It is inevitable, at some point in everybody’s life you will hear “no” or let yourself down. It could be not getting a job, getting a bad score on a test or not getting that double platinum and high score that you were hoping for. Especially as competition dancers where we are constantly judged and competing against your friends, you have a much higher chance of being put in these situations
. In this article I’m going to share my personal experiences and tips on dealing with losing or letting yourself down.
Younger dancers: I started dancing competitively when I was 8 years old. With younger kids, they don’t always understand what is happening or who “wins” and who “loses”. I can’t remember a single awards ceremony from when I was that young. Young dancers get upset easily and mostly rely on parents to cheer them up. Every kid is different but one thing that helps 99% of the time is- ice cream! I know, not the healthiest option but no matter what the outcome of a competition, convention or show is, I think getting some sort of reward for trying is great. It shows kids that no matter if they win or lose, their parent/guardian is always proud of them.
Older dancers: Older dancers most of the time fully understand who did better than others in the judge’s opinions. One of the hardest parts for me while growing up, and is still hard for me, is understanding why I do better at some competitions/conventions than others. It truly is just based on the teachers or judges opinions and preferences! Dance is very subjective. Not getting moved up a level or getting a critique in class that upsets you can feel the same way as not getting that scholarship at convention you wanted or not getting the score you hoped for on your solo. One thing that I would recommend is talking to fellow teammates, teachers or parents. My mom has always been a very good source for me. She is always super supportive and tells me how proud she is of me and encourages me to keep going. Talking through things with people you feel safe with is a great way to grow from loss, rather than feel defeated and give up. Feeling disappointed in yourself is a hard thing to deal with but as Tonya would say, glass half full! Losing is one of the best ways to grow. Taking feedback and criticism is helpful even though it can be very tough to hear sometimes.
These tips are some of the best I have learned in my 8 years of competition dancing. There is no perfect recipe for dealing with disappointment but support from others and ice cream sure help! I hope this helps in some small way and I wish you the best of luck in dance and life!