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How to Take Your Dancing to the Next Level

Competitive dancing has all kinds of benefits, from learning how to strive for more, resilience, and achieving things you may have never thought possible, to making life-long friends that have the same drive and passion as you. It also provides you with an incredible experience to hone your skills, determination and confidence, attributes that are crucial to every aspect of your life. While it is a big commitment, that is what makes it so rewarding! You get to work with incredible people and see tangible progress. Trust us, there is nothing more fulfilling than finally mastering that tricky new routine you’ve been working on for weeks!

So how do you know if you are fit for competitive dancing, and how do you then make the switch from dancing for fun?

Deciding to move up to competitive dancing can be a hard decision. It takes time, effort, money and determination, and sometimes people just want to keep dancing as a simple hobby they may do once or twice a week. And you know what? That is perfectly understandable! No one should feel pressured to go beyond what they want to do.

However, if you are considering it, here are a few indications that maybe this is a great next step for you;

  • You have a partner who's keen to showcase their moves on the competition dance floor or you've been invited to join training squad or a class for competitive dancers only.

Competitive dance in most studios, including our own, is by invitation only. This means you have to do non-competitive classes and prove you are dedicated and open to constant feedback and improvement. If you have been asked to join a class for competitive dancers only, it means your teacher(s) think you’d be a good fit and have what it takes to dance competitively. If you get this offer, take it! Try out competitive dancing for a season and if it’s not your cup of tea, no problem! At least you gave it a shot.

  • You are passionate about dancing.

For competitive dancers, dance is like a second home. It can be rough and challenging at times, but at the core of it is an unwavering love. Even when dancing gets tough, you don't just give up and move on to something else. You push through and know that you will come out the other side stronger and wiser, and usually having re-inflamed your passion and love for the art form. If you know, no matter what your dance experience was like the day before, that you can roll out of bed and be willing to do it all again the next day (and still find things you love about it), you have an innate passion for dancing that we love to see in our competitive dancers.

  • You understand the costs associated with competitive dancing.

Between extra classes, travel to competitions, outfits and general time-out-of-your-life costs, competitive dancing can be more expensive than some people expect. However, we think Shad Martin in his blog, ‘Why I don’t pay for dance anymore!’ sums up why so many are willing to pay the price:

‘The other night someone asked me "Why do you pay so much money for your girls to dance?" 

Well I have a confession to make, I don't pay for dance. Personally, I couldn't care less about dance. I grew up in a family of 4 boys and no girls. The "Nutcracker" was something you did on a dare off of the high dive at the pool or something you unpleasantly surprised your brother with. Up until the day I met my wife if I were asked to go to Swan Lake I would have asked if we were water skiing or fishing.

So if I am not paying for dance what am I paying for? I pay for those moments when my daughters become so tired they want to quit but don't. I pay for those days when my daughters come home from school and are "too tired" to go dance but go anyway. I pay for my daughters to learn to be graceful. I pay for my daughters to learn to take care of their body. I pay for my daughters to learn to work with others and to be good teammates. I pay for my daughters to learn to deal with disappointment, when they don't get that part they hoped for, but still have to work hard at the part that they received. I pay for my daughters learn to make and accomplish goals. I pay for my daughters to learn that it takes hours and hours and hours and hours of hard work and practice to create something beautiful, and that success does not happen over night. I pay for the opportunity my daughters have and will have to make life long friendships. I pay so that my daughters can be on stage instead of in front of a screen…’

When you pay for anything to do with dance, especially competitive dance, you are not paying for dance, you are paying for opportunities and the ability to create habits; you are paying for an investment that benefits you for your entire life. Once you know this, you will realise how ready you are for competitive dancing, because our mindset goes beyond what others see. 

UCan2 Dance Studio Dance Competition, Auckland New Zealand

How to make the switch to competitive dancing:

As we mentioned above, the switch to competitive dancing requires an invitation, however, there are many things you can do to make that invitation a very real possibility.

  • Take dance classes and show your interest.

Obviously, to be a competitive dancer (and first get invited), you must attend our dance classes. Try different styles and see what one (or multiple!) you love and want to dedicate yourself to. Book private lessons to work on your skills and show how dedicated you are to dancing. Then, let your teacher know you're possibly interested in becoming a competitive dancer. They’ll help you consider your options, and work towards your goals.

  • Show initiative.

Competitive dancing requires initiative, so practice beyond lessons and work on your technique so you are constantly improving. Help out in other classes, and ask questions during your privates lessons; both about anything you may be confused about but also what your teacher thinks you should focus on to get you into competitive dancing. Watch competitive dancers who are having amazing results, and keep an eye on Harry's Instagram Stories, as he shares incredible videos of dancers from around the globe, that might just inspire your new direction!

  • Watch competitions.

Similar to the above tip, but show your dedication by watching competitions, getting comfortable in the atmosphere and proving you will show up no matter what and support your team mates. Being there for your fellow dancers will also help you build lasting bonds that can help you when you become a competitive dancer yourself! If you are in or around Auckland, you can see our competition schedule here and join us as our dancers take the stage this season!

  • Take care of yourself.

Schedule time off from dancing, let yourself recover and always ALWAYS stretch before and after classes. Eat well so you have energy, sleep well for the same reason, and make sure you take action to manage any stress that may arise. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing any competition dancer (and person in general) can do.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, we look forward to seeing you at class soon, and potentially seeing some new eager faces ready to enter the incredible world of competition dancing - book a private lesson, today!!

Collage of UCan2 Dance Studio Competition Photos, Auckland New Zealand



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