

Instead of constantly measuring yourself against those around you, try challenging your energy by focusing on yourself. For instance, instead of comparing how high your leg can lift in class, try focusing on getting your leg higher than the day before.

Dance class is not a competition. If you’re constantly competing in the class, you’re not putting all the effort you need in doing things that can help your improvement.

Remember, every dancer has their own unique paths and attributes. Don’t let what others have and you don’t become a distraction to your progress. Focus inward and you’ll start to appreciate all the great qualities you have that only belongs to you.

It’s All About Perspective

Dance is an art form. You can’t put a number on it.

If someone is getting more attention in class, or are getting the roles you’ve wanted, remember that it is based on the teacher or director’s subjective preference.

Some may see a certain quality that the others have, while another choreographer may see something special in you.

So don’t it personally. Take these feedback as a gift into knowing what are your unique qualities!

Learn From It

If you’re feeling jealous, chances are you’re seeing someone else who is doing something you wish you could do yourself.

It’s an opportunity to see someone who can do better than you because that can be your motivation and learning curve to be a better dancer. If you someone who can jump higher than you, you’re getting front row seats to watch and learn the secrets of jumping high.

The tip here is to rechannel your feelings. Instead of comparing yourself, learn and use competition to improve on yourself.

Sometimes it’s also good to try to get to know the dancer you are jealous of. Once you better know them, you’ll know their strengths and challenges. This way you get to see a complete picture of them as just a human being like you, and not an unattainable idea that you are trying to pursue.

Appreciate with Positive Energy

Jealousy is what makes us human. And that’s okay.

What we do about it is what makes us a better dancer and person.

Turn your feelings of jealousy into positive energy such as feelings of awe and respect. That way you’ll appreciate the beauty in others and in yourself!

If you’re looking for ways to boost your performance on stage, you should really look into warm up routine. Check out our article on How To Do A Good Warm-Up Before Dancing For Better Performance!


Grace Rundi

Continuously searching for an artistic voice, spotting muses, and drawing inspirations.

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