5 Tips on How To Deal With Dance Competition Disappointments

Dance competitions are a ticket way to awards and more importantly, scholarships to dream dance companies and dance schools. To achieve success in dance competitions would mean clocking in extra training hours and a lot of necessary sacrifices.

It is a pivotal moment for most dancers. Naturally, when your name isn’t called in the award ceremony, it is easy to turn sour a positive learning experience.

All that hard work for nothing?

On the contrary, no.

With the right mindset, you can turn your worst dance competition disappointment into the best experience you ever had. Here are the 5 tips on how to deal with dance competition disappointments!

1. Talk To Your Dance Teacher

What better way to move forward than to do it with your trusted dance teacher. It’s normal to feel embarrassed, and maybe even guilty towards your teacher for not getting the best results that both of you have worked hard on. But hey! Your teacher is there to support your growth.

As soon as possible, schedule a meeting with your dance teacher and go through the scoresheet. This helps you to identify what you did well and what needs to be improved in the future. The faster you face the comments, the more time you have to improve.

2. Make A List of Things You’ve Gained from the Dance Competition

Dance competitions are a lot more than just winning prizes. There’s so much more to gain from the experience itself, such as making new friends, learning how to cope with stage nerves, training experience, and so much more.

Listing down all the things you’ve gained will help you put into perspective the many things you’ve accomplished instead of focusing on losing one prize. To extend your list further, you can even list down the things you hope to accomplish in future opportunities to get yourself excited about it!


3. Understand That Subjectivity Is Unavoidable

Feedbacks and comments from the judges are great tools used to expand your skills as a dancer. Although you should take them seriously, it’s important to understand that subjectivity is unavoidable within a dance competition.

The scoresheet only represents that one performance and one panel of judges. Subjectivity is unavoidable in an adjudication which leads to personal preferences being brought in by the judges.

Some judges may prefer softer arm movements, while others may like more dynamic jumps. To get more accurate and consistent feedbacks about your work, it helps when you attend multiple dance competitions in a season.

The rule of thumb is, focus on the corrections that were given, but don’t get too caught up if it’s a matter of personal preference.

4. Focus on You!

At the end of the day, your dance journey is all about you. Rather than obsessing about the achievements of your competitors, focus on your progress and artistry.

How much have you improved from months of training leading up to the dance competition? What direction do you want to explore further in your artistry? What technique have you learned and want to improve on? These are some questions you can ask yourself to set your mind on yourself.

Trophies aren’t the only thing you want to bring home. Instead, try setting your goals that aren’t tied to them. It could be nailing showmanship elements, taking a masterclass from a choreographer you admire, or even representing your studio well by being an encouraging dancer to your peers.

5. Remember That It’s Not The End Of The World

Dance competitions are unpredictable. It might have been a slip you made on stage, a missed step, or your legs weren’t as high the rest of the competitors. Whatever the reason it was that you couldn’t make the cut, remember that it’s not the end of the world.

One result of a dance competition does not define you as a dancer.

Dance is a never-ending journey. So while you’re at it, enjoy the process and experience of it. You will have so much more opportunities in the future, and if you work hard now, you’ll be performing better by then.

Mourn over your mistakes (not for too long!), but don’t let it get in the way of moving forward to your dance success!

Even the best dancers have their worst days…

If it’s any consolation, even professional dancers who seem flawless on stage have their own share of bad days. Of course, that never stopped them from dancing.

Just shake it off, laugh about it, and get back on your feet! If you’d like to know how professional dancers like Misty Copeland deal with her bad days on stage, you can read their stories here at When Onstage Nightmares Come True.

On the other hand, dance competitions can be physically and mentally draining. If you feel you’re about to have a burnout, we’ve got your back. Check out our article on 6 Ways to Cope With Dancer Burnout.


Grace Rundi

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

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