The Benefits of Competition – Resilience

When it comes to resilience, the dictionary defines it in two ways: 1) the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.  2) the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.

At Studio 56 Dance Center, we explain resilience as a combination of both definitions.  We like to think of it as the ability of a dancer to bounce back after being faced with a challenge, experiencing an unexpected outcome, going through a difficult time, or being stretched past where they thought they could reach.  

For our competition team dancers, developing resilience isn’t just a perk; it’s a necessity.  Throughout dance practices and competition events, we know there will be times when their ability to be resilient will be tested.  There is a choice in those times to either give up or grow, and we’re teaching our students how to choose growth!  With that in mind, here are some of the ways we are developing resilience in the team:

  • Learning how to handle outcomes you didn’t think were fair

As a team, we discuss healthy ways for the dancers to express their disappointment when they don’t receive the award or recognition they wanted.  An important part of this conversation is how they manage their expectations, remembering that our purpose for competing is not about the trophies; it’s about doing our best work.

  • Understanding the importance of your self-talk

We discuss how self-talk can build people up or tear them down.  Our goal is to help the dancers recognize this influence and practice positive self-talk.  A growth mindset comes from the self-talk that says every mistake or failure is an opportunity to learn.

  • Owning your behavior toward others

In moments of high emotion, it can be easy for dancers to lash out at friends (or other teams or judges) for problems that happened in practice or performance.  As leaders, we are committed to teaching our students that placing blame doesn’t serve anyone well.  It’s key for everyone to accept responsibility for their own actions and reactions.

  • Getting back in class or on stage with a clear mind

One of the hardest parts about developing resilience is letting go of past troubles.  We’re striving to teach our students how to leave grudges behind and come into every rehearsal and performance with a fresh perspective and an open heart.

We want our students to know that you don’t become a resilient adult overnight; you must practice the behaviors that build resilience in order to reap the benefits.  We’re proud of the way our competition team students are growing stronger in this way, and we appreciate all you do as parents to support these lessons at home.  We are all in this together!

Concert Expectations for Your Little One

Performing in the concert is a brand new experience for most of our young dancers.  And while some will find it exciting, others might be a little nervous.  In our experience, one of the keys to concert success is encouraging your child to do their best and reassuring them that you are proud no matter what.  

So, what’s it going to be like when the big day rolls around?  What’s reasonable for you to expect from your child?  We’ve put together some of our best advice for a rewarding concert experience with your little one!

Remember that ….

Dancing on stage in front of hundreds of people is a pretty big deal! Some dancers are shy and others ham it up.  However, they react, allof our young dancers are gaining a tremendous amount of confidence by performing in front of a crowd.  Through this process, they are learning about self-expression, demonstrating their skills, and gaining a sense of accomplishment.

Strong emotions might occur, and that’s totally OK!  We’ve seen dancers who are so excited to perform they can hardly stand still, and others who suddenly become worried that they can’t see mom and dad way out there in the audience.  In our experience, most of these big emotions dissipate after the dress rehearsal.  But we do have a few special tactics to calm and comfort our littlest performers when needed, so rest assured they are always in good hands!

Live performances can be unpredictable—and often in positive ways. But you may wonder whether your little one will forget the dance routine or if they’ll have a case of stage fright.  Though those things do happen sometimes, they don’t mean your child’s future in dance is over.  (In fact, far from it!)  We know we can’t predict exactly what will happen, but we can guarantee that we are as proactive and prepared as possible.

Our curricula are designed to focus on gross motor skills and dance fundamentals.  Our students are being taught age-appropriate movements that align with their physical development.  Don’t expect your little one to perform with the same knowledge and skills of a dancer who is older or more experienced!  Technical progress comes over time as each dancer moves through our class levels at just the right pace.

Success comes in many forms, and we do not promote perfection as one of them!  Instead, we talk in class about the dancers trying their best and having fun while they perform.  Success is both the child who comes off stage beaming with joy AND the one who shyly admits she enjoyed it; it is both the child who remembered every step AND the one who forgot a few but worked super hard.  We want to celebrate every version of concert success!

We hope you enjoy watching your dancer onstage at the concert and seeing how far they’ve come this year.  All of us at Studio 56 Dance Center are super proud of our young dancers’ progress!