Forum: Competitions

watching other dances at Competition
By millysmommy
On Wed Mar 21, 2012 04:47 AM

I just read a post about a teacher not wanting their students to watch the other dancers at a competition, and alot of people seemed ot agree. I am taking my students to their first competition in 2 weeks and It's the first time I've been to a competition in 11 years, but when i was a student attending my teacher always had us watch the other dancers and it was one of my favorite parts of spending a whole weekend there was getting to see what others were doing.

I am excited about getting my dancers out - we are from a very small community and we are going to a big city where I'm sure they are going to see things they have never seen before, and I was looking forward to having them wacth others and expose them to that. Is this a bad idea, should I not have them watch the others?

9 Replies to watching other dances at Competition

re: watching other dances at Competition
By DaDancingPsych
On Wed Mar 21, 2012 06:54 AM
I would be interested to read this thread, as I do not understand the reasoning for not having them watch. Are they referring to the dance right before them? I can understand that, as I would want my dancers focused on the job that they need to do.

My current students don’t compete, but rather we do attend various conventions and they have watched the competitions attached to these. I have found much value in the conversations that we have had afterward. They have often pointed out a dance or dancer that they enjoyed and we were able to discuss what we enjoyed about it. Was it the fact that they were clean and tight? Did they have amazing stage presence? Were they performing amazing feats (which often leads to talks about the amount of time that person spends in class, which is much more than my respectable recreational dancers.)

We have also discussed the merits and downfalls of competition. We have talked about how it’s tough to judge two numbers against each other. We talk about taste and how one dance might speak louder to me, but it’s the opposite for someone else. We discussed how a trophy does not make that person a better dancer nor guarantee them a job (my dancers are not on that road, but I think it has life implications, too.)

They have been exposed to different styles of dance. My jazz is different than someone else’s. Maybe they have never done a more contemporary ballet piece, so that may open their eyes. They just get to see a different approach to presenting an entertaining piece than mine.

From our standpoint, allowing them to watch other dancers has only been beneficial. Sometimes even inspiring.
re: watching other dances at Competition
By ChristinePremium member
On Wed Mar 21, 2012 07:09 AM
My studio does not do competitions, however, when Ticket to Broadway comes to a local venue, I take my girls over to watch.

They love it!

Also, when I attend DEA workshops, I spend a whole day watching the comp, even if it means spending an extra day at the hotel before my own classes.

I can understand that a certain amount of insecurity might result if the girls compare themselves to their competitors, but hanging out in a hotel all weekend isn't going to enhance their dance experience where watching other dancers will.

Keep On Dancing*
re: watching other dances at Competition
By dancerasa
On Wed Mar 21, 2012 07:18 AM
My kids watch. End f story. To see what else it out there, see other styles, other ways of doing things :) then we can talk about what we saw and what was good and what we enjoyed. However....we try to never watch the ones directly before us :)
re: watching other dances at Competition
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 21, 2012 07:34 AM
I watch. I like everybody to watch. Of course, now that I'm in more of a teacher/parent of a competitor role, and less of a competitor role, I don't get to watch much, but I like to. I don't watch anyone that's against me though, it's better for my nerves. :D
re: watching other dances at Competition
By trfrancis
On Wed Mar 21, 2012 07:45 AM
We did our first competition last year and we watched. It was great. The girls were excited to see other dancers and it was a great learning experience.
re: watching other dances at Competition
By lmtdance
On Wed Mar 21, 2012 08:09 AM
I never allow my students to watch the performer before them. It was something I adopted with myself when I was a dancer as it tended to psyche me out. Last year, I let a group of Minis watch the number right before theirs and it was to the exact same song! It confused them and they didn't dance up to their potential, so now, we are praying the number before them and then getting into our positions.

As far as watching the competition after you have competed, I think that is excellent. I often do it to keep myself inspired and I hope that my dancers will get inspiration from others, as well.
re: watching other dances at Competition
By Jaenis_Yahad
On Wed Mar 21, 2012 08:10 AM
Personally, I love for my girls to watch the numbers and I love watching, even if we're not competing.

Maybe some instructors don't want their classes to be intimidated by other numbers going before them. Not watching something or someone else can help you just focus on yourself. I had a situation where I took a class to comp for the first time, and they watched the other girls before they went on, and it made them very intimidated and nervous, to the point where some of them didn't want to compete because they thought that they would lose, even after we had a discussion about what they would see beforehand. Could be a number of things, but this was just a thought.
re: watching other dances at Competition
By mherman0411
On Wed Mar 21, 2012 09:58 AM
I think you may be referring to my post about this. Thank you for posting this! I love hearing everyone else's thoughts. I do not let my girls watch the other dances in their category, however I do not make this a standing rule for a ll teams or all dances. I encourage them to watch the other dances that aren't in their division. The only reason I have them not watch is because if the girls personalities. I have been teaching all of these girls since they were pretty much 4. They are now 8-11. I know them and I know that half of them will get extremely nervous by watching their competitors and it will psyce them out. My junior team loves watching the other dances and they are able to handle it base on their personalities.
re: watching other dances at Competition
By loverofballet
On Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:22 AM
If my dancers are in the early morning categories of a competition, they better be backstage warming up, listening to their music and focusing on their own dance. If I have to go to front of house to look for them, they are in big trouble. After they perform, I encourage them to stay and watch. I want them to learn to critique their own performance, as well as others they see...all done in a positive light and with understanding of different tastes and styles.

When possible, I want my dancers to be up against others their own age who are better than they are, so I encourage them to watch. This gives them goals to work towards and a reality check when they start to think they are really good.

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