Dance is NOT baseball!!


Raise your hand if you like baseball?

My hand is probably one of the first to go up. I LOVE baseball. I love going to the games, the atmosphere, the popcorn, the athleticism, the popcorn, the seventh inning stretch, and the popcorn. Wait – did I already say popcorn? There is nothing like the ball park popcorn!!

But, there is no popcorn at a dance performance. In fact, I don’t want dance to be anything like baseball – but it is becoming that way. Somehow dance has taken on the competitive nature of baseball or sports in general. Gone are the days of artistry, or dancing for fun, or improving because you LOVE it.

When I was growing up, dance was so fun!

It was a chance to be with my friends,

it was a chance to connect with music,

it was a chance to challenge my body and reach for physical goals.

It was a chance to get on stage and hear the crowd cheer for you,

it was a chance to explore emotions inside.

It was fun and it was necessary for my well being. Our goals were to bond with a group of people that also loved to dance.

It seems that dance goals now are so much different. Dance goals now are to get a platinum, or beat the neighboring studio, or get in the top 10 – even against people in your own studio. It is a harsh world – and if navigated improperly, it leads to feelings of jealousy towards peers and disloyalty to the studio. These “dance awards” lead to dancers looking for a “better studio” that might help them get that top 5 placement – because that is what is most important to them.

How in the world did this happen? My heart aches. Dance was so good to me as a child. It was not stressful at all. My weekends weren’t taken over by costumes, and makeup, and trying to beat others. My weekends were spent sweating in a studio, preparing for the next performance, and then having down time with my friends.

I know I am up on my soap box right now, but parents, teachers, studio owners – it is our job to save dance. We have to stand up against making dance a sport. I think competition is ok – but if that is all dancers strive for or know – then dance is in real trouble.

Let’s make dance good again. – it’s our job to foster the love, passion, and enjoyment of dance. Let’s be good role models and not get caught up in all the trophies and the awards that will eventually collect dust on the shelf. Let’s advocate for long term friendships and loyalty to studios.

It’s up to us to keep dance out of the dugout.

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