Why Compete In Ballroom Dancing?
Why Compete Ballroom?
“I didn’t come to learn competitive ballroom dancing!” Sound familiar? It’s our number one objection when we announce we have a competition coming up. Let me take you on a little journey, one that begins with you deciding you want to be a better dancer.
Once upon a time, you saw an ad in the newspaper, or you watched Kirstie and Max on ABC-TV’s hit show Dancing with the Stars, and you thought – “that looks like fun. I think I’d like to learn how to dance.” So you Googled “ballroom dancing lessons in NJ” and you came up with 5 choices near you. Hooray for you – you chose the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. You took the 2 lesson special, then the 5 lesson special. You decided to continue to learn how to social dance, and set your goal to become a good Bronze dancer. You learned that a good Bronze dancer is someone who could lead or follow anyone on the dance floor with confidence, and that is why you started.
You remember when your teacher explained the “Trophy System.” She mentioned the Gold Dancer. She pointed out that lady on the dance floor who is awesome. That lady goes to competitions every month and won the U.S. Pro-Am, blah, blah, blah, and you thought, “No, I never want to do that.” Then your teacher mentioned the Silver Program and said “Silver dancers compete a few times a year, but live for dance. They come to lessons every day, they attend every ‘Practice Party,’ they go to every event, and they even practice on their own.” Still, you said, “nope, I’m not that ambitious.” So you decided you wanted to be a Bronze Dancer. After all, a Bronze dancer is better than what you are, but not as fancy as a Silver or a Gold dancer. Now, all of the sudden, your teacher is talking about competitions! What happened? “I swore I said I didn’t want to compete.” And that’s true, you did.
You also entrusted your teacher with your dance education, and said your goal is to become the best dancer possible. One way to achieve your goal is to dive into a dance competition. The reason is simple, it’s not about winning, but once you have made the commitment to compete with a deadline to perform, the entire experience of learning and practice changes.
Practice parties will suddenly help you build your stamina. You’ll begin to think about your posture and your poise, and about reaching your arms farther. You might also watch a better dancer twirl her fingers in that sexy way. You’ll begin to watch your wife’s teacher move his hips, wondering if you’ll ever be able to do that. You’ll begin to plan your lessons with your teacher, and study your chart after your lesson. You’ll learn that you had better get that babysitter committed to every Tuesday and Thursday night for the next month, and you’ll have a back-up plan ready, because your practice time is limited and needs to be scheduled. You’ll start to take more group classes, because they’re less expensive. You’ll become goal oriented, whether during practice parties, in a class, or with an instructor, or yes, even when you practice on your own.
In essence, you will push yourself to achieve more. And wasn’t that your goal all along? All the money you invest in your dancing isn’t going into your teacher’s pocket, or your studio owner’s or competition organizer’s. It is going into your dance education, your self-improvement, your confidence, and your happiness. It’s also going into your poise, posture, time spent with your spouse, your personal relationships. It is going into your fantasy of wearing rhinestones and being swept off your feet, your weight-loss goals, your health, and your relaxation. When you have successfully completed a competition, you will have improved your dancing more than if you took ten lessons in one day.
We seriously doubt that you decided to pursue ballroom dancing because you needed another activity to fill your dull and boring life. Most of us barely have time to watch the Dancing with the Stars episode that we TIVO’d. Competitive dancing is a bonus—an extracurricular activity that will help us enjoy our dancing. It gives us the opportunity to try hard, to practice, to study, and become the kind of dancer we dreamed of being when we started out. If we happen to pick up a blue ribbon in the process, it’s an exciting added bonus.
Benefits of Competitive Ballroom Dancing
- · Have a vision
- · Setting goals makes work more productive
- · A little competition inspires you to work harder
- · Find practice more productive
- · Build stamina
- · Increase opportunities to go out dancing
- · Improve your poise, posture
- · Improved self-confidence
- · Overall self improvement
- · Use your competitive routines to social dance at parties and practice parties
- · Focus your training
- · Working with accomplished coaches and trainers helps you improve faster
- · Having a deadline makes you work now
- · You’ll probably stick to your diet or exercise program, knowing you have a competition coming up
- · Earn respect from your peers
- · Turn dancing into a passion
- · Because you love to dance
- · Improve your self-esteem
- · Develop memories that will last a lifetime
- · Give your grandchildren, neighbors, friends a great story
- · Improve muscle tone
- · Meet people who love what you love
- · Reduce stress
- · Increase energy
- · Stimulate your mind, like sudoku or cross-word puzzles
- · Develop circulatory system
- · Reduce heart rate
- · Teaches you to be the best possible dancer you can be
- · Competitive dancers make the best partners – they are the easiest people to lead and follow on the dance floor, making them the person everyone wants to ask “could I have this dance?”
Carrie Babcock is a 5-Time US Champion and co-owner of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Upper Montclair. She began her career as a competitive ballroom dancer at the age of 28.
If you'd like more information about ballroom dancing, call our studio in Montclair, NJ at 973-783-8999, or visit our website at www.DanceAstaire.com
The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Upper Montclair will be hosting a ballroom competition on July 29, 2011. Ask your instructor for more information!