Parents today are faced with many options when it comes to choosing a dance studio for their child. When dancers are as young as preschool, it could be a choice with consequences that will ripple into adolescence and beyond. With all the options available, it is wise to make sure you choose a school with values and goals that match your own so that your dancer can settle in and have a great experience right from the start. Each dancer and family is unique, and any one school will not be right for every dancer. Some dancers will thrive in a competitive situation and some will not. Here are some reasons why you might decide that a non-competitive environment is right for your child.
1. Students can focus on individual development.
Dancers develop at different rates and come into the studio with certain inherent skill sets and other things on which they need to work. In a non-competitive environment, students can focus on their areas of weakness and revel in their strengths without the added pressure of perfecting specific skills for the sake of choreography. When the focus is not on perfecting choreography under tight deadlines, dancers can relax and enjoy their art.
2. It is less expensive.
Competitions can be costly. There are entrance fees, studio fees and costume fees. There can also be travel costs and missed time at work and school. All of this can add up quickly.
3. Less drama and stress.
When students are divided into groups and teams there are bound to be ruffled feathers and hurt feelings. When the stakes are high, an honest mistake or error on stage can mean the cold shoulder after the performance. A non-competitive environment lessens these factors allowing dancers to bond over a shared love of their passion. Performances can be about self-expression and sharing an art form without the added stressors of scores and trophies.
4. More time to be well-rounded.
Dancers in a non-competitive environment are less likely to be subjected to attendance policies. While consistent attendance is imperative for a quality dance education, having allowances for family vacations, special events and other activities is a luxury that a non-competitive studio can offer. With less time spent in rehearsal for specific choreography, non-competitive dancers will have more time for additional activities, sports and enrichment programs.
5. Kids can be kids.
The dance scene has changed in the past decade. With more shows on television highlighting dancing and competition, the industry has become commercialized and sensationalized. The pressure is on for every turn to be a triple and every battement to touch the sky. Costumes are flashier and show more skin than ever before. Choreography can be disturbingly mature. Sometimes the line between age-appropriate and inappropriate gets blurry. Competition companies and dancers must be more careful than ever to fight back against this trend. In a non-competitive environment, it is easier for kids to just be kids who like to dance.
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