When people see little three year olds running around in tutus and walking around on their tippy toes all dressed in pink with extremely cute ballet slippers, then all thats heard is 'oh how adorable', and 'look at how cute she is!'. But people often do not realize how competitive the dance world can actually become. Yes, it can change from the cute little fluffy pink tutus, to a world of stage make up, bags of shoes, rushing to get on costumes, and fights between dancers and parents like you would not believe! Sometimes it can be so competitive, its wondered how dancing, such a beautiful and talented sport, can become so rough, time consuming, and lifechanging...
First of all, there are hundreds and hundreds of people who will probably say they love dance! Its a lifestyle, they wouldnt change a thing for them or their dancers. But there are also people out there who think dance is ruining their childs life. What used to be a fun hobby to do once or twice a week is now consuming not only their time, but their money and their energy, theyr not the same happy child they used to be. Dance is such a major competitive sport, and people do not even realize it is out there or what it is capable of.
There are so many ways a person can get involved in dance. They may join a dance team or drill team at their school, they may take dance classes outside of school at any local club or dance studio, or they may want to teach themselves how to dance with no assistance from an instructor. Most times it starts off with 'Mom, I want to take dance' and thus it begins. It can be anything- ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, breakdancing, lyrical, you name it, the list goes on! And they pick one class, and that opens the door to take more once they get a taste of new choreography, and new friends, and how comfortable they feel with what they are learning and its so exciting to them they just dont want to stop.
This is where it starts to get competitive. They are taking classes at a studio, then competitions are coming up- 'Mom I want to compete!'. Sure, why not? They have been working hard all year why not put their skills to the test? Parents often do not realize that competitions are extremely fierce. If it is their first competition, they will be blown away. There will be dancers running from one dressing room to another searching for costumes, dancers will be practicing routines in the middle of the hall waiting for their turn to be on deck to dance... they are rushing here and there because they are entered into so many categories and so many dance routines that their heads are likely to blow up at any minute! Soon enough..your dancer becomes one of these. They eat, sleep, and drink dance. Soon, they have no energy, they have no life.
But do not be mistaken, often times this does not happen. Sometimes it ends up the opposite. They are these dancers, running around like crazies but they love it. They love dance so much that they crave it. They do not mind the competitiveness or the rush and trying to be in a million places at once. Some people have the want for that lifestyle while others dont. Point being, it starts off with just a dance class, and it can go any way from there.
This is the same with middle and high school dance teams. Goes from just performing at football and basketball games, to competitions, parades, running around from here to there beating the clock and runing ragged. Some parents disagree with how much time is actually required for middle and high school students to put into dance team or dance class for many reasons. This may mean interference with homework and study time. This also can lead to the slipping of grades, the loss of friends, the distance between the dancer and the family because they are not home enough. Lack of sleep, lack of appetite, lack of energy, these are all things that come with the 'lifestyle' of dance. But again, it is not always like this.
It is often not stated when kids and teenagers sign up for dance class, dance team, or any of the such that there will be such a commitment required in order to succeed in these areas. Although people start off thinking that this is good exercise, and helps build endurance and adds to skills their child will know (which are all true), they do not know or recognize all of the negative that could possibly come out of this as well. However, dance is not the only sport with this issue, almost any competitive sport will most likely have the same results, but the difference is, people are unaware of dance being a sport, and being so competitive.