re: Are Competition & Social Dance the Only Choices? Posted by Belle1 8/17/1999 4:06:00 PM
After reading the above replies I feel very fortunate to be at a (country dance) place which is both a studio and a dance club. We have a lot of competitors (our pro is a past world champion in country dance) but we also have a lot of good social dancers. We all trade partners quite frequently, even the comp folks (they can practice on the practice floors, so when they are upstairs in the club they are known to be social dancing).
I used to ride, and I was taught there that it is the pursuit of excellence that is the goal and competitions were only a way to measure your progress, not an end in themselves. Certainly I spent far more time riding at home than I did at comps! That is how I have continued to see competition dancing. It's hard to work on improving yourself if there are no "tests."
I think there will probably always be people for whom the prize is the most important thing, but I'm not one of them. I think it's very important that your self esteem is not linked to your performance at a competition. It seems like the most aggressive competitors are often the most insecure about themselves.
It is frustrating not to have a partner at your exact level of skill and interest, but it's also true that this is just dance, not dating or marriage, and things can change if they need to. I guess you do have to be careful of friendships though, not to just drop someone without warning unless you have an understanding about it. I recently started dancing with a practice partner close to my level of skill but well below my level of interest...it's better than only dancing with people much better or much worse than I am, or not practicing at all.
I can't imagine being only a competitor or only a social dancer. It's a complete thing for me.